It’s hard enough writing for your business, but then you research and find so much conflicting advice — especially around article length — that you end up overwhelmed and in a spin. So, what do you do?
The reality is that an article only needs to be as long as it needs to be. That may sound redundant, but what it means is that word count is secondary to content. And then you ruthlessly edit it to make sure it’s well-written and easily digestible. If you can say something in 300 words, say it in 300 words. If you need 500, then write it in 500.
You can generate rankings and authority for your website with shorter content as long as it is useful and valuable to your audience. Using links in your text, or as a resource at the end, to other content on your website that offers deeper insights to the topic is good practice; signposting your visitors in this way is helpful for them and to the search engines.
Of course, you don’t want to end up with 300-word articles on your website that don’t say anything at all. If you’re writing short filler articles for the sake of posting new content alone, you’re doing your readers a disservice and your search engine rankings will reflect it.
Examples of websites that use short-form or long-form content
This is a great example from Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Attomattic; you probably know him as the guy behind WordPress. He provides useful insights and links on his website, showing a good understanding of his audience. He doesn’t post for the sake of posting and you know that a new post will lead you to something interesting.
Most of his posts are thought-provoking around a single topic. He will post a link, a video or an image, with at most a few sentences of commentary. Occasionally, he’ll write a longer piece about a topic he thinks needs spotlighting.It works because he picks his content carefully and adds his own narrative to it.
One of his most recent article is from May 27th, the 15th anniversary of WordPress. Can it really have been that long already!
Avinash Kaushik is a digital marketing evangelist for Google and co-founder of Market Motive. His content is gripping for his readers even though most of his posts are well over 1,000 words. Like Matt Mullenweg, he knows his audience and understands what they need from him. His writing is tight and using fewer words would be a disservice to his readers.
It works because he knows what he is talking about, is passionate about his topic and is committed to passing on his knowledge.
The right length for any article is not a word count, it’s whatever the content suggests. You can choose short-form, long-form or you can vary the length of your posts.
- If you have a titbit, a business update or a musing to share, short form writing might be better suited.
- If you are writing a guide, a how to article or an in-depth subject dive, it’s likely that you will be writing over 1000 words, a long form post.
Consistency in posting is key when blogging for business. If you’re unsure of how to form that habit you can check out our post on three ways to help form good blogging habits.