03 Jun Should You Be Writing Long Blog Posts?
In a word: yes. Though you only need 300 words on a page so search engines (Google) can index it, you should be writing long blog posts. The data says so.
What the data says about blog post length
The ideal length is 1,600 words according to Buffer.
Longer than that (2,000+ words) also gets a thumbs up from companies like Hubspot.
Wow. That’s a lot of words. And I will readily confess that I don’t write blog posts nearly that long, for either myself or for (most of) my clients. Time for me to make some changes!
So let’s dig into why longer is better.
Why you should be writing long blog posts
I found a lot of information on this topic. Here’s the most compelling stuff.
They provide more value
Longer blog posts tend to be much more comprehensive than shorter ones, thus providing more bang for the buck. In other words, your readers don’t have to read a few blog posts on one topic. They get all the information they need in one go.
I want to back up here and talk about what makes a blog post valuable.
First, it’s easy to read. Sentences and paragraphs are short. Subheads are used to break up content and provide context. Words are easy to understand.
Second, it contains information that people are actively seeking. Maybe it answers a commonly asked question or teaches people something new – like this blog post!
Also, long blog posts prove you’re an expert. Try finding someone who doesn’t know anything about what you do and ask them to write a coherent and valuable 2,000-word blog post on a topic of your choice. Not gonna happen. Only you can provide that kind of value to your audience.
Anyway, once you are providing all that amazing value, people reward you for it. Long blog posts get shared more frequently on social media. I found statistics from a slew of companies on this (you can find all of them here.)
They improve your search ranking
Search engines rank websites based on a lot of factors, and one of them is the amount of time people spend on your website. Obviously, it takes longer to read a long blog post. So that works in your favor.
Long blog posts are also easier for search engines to index. I’ll let the CEO of Yoast explain why:
“When your text is longer, Google has more clues to determine what it is about. The longer your (optimized) text, the more often your focus keyphrase appears…. You can also fit in more synonyms and related keyphrases. In a longer post, you can add more headings, links, and images, in which you can also mention the keyphrase. So more content, means more on-topic, high-quality information here.
“A longer text might also help you rank for multiple long-tail variants of the keyphrase you’ve optimized your text for. That’s because, in a lengthy text, you probably address various topics. Your article, or your other posts that take a deep-dive into the subtopic, will have a chance to turn up in search results for the long-tail variants of your keyphrase. If you do some smart internal linking you can even boost the traffic to the extensive post you’ve written. This will help you drive more organic traffic to your site.”
(If you want to learn more about Yoast, a fantastic tool that helps with search engine optimization, check out this article.)
At the end of the day, long blog posts build trust
Who has time to read long blog posts? Well, we all do. Think about what you read on a regular basis. I’m betting you read plenty of long-form content.
And why do you read long-form content? Because you trust the author. If someone takes the time to read your 1,200-word blog post, they trust you. And that is something you don’t want to take for granted! Trust is the holy grail of marketing.
How to tackle a long blog post
Because long blog posts go deep on a topic, brainstorm some broader topics. Once you have a list, choose one that will be easiest for you to write. I don’t want you to get discouraged!
Next, create an outline for the topic. What are all the different points you can cover? Do you have stories or examples to include? What about research or statistics? Spend some time gathering all of this, so when you’re ready to write, you can crank it out.
Finally, set aside about two hours to write. Close your email on your computer, put your phone on silent and turn off notifications.
If it’s hard for you to get words onto paper, but you can talk about the topic at length, create an audio recording on Zoom. Send the recording to a service like Rev and get it transcribed. When you get it back, you can smooth out the copy and add subheads and links.
Don’t let the fear of finding time – or being able to actually write that many words without losing your mind – stop you from writing long form content. You can always work with a copywriter (hint hint)!
(No seriously – don’t torture yourself. Successful business leaders and entrepreneurs turn to us for this service all the time. It’s why we exist! It’s better to outsource and get it done right than to struggle and maybe never get it done at all.)
My challenge to you
I’d like to challenge you to try writing a long blog post and see how it performs. Does it keep people on your website longer? Does it get shared more on social media? Does it come up in search results?
As I wind down this blog post, I’m keeping my eye on the word count. I’m almost at 1,000 words – yay! I’ll be monitoring this blog post to see how it does. I’m very curious to see if it stands head and shoulders above my other blog posts. Stay tuned!