When It Comes to Blogging, Size DOES Matter: Word Counts Are on the Rise in 2017

When It Comes to Blogging, Size DOES Matter: Word Counts Are on the Rise in 2017

You know those swanky cocktail parties where the small-talk inevitably turns into a spirited debate over the longest novels in history? And just as inevitably, someone mentions War and Peace as a super-long book? (Wait – you do have those conversations, right?)

Well, at your next soiree, here’s a little tidbit that can win you some major street cred (especially if you adopt the attitude of the famous guy from the New Yorker cover):

“While Tolstoy’s masterpiece may have been a respectable 580,000 words, it’s a mere drop in the bucket compared to Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

That baby boasts a whopping 1.27 million words – just under 10 million characters.” Just think how impressed the other partygoers will be!

Now, while there’s been a lot of talk recently about the advantages of longer blog posts in terms of capturing search results, decreasing bounce rates and increasing engagement, it’s a pretty  good bet you won’t have to go quite that long to see improvements in your KPIs.

Here’s what the experts say about recommended blog post lengths for 2017:

  • A lot of shorter content features the same information as a dozen or more other short posts, just rewritten in different language. And readers are getting bored. Longer blog posts are designed to provide more in-depth information and to serve as more of a “guidebook” for a topic, rather than just a quick rehash of warmed-over ideas.
  • SEO results appear to be favoring longer blog posts over shorter posts, attributing greater authority – and giving them higher rankings as a result. In fact, SERPIQ found content of 2,000 words of longer was far more likely to make it into the top 10 search results compared to shorter content. Longer blog posts might be just what you need to help your site rise in the SERPs. (There’s a handy bar chart if you click on that link above.)
  • Longer posts tend to increase reader engagement by providing more in-depth information and, hopefully, new insights or perspectives, which means readers are more likely to remain on your page. Plus, longer posts let you explore different styles and voices so you can find what resonates with your customers, as well as what best reflects your brand image.
  • That said, longer isn’t always better; if a post only merits a few paragraphs, don’t be tempted to build it up with fluff just to try to climb up in the rankings; that’s a strategy that could result in a hefty penalty from Google. Either run a shorter post or combine it with other topics to extend its length.
  • In addition to longer posts, you might want to ramp up your publishing frequency. This post from HubSpot reports sites that publish blog posts 11 or more times per month have four times the leads as sites that publish less often, and sites that publish 16 or more times per month have 4.5 times the number of leads.

One more tidbit: A survey conducted by Orbit Media polled more than 1,000 bloggers and found the average blog post takes more than three hours to write.

That’s an increase of 26% over last year – and plenty of posts take twice that amount of time.

So how do you manage to churn out high-quality blog posts on a regular and consistent basis without cutting into your super-busy schedule of scintillating cocktail parties? Outsourcing.

When you outsource content creation with WriterAccess, you tap into a huge network of skilled writers who can match the tone, style, and yes, length of whatever type of content you need. (OK, well, maybe nothing quite as lengthy as Proust, but you get the idea.)

Check out the tools and services that can help you create more engaging, informative, readable content, and set your sights on better SERPs.

Karen Z is a talented freelancer within the WriterAccess platform who specializes in creating engaging content that converts. See how our content creation and content strategy services can help transform your business into an inbound machine.

1 Comment

  • I applaud you for highlighting the need for blog writers to lengthen the articles they publish. My research has revealed the same over the past two years. Longer articles are being taken much more seriously. I have seen too many badly written/poorly edited pieces over the past few years where writers want to click the “Publish” button as quickly as possible. The major problem is rejection because they have failed basic editing criteria, hopefully writing longer posts will cause them to think more (and do some editing).

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