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ProBlogger FAQ: How Long Should Posts Be?

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of April 2015 General 36

Over the years I’ve been asked many questions about blogging, but I find there are a few that pop up more often than others. While blogging is different for everyone, I have found that the conclusions I’ve arrived at after all this time still hold true.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting my answers to the most frequently asked questions here at ProBlogger. If you have any you’d like me to answer, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

ProBlogger FAQ How long should posts be We go into the answers.

The biggest question I get asked though, is how long should a post be?

My answer to this is usually “write enough to be useful, and then stop”.

This, of course, means that a post can be any length, and I certainly don’t follow a set formula. You can be useful in 500 words, or you can be useful in 3000 – it all depends.

There has been talk recently about longer-form content and the way Google ranks it as opposed to the bite-size content usually recommended for time-poor readers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it’s best to consider what the topic is, who your reader is, and how much you have to say about it.

Longer-form content

Search ranking

Regardless of the fact we post on a constantly-updated platform, there is still a need for in-depth analysis. Google itself came to the conclusion after a reader experiment that people are looking for both quick answers and to learn more broadly about the topics that interest them.

Long form also content keeps people on the site longer, which seems to be increasingly a factor in Facebook’s and Google’s algorithms and how they rank content. They factor that time spent on your site into their ranking strategy – how long it takes you to get back to Facebook or Google and interact. Did you flick back almost immediately after not finding what you wanted? Or did you spend a few minutes reading, therefore proving the content useful and as something you wanted to see?

CoSchedule recently conducted an experiment on longer-form content and how it was ranked in search results depending on word length. They mentioned the correlations companies like Moz and serpIQ have found between long-form content and search result placement, and also number of backlinks. Garrett at CoSchedule tested key words and found that the 500-word posts rarely ranked at all. He came to the conclusion that Google doesn’t prefer long-form content simply because it was longer, but that length was one of the indicators of quality (out of 200 ranking factors). The point was still to create great content, as Google values value over all.


In his experiment on QuickSprout, Neil Patel found that his posts that were longer than 1500 words garnered significantly more social shares than the posts that weren’t. Buzzsumo went on to analyze 100 million articles last year only to discover the same thing – the longer the content, the more shares it gets.


There’s no doubt you can cover much more ground when it comes to long-form content, and the likelihood that you will be providing the answer the reader is looking for, or solving a pain point for them, is higher.

Longer, in-depth, useful articles are still some of the most popular on ProBlogger – posts like Can You Really Make Money Blogging [7 Things I Know about Making Money Blogging]How to Consistently Come Up with Great Post Ideas for Your Blog, and The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program (which is a whopper at 7683 words). They provide value because they answer just about any question anyone would have.

Short Form Content

I’ve experimented with both long and short-form content on ProBlogger, and have sometimes turned what could be an in-depth post into series of shorter posts instead.

The good thing about a series of posts on the one topic is that it creates anticipation. While it’s never been as successful for me (share-wise) as long-form content, it’s still useful. The best response I’ve seen to a series of posts I’ve done is when I first published 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – where, by posting something every day, I built a community of bloggers all taking small steps in a month to create more successful blogs.

How to Decide?

As I mentioned earlier, the length of your posts depend on various factors. There doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all approach, and very much requires you take into account the topic, your blog, and it’s readers.

Benefits of long-form content:

  • Provides answers to questions
  • Is ranked higher in search results by Google
  • Get shared more
  • Asserts your authority (particularly the in-depth, heavily researched types)
  • Increases engagement
  • Increases the likelihood of quality backlinks
  • Provides value
  • Keeps readers on site
  • Easier to naturally use keywords more often
  • Convenient for readers – all answers in one go


  • It takes time and effort
  • People might not read as they don’t have the time as it comes through their newsfeed
  • People might save it to read later and then forget
  • It may overwhelm the reader

Benefits of short-form content

  • Easily digestible
  • Easily shared
  • Easily written
  • Helps you keep a consistent updating schedule


  • Might not be long enough to provide what the reader is looking for
  • Easy to read and forget
  • Could get lost in the busy internet crush
  • Doesn’t establish credibility the way a long-form post can

The idea is to weigh the pros and cons of each and come up with a formula that feels good to you.

