I’ve been asked this many times before, but unfortunately I couldn’t give any concrete answer to those who asked. Many “experts” (not me, of course) will tell you that short blog posts are the best because internet users have short attention span. They’ll tell you to cram your main points in as little words as possible. Yet other “experts” (also not me) will tell you “not too long but not too short”. Posts that are too short run the risk of becoming irrelevant because they lack substance, while posts that are too long have a high probability of intimidating potential readers. Search the web and different experts will tell you different answers. So confusing, right?
You scratch your head. You read countless websites and books about blogging, trying to discover what the exact number of words is for the ideal length of a blog post.
I entered the search term “ideal length of blog post” and the first result is this:
The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words. . . -Kevan Lee, “The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research” (Buffer Social)
Well, I’m not familiar with the author but he must be an expert at these things. So if you have any questions about blogging, I think it’s better to ask him instead of me. I mean, I’m not an expert. I’m just a
super awesome and incredibly cool but still humble otaku blogger so take any of my advice at your own risk. Consider yourself warned.
Gather Loyal Readers and You’ll Find that Length Doesn’t Really Matter
I personally don’t have a specific word count limit that I follow whenever I write my posts. I’ll use the necessary words I need, no matter how many they are, to convey whatever I want to say. When I just created Fujinsei, however, most of my posts were very short. But as I gathered more loyal readers along the way, I found that I don’t really need to worry about the length of my posts anymore. My awesome readers will read my posts, short and long alike, because they are written by me. Well, actually I’m just threatening them to read my posts and forcing them to comment or else. Ahahaha~ Just kidding. Or maybe not~ 😉
Here’s a fun fact: most of my popular and most commented posts in this blog are the long ones. I like to believe that my super-duper awesome readers love reading my posts, no matter how short or long they run, but who knows? Maybe they’re just being nice and forcing themselves to endure the torture of my seemingly endless babble in my posts. Whatever the case may be, my readers are the best and they have my heartfelt gratitude for putting up with my usually long nonsense.
Content is More Important than Length
Focus more on effectively conveying what you want to say, rather than worrying about whether your post is too short or too long. If you can do that in a paragraph, that’s fine. But if you need to use a considerably large number of words to properly convey your message, go ahead. Although I’ll have to warn you against writing posts that are novel-length. Those are too long, even for something like me who usually likes to read and write long posts.
What Type of Blogger Are You?
Two of my favourite blogs are at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the length of their posts. Spoon & Tamago mostly have short posts. Since it’s an art and design blog, it focuses more on photos than words. Rather than long-winded opinions, the posts contain brief but informative background information instead. On the other hand, Tofugu features some really long posts, and when I say long, I mean LOOOOOOONG posts. A lot of its posts are packed with intensive research and analytical opinions by the authors. If you’re an otaku like me, check these two blogs if you haven’t yet. Seriously, they’re AWESOME!
As a reader, I enjoy the short posts of Spoon & Tamago and the long ones of Tofugu alike. I don’t see any reason why I should prefer one’s style over the other. Both may feature Japanese culture but their niche are very different. They successfully found the length that works most effectively for the type of their blogs.
So instead of religiously writing 1600-word posts every time, identify what kind of blogger you are first. Even the aniblogosphere is littered with different kinds of bloggers. Most are reviewers who may or may not follow a strict guideline for the proper way of writing anime/manga reviews which may include a specific word count limit. Some are fan artists who use their blogs to showcase their masterpieces. Obviously, they don’t use a lot of words, if they need any at all. Some are fan fiction writers, so the length of their posts depend on the story or chapter that they’re writing. Some are anime news bloggers, so their posts are usually short, using just enough words to succinctly relay news. And some are devil-may-care-I’ll-write-what-I-want-to-write-no-matter-how-outrageous kind of bloggers like me, who are more entertainers than reputable bloggers. Here’s my dramatic pose! Hehehehe~ 😉
No Right or Wrong Length of Post
As long as you have people reading your posts, don’t worry too much about the length. They’re either reading your posts because they need specific information or they genuinely like you as a blogger because you’re interesting. In either case, they won’t care much about the length of your posts as long as they’re getting what they came for.
If you’re just starting out, however, and don’t really have regular readers yet, I think it’s smart to write short posts and focus on building your archives first. It can be as short as 1 paragraph or maybe 2. Nothing is absolute when it comes to blogging. It’s up to you. When you gather enough loyal readers, you can then start writing longer posts and experiment on how long you can go before they start losing interest.
I know this sounds vague, and you have every right to scorn me for this (although I can’t guarantee that I won’t fight back), but this is what I believe based on my personal experience. If you want a more specific word count, by all means, you can follow Kevan Lee’s advice and write 1600-word posts.
Also please be advised that this post is geared towards personal bloggers like me who blog for self-expression rather than business-aimed bloggers who blog exclusively to earn money. If you’re the latter, you’re better off following Kevan Lee’s 1600-word ideal which he says is “backed by research” than following a shady blogger like me you’re not entirely sure is sane. Well, it’s your choice.
Be Free, Be Creative, and Don’t be Afraid to Take a Different Path
Find your own blogging style, even if that blogging style defies all the current blogging conventions. And that includes the length of your blog posts. Find what works best for you as a blogger. Unless you’re being paid by a big-ass company to blog following a specific guideline, you’re free to blog however you want to blog. As long as you’re not doing anything illegal or harming the innocent, go ahead and let your creativity run free.
I found what works for me and it’s usually fairly long posts filled with nonsense I pass off as entertainment. If you just put in the effort, I’m sure you’ll find what works for you. After all, if someone like me who has the gall to write blogging tips when I’m not even an expert can do it, of course you can do it, too.
How about you? Do you think there’s an ideal length of posts for all bloggers? How long do you write your posts? Which do you think works best—short posts or long ones?
Support Fujinsei by using the following affiliate links whenever you shop online with these websites:
Fujinsei is also a WordAds member, so if you would be so kind as to turn off your ad blocker when using this site, that would be greatly appreciated.
Read Disclosure Policy for more information about how this site uses affiliate links and ads. Thank you very much for your support!