Long or short (posts)?

As one of my blog goals, I limited each post to no more than 500 words. My intention was to make them easy to read and write. They seemed like reasonable goals at the time. Since then, however, I’ve read some posts that suggest this might be counter productive. Some of the advantages of long form posts I gleaned from what I read (cited below) include:

  • Long form posts rank higher in search results
  • Long form posts are shared more often
  • Long form posts are seen as more professional

The data

According to one site, I picked exactly the worst topic length possible for my goal. That site shows a topic length of 500-800 as being the least shared. Longer content is analytic, shorter content is snappy, and 500-800 words is, well, just not very successful, socially.


Like so many decisions, it made sense at the time. In light of the new data, I need to reconsider that goal.

Go shorter

That’s one option. For Twitter, that seems reasonable (and technically enforced). For a blog, that seems somewhat vacuous (I suppose I should confirm this perception with some data, first). In the meantime, I’m not ready to adopt that goal for my blog.

Go longer

I resisted longer for a couple of reasons:

  1. Longer form takes longer to write. I was originally looking for quantity over volume as a way to get into the habit of writing frequently. Perhaps I’m past that and ready to move up to longer topics.
  2. Longer form takes longer to read. I was shooting for a 2-minute read, but the data say that audiences want more, or less. Who am I to tell the audience they’re mistaken?


I think I’ll compromise and update my goal to fewer, longer posts.

But this one, however, will be short.


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