Joe from The Write Practice breaks it down well in his post “How Long Should Your Posts Be? A Writer’s Guide” – giving common blog posts lengths and the best types of topics they’re suited to.

Neil Patel outlines the factors you need to take into account before deciding on post length in this post, but asserts that substance is the most basic consideration. “What are you trying to say? What’s the substance? If you can say it in 100 words, then you may want to do so. If it requires 2,000 words, that’s fine too,” he says.

It all comes down to content. Good, useful content that people enjoy reading. Write enough to be useful, then stop.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen short-form do well? Or are you more of a long-form writer? I’d love to hear in the comments.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Through trial and error, DNN came to the conclusion today that longer form content “1,00 words or better” ranks better in search engines and gets more traffic, in addition to increasing the probability of earning more revenue from affiliate programs.

  2. Through trial and error, DNN came to the conclusion today that longer form content “1,00 words or better” ranks better in search engines and gets more traffic, in addition to increasing the probability of earning more revenue from affiliate programs.

  3. Nice post darren I think that blog post must be long enough where It can explain the topic very well, there is not point in strecting the length of the post if it doen’t makes sense and it’s not related to the topic

  4. Unlike many of your readers, I am a hobby blogger. I am not trying to build a business or become a professional, so I don’t hold myself to that higher standard. But, I follow your blog because I like to challenge myself to be better.

    For a long time, I struggled with trying to make posts that were the perfect length. Then I decided to just write until I was done getting my point across. Editing sometimes would add length (or take it away) but it was so freeing to not hold myself to a set length anymore.

    • Michelle,

      Your way of thinking is very interesting. By not having a higher standard for your blogging goals, this allows you to be more than patient with building your blog, respectively getting your thoughts out into blog posts and engaging on a deeper level with readers, and focus more on building solid online relationships from people who take time to read your blog. Your approach is awesome! :-)

  5. What do you think of a person posting 2 blogs or webpages a day for 6 days out of the week for 2 years consistently? Do you think they can rank well off of that in search engines?

  6. Hi Darren,

    I’ve published 300 word posts and 8,000 word posts.

    Night and day difference the moment I published one, 7,000 word post weekly! Fab post, great points.

    People want resources. Google wants resources. Publish resources. Get seen, build your brand and boost your shares.

    One key: get fully clear on this strategy. Even if you do get clear this gets uncomfortable at times because it takes effort and energy to put out long form content regularly.

    Eventually though, you’ll absolutely love creating such content. This is the goal; love creating the value, and the more long form value/content you’ll create.

    I have a 7K word post going live today and just sharing that free, eBook sized post weekly has helped me grow my email list by leaps and bounds.

    Amazing how quickly you can expand your presence by going in depth.

    Going in depth is the quickest way for struggling bloggers to stand out. Make an impact. Create value, and don’t string things out, but do go above and beyond to boost your blogging readership and revenue.

    Darren, fab share!

    Tweeting from Bali.


  7. I think the ideal situation is to take a ‘best of both worlds’ approach.

    Create useful, lengthy posts that are broken down into easily scannable and more bite-sized chunks.

    Even more out there, if your post is really lengthy- create a precis of 300-500 words that sums up the key points from the rest of the article. This gives someone with limited time chance to benefit from your content, as well as capture their attention if they want to read more.


  8. Great post! I’m new to blogging and have been wondering this myself. I’ve noticed that many of the blogs I follow are beginning to write more in depth content and some seem to have abandoned short posts altogether. I only have a few posts on my site and they are short. You definitely got me thinking about a new plan of attack. Thanks for the info.

  9. When it comes to reading blog posts, my ADHD becomes very noticeable. As someone who tends to have a short attention span, I find I lose interest in reading longer posts. My personal posting hovers right around the 500 word mark. I try to condense what I have to say in order to appeal to readers like me. There are very few longer posts that I have actually read to the end. I’ve never been one to write according to what Google might like or not – I try to keep readers in mind. People are just so busy these days and there are so many things to be consumed at one time – I want to get my point across in as short a post as I can. It’s my own way of saying I value my reader, but I also value their time.

