Content is key to attracting and retaining customers. Not only does content inform and entertain your audience, but it helps establish your credentials as a reliable resource in your niche. Your content tells people that you know what you’re talking about, and your posts help share your brand’s voice and values with the community at large.
Plus, your content can be shared from person to person, helping to grow your brand without any extra effort from you!
Therefore, as a business owner, you may be eager to fill your website with exactly the right content that will attract and retain customers. But how much is too much or too little content? Let’s take a look at short and long blog posts to determine which is better.
Short vs. Long Blog Posts
Before we take a look at whether short or long blog posts are best for your business website, we need to define what is “short” versus what is “long” and how they differ.
There’s not a specific digital marketing manual that outlines the requirements, but it’s generally agreed that posts under 1,000 words fall in the “short blog post” category, while those over 1,000 words are “long blog posts”.
Is there a long blog post maximum word count? Not really, though posts ranging from 3,000- 5,000 words are fairly common. Remember, if you’re feeling particularly long-winded about a topic, this might be an opportunity to self-publish a book or create a small book as a lead magnet.
It’s not just the word count that defines a short or long blog post, however. The format for each is generally very different.
Purpose of Long Blog Posts
A long blog post will strive to inform, persuade, instruct, or argue a specific point or topic. This type of article may contain a great deal of emotion or detail. The purpose of these articles is to engage and hold the attention of your reader for a longer period of time. It may also persuade them to interact more with your brand, as they may be inspired to comment or participate in online conversations about the topic of your long article.
Purpose of Short Blog Posts
On the other hand, short blog posts are often opportunities to use important keywords in a structure that provides the reader with valuable information such as product previews, sale or discount announcements, or brief and general details about a specific topic. Short posts are intended to attract new readers with immediate news and attractive visuals that will draw them into your site further.
The title of a blog post will reveal what the reader should expect from a post. For example: “Introducing Our Newest Mascara” would likely be a short article, while “How Wearing These Socks Changed My Life” sets the reader up for a longer blog post.
Which Type of Blog Post Should I Write?
You have probably heard a lot of differing and even opposing opinions about whether you should stick to long or short blog posts on your business website. You may have come to this article looking for a definitive guide.
This is another situation where the correct answer is “both”.
Studies have shown that a mixture of both is most beneficial to attracting and retaining an audience.
Short articles are quick reads, but you can pack a lot of very important and interesting information in under 1000 words. In fact, announcing your End-of-Season Free Shipping discount probably doesn’t need several headings and subheadings, but it is a great opportunity to find 300-500 words that incorporate keywords, buzzwords, and other details that might entice someone into learning more about your business.
Benefits of Long and Short Blog Posts
Remember: short form articles aren’t intended to provide a fully detailed analytical report on a topic, but serve as “Hey! Check this out!” content. They improve search engine optimization (more on SEO here) by driving more people to your site and being highly shareable nuggets of content.
Long blog posts, on the other hand, can improve SEO by demonstrating that people value your website. Long posts take a longer time to read, but those who follow along for the entire journey are more likely to have an emotional or intellectual response to what they have read. They might comment or share with other individuals who will have a similar take away and reaction.
At the same time, a long blog post needs to be well-considered, consistent, informative, and entertaining. Writing more isn’t helpful unless you maintain the same quality of content throughout the longer piece.
Read also: What is Content Marketing?
Tips for Writing Short and Long Blog Posts
The first thing your blog posts need is direction:
- What is your goal in writing this post?
- Are you hoping that this article gets lots of shares and comments?
- Are you hoping to attract more subscribers or followers? Or
- Are you explaining something more complex in hopes of educating readers?
The goal you have for this particular article will often dictate how long it is.
Remember that readers have short attention spans. Each word you write will need to be deliberate in order to captivate an audience, regardless of how long your article is. Before you start writing your blog post, do a keyword search to help fine-tune your blog post draft for what audiences are interested in and searching for. Being relevant will help attract more readers.
If your article is over 500, you may wish to add subheadings and images to help hold readers’ attention. Infographics or charts and graphs can go a long way towards illustrating your point!
Make sure your long blog posts answer questions and provide accurate data. While you want the topic to excite and inspire your readers, you don’t want to confuse them.
Consider outlining your post before drafting it to ensure you’re addressing any concerns the reader might have as they’re reading the article. Any references you use should be well-researched and accurate so they can support your post and thereby protect your reputation.
When it comes to blog posts, mixing it up between short and long posts is a great way to find and fascinate your audience. You may wish to consult your page analytics to review each post’s popularity, too. If you find yourself posting too many short articles or long articles in a row, your audience will tell you by not reading.
While it’s impossible to predict the success of a blog post based on length, it is true that both short and long blog posts provide plenty of opportunity to increase your SEO, as well as help you reach more and more customers organically over time.