Minimum length: 450 words
I’ve seen plenty of very good blog posts that contain fewer words and I’ve even written a few myself. However, I’m sticking at 450 because that’s currently what Ezine Articles requires for good SEO and I think it’s a good habit to get into.
Maximum length: As few words as possible
Hey, I love writing, blogging and sharing information as much as the next gal, but I don’t like to read fluff and nonsense and you probably don’t either.
Choose one question that you want to answer for your readers and stick to it. Those epic blog posts are great once or twice a week but they don’t all have to be mini ebooks. Some of my most popular articles took a whopping 10 minutes to write because I only answered one question.
Some bloggers edit, re-edit and re-edit again, adding more and more information. Eventually, it’s just too much for the reader to absorb in one sitting.
If you find yourself answering several questions with one article, break it up into several and there’s your content for the week. Your readers will get more out of it and your blog will be better optimized for the search engines.
There is no difference between an article and a blog post
I’ve had a lot of clients tell me they only want 350 words because it’s going to be a “blog post” and other clients ask for 500 words because it’s going to be an “article.” The only difference between a blog post and an article is in the perceived quality, it has nothing to do with word count.
A killer article can be 350 words long as long as it delivers what you promise in the title. On the other hand, a 1,000 word article can be crap if it rambles incoherently.
My suggestion for the perfect article length
Write your title first and then stick to it. Answer that one question because that’s the reason your reader came to your article in the first place.
Here’s a good way to tell if your article is too long – Take a look at your opening paragraph and your closing paragraph.
Your opening paragraph should relate directly to the title of your article. Grab the readers’ attention and immediately let them know that you’re going to answer their question.
Your closing paragraph should also relate directly to the title of your article and should summarize the question and the answer.
If the content between your opening and closing paragraphs leads your reader off on a wild goose chase, then your article is too long and too distracting.
There is no ideal or exact word count for the perfect article. The best article delivers on the promise made in the title in a clear, coherent manner, with all the details the reader requires to answer his question. If it takes 1,200 words, so be it. But if it only takes 350 to get your point across, then why bother writing more?