    • This is very realistic, Gayla. If you publish blogs daily, how many words do you typically write in your posts before hitting the publish button?

      • To be honest, I don’t keep track of how many words I use in a post but when I go back to check for a consistency in length – mine are almost always between the 500-600 mark. I worked for an editor once who taught me how to think and write in concentrate. When I began writing, I was very wordy – a few times on the cutting room floor and I learned to condense considerably.

        • Sounds good , Gayla. The goal to getting better SEO online is to be wordy, but informative.

  10. Hey Darren,

    This topic goes back and forth between writing longer posts or writing posts under 1,000 words.

    The best type of posts that I have written were longer posts which I write once a week (at least try to). I provide more detail and do seperate each point by headline so that my readers can go to the points that’s most fitting to them.

    However, there was a time where I was writing under 1,000 word posts every other day. I was able to schedule each one to the point I had about 6 months worth of posts. This help to really push my content out there.

    But the overall winner thus far are the longer post for me. Besides that, I can see that over all, as you mentioned, its mainly about the usefulness of each post more so than the length. Content may be king, but how much of quality and relevance is it? That’s the big question!

    Thanks for the share Darren! Have a great rest of the week!

  11. Darren, Great post!

    Here is my experience for long vs short posts. I started my blog about a month ago and posted a few comments on different sites in an effort to gain exposure to my 4k word post “Interview Answers that Will Get You the Job”

    Someone shared my link on LinkedIn and yesterday I got 400 page views when the most I had had up to that point was 75 a few days ago. This is exactly what I wanted to happen as I was writing this, but I never thought that I would get that amount of views after promoting my blog for only a few days.

    So I definitely agree, people want content and they want it to be relevant and useful. That is my goal for the next few months. To produce content and help people out!

    Thanks and have a great day,

  12. The long form post is something we’ve experimented with before and we’ve seen the same results. They rank better, faster, but what we know is really only from our own experience and I’d categorize this as more anecdote than data driven.

    I agree with one of the earlier comments. It’s probably good to have a mix of both. The short form does build anticipation and then we can put it all together with one good long form that incorporates the info from the installments and maybe some external insights from other people / blogs so as to still make the long form unique.

    As always, thanks for the great contribution!

  13. Hi Darren,
    Great Post!

    Well,this type of post should remain for a long time.Because it includes all that necessary aspects which actually a reader want about the topic.So good work.Doing well,keep posting new information.

  14. The longer unique content is, the better you rank in search engines later on vs. blogging competition.

  15. It’s really quite hard to answer! But, today most of the content marketers prefer short articles (I mean to say not so long) as people normally don’t have too much time to read. Not, only that today people are accessing web contents through different of pocket size devices on the go. Therefor a blogger should care about people’s valuable time to create each content.

    One of its solution may be- using visual contents like meaningful pictures and videos along with written content. And of course content must be written in point based that it looks good.

    Lastly, the search engines like Google do calculate returning time of a visitor to determine the search ranking but, they also calculate the bounce rate for the same. So, an article must be more valuable than lengthy!

    By the way it’s truly an interesting topic to me. And, I also need to know what more people are saying about this on here. Thanks you!

  16. This has been such a huge topic recently. I participated in an SEMrush chat, and one of the questions was on a similar topic. It even sparked me to write an article about it myself. I agree that it’s more about usefulness than length. But at the same time, I’ve noticed that a lot of people who say it’s not about length don’t seem to write shorter (fewer than 1,000 words) blog posts. Just something interesting to take note of.

    My biggest gripe with the longer content is better argument is that it pushes people to stretch out their blog posts unnecessarily. Then the content starts to get fluffier than a furry dog. I think a lot of the times people write longer posts because it’s easier. In general, a lot of people have a tendency to ramble on instead of getting to the point. I believe it was Mark Twain that said something along the lines of “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead”

    Nothing annoys me more than opening up a blog post, start reading it, and after about 300 or so words in, the writer hasn’t even begun to get to the point. Around that time, I usually move on.

    That’s my two cents on the topic. But nice post Darren, it’s always nice to see input from other awesome bloggers such as yourself!

  17. Thanks for this wonderful article. But I have seen sites with content less than 200 words and still they get indexed in seconds with good traffic. How is this possible?

  18. I also believe longer the article, the better it ranks, but i think the game have changed. The content is going social not search based, and more people now prefer to discover the content through social network instead of going through search engines. As social content is human verified in a way, not captured by algo, secondly social content is more humane, as your fellow co-worker or friend have referred it.
    I think if you are making the content for social sharing, the content should be simple and short and if you are looking for search based ranking content could long and explanatory.

  19. Thanks for the post. I agree that long posts are helpful for keeping the readers on site for longer time and give more value to the reader. But what I have learned so far from my new blog is that quality content and keyword density is more important than blog post length. I may be wrong but this is my point of view. I have some posts in my blog that are 1200-1400 words and a few are even below 300 words. And I was surprised to know that a post with only 166 words is on first page of google search results for the keyword I targeted.

    • Out of the two most popular posts on my website one is 500 words and the other is 3,000 words. The 500 word article is keyword optimized and delivers good content in a short span, and fits in perfectly with the keywords and theme of my website. The 3,000 word article isn’t optimized or anything (but still delivers good content) and isn’t on point with my typical website content, but the reason that it’s one of the most popular ones is because that particular post has several backlinks pointing directly to it.

  20. i always think about 400 words for a blog post and that seems to be the right amount

  21. When you’re posting really long posts though, the key thing to keep in mind is that you need to add in “extras,” and can’t just keep it purely text. If you’re doing 5,000+ words, you’re going to need (probably) more pictures then just the initial header one. It can help to throw one or two more into the text, or one thing I like to do to break the monotony of just text, text, text, is that I use “pull quotes,” (look if up if you’re not sure) it’s a great way to make 7,000 words seem less daunting.

  22. Write as much as you NEED to write.

    Just like there’s no wrong way to eat a Reece’s, there’s no right length to a good blog post. It all depends on the level of detail YOU want to convey. In depth guide is naturally going to be longer than a general list post. For me, it’s all about determining the purpose of my post and then editing it to reflect that.

    Daryl George

  23. Hello Darren, Thanks for your guideline. I agree with your all points. I try to write more than 2000 words for my each post and that’s why i can down Big competitor like as you :D To be honest, i am newcomer blogger that’s why don’t have Big SEO knowledge. That’s why i try to write my Articles with 2000+ Words that i can rank fast. And yes, i got the results. I was posting 3 articles when i started my Blogging jounrey with only 500 words and that time i never see my post on Google 1st page or 1st rank? Then, i research and got the point :) I try with a big article (2000 words) and without any single backlinks i get my Post 1st Rank on Google :) Now, i am publishing one article each weak with 2000 Words! I learn, Quality is better than Quantity by my own Experience


  24. Thanx very much – Inspiring. I think I relate most to the idea of “It depends . . . ”
    Just getting started with W.P posts [tanck23] n have about 15 posts including a couple of re-blogs. Thinking today that it is time to get back to that. This article is of real help to me.

  25. I completely agreed with Michael. If you are righting long posts then inserting infographs and useful images will be a good idea indeed in order to get more user interaction and to make it more easy for users to understand.

  26. Hi,guys! What do You think about Wp SEO by Toast plugin? IT taught me to never hit the publish buton before I reach at least 300 words.I run a culinare blog, so recipes are not something to Be too wordy about,especially If You try to privire simple and quick cooking ideas.

  27. i always think about 400 words for a blog post and that seems to be the right amount.. Plz tell me if there is highest word limited.

  28. Hi Darren

    I tend to write posts around the 800 word mark and I try to get what I need to say in that amount.

    I have tried to read some very long posts and I find that sometimes the message could be gotten across in maybe less words but the author maybe needs to pad the post out. Maybe in order to please Google?

    However, how does Google measure the quality of the content and not the length of the content itself?

  29. This is a very useful post for all the bloggers. Keep posting valuable content like this. Thank you very much !

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