Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Word Count

We're almost to the end of A-Z Challenge! I can't believe I've come this far, never in my life did I dream that I'd ever do this! I'm haven't been keeping up as well as I've wanted to, but I'm proud of what I have accomplished.

Moving on to today's blogging tip, word count.



How long should one's blog post be? I've found that my shorter posts actually get more comments. Sometimes I ramble, but thank goodness I also schedule my posts in advance or I might be long winded.

Here's my general rule:

No posts longer than 300 words.

For people who visit lots of blogs, this is important. Much can be conveyed in very few words.

It also helps to break up what you say in small paragraphs so your readers don't feel overwhelmed.

Lists and bullet points help people who skim. (Even though we don't like it, lots of people skim) with lists you can get the main points across easily.

How long do you think a blog post should be?

19 comments:

Suzanne Furness said...

I agree that I prefer to read short posts. Long posts can look daunting to read especially when time is short and you want to visit lots of blogs. If you have lots to say on a topic it is worth splitting between two posts where possible.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Sometimes I'm better at that than others. lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Definitely less than five hundred. Mine look long, but that's due to the narrow post area and the pictures I include. I also post a variety so that there's something for everyone.

Amy Jarecki said...

Word count can be difficult, you are right there! My word count issue is always to hit 90K for my genre...sometimes it's easy and sometimes I fall a tad short...but can always come up with something else to torture my characters with!

Erin Shakespear said...

I agree, too. Short and sweet is better. Although...sometimes I have a hard time remembering that!

ilima said...

I keep my posts short, but lists are a great idea. I need to do that more.

Suzi said...

I've never had a number I shoot for, but I don't like them getting too long either. I took a quick look and a lot of mine fall around 300, but some more.

I think 500 is a nice number.

What's more important to me is the line breaks. I hate BIG paragraphs with no breaks. It's just hard to read.

It it is a long post I'm reading, I'm more likely to skim if there are sufficient breaks because I won't get lost compared to if it's one huge paragraph.

And if it's a one giant paragraph, and I'm not totally invested in the post, I'm more likely to just quit.

I love bloghops. But when they get up into the 800-1000 word range, I tend to skim a lot more.

John Wiswell said...

I'm all for long-form journalism if the writer actually has that much to say. This is in opposition to most long articles in the New Yorker and New York Times, which pad themselves with anecdotes and set-dressing. I'll be curious what you think of my fiction today, for while I've done pretty well about the 300-word rule for A-to-Z, today's story is about three times that long.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I agree about shorter posts, too. Anything longer than that and I tend to skim. Ditto on the breaking it up into smaller paragraphs, and bolding words or italicizing them here and there helps too.

Rena said...

yes, shorter posts are better. I'm sort of a confirmed long winded blogger. I'll have to work on that.

prerna pickett said...

I prefer shorter posts. If they're too long I find myself skimming most of it.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Definitely longer than a tweet. It depends on what you're writing about but shorter posts do get read more thoroughly.

Carrie-Anne said...

It depends what the focus of the blog is. I read a number of blogs about serious issues, like the commercialization of childhood and how to raise kids without sex-based stereotypes like Disney Princesses and monster trucks. I expect those posts to be of a substantial length instead of rushing through an important issue or story in all of 300 words.

Personally, my average post length has fallen from about 1000-1500 words to about 550-1000. (My Angelfire posts were often MUCH longer!) On occasion, depending on what the subject is, I may still have a post that's a bit over 1000 words. That's a big accomplishment for me, and short by my standards. I'm a serious intellectual, and forcing myself to write very short posts wouldn't reflect who I am. I can't think of very many posts I've made that were under 300 words.

S.P. Bowers said...

I tend to like the shorter posts. There are long posts that are really interesting and have lots of info and truly can't be conveyed with less words, but many of the long posts get repetitive. And with lots of blogs to visit and little time the shorter posts are a little more user friendly.

Samuel Bledsoe said...

Your right that the short post get more. It's what makes this challenge fun, trying to pack a lot into short posts.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think shorter posts are best. They're a lot easier to read and can be easier to write. Sometimes a longer post is needed though, depending on the topic.

JEFritz said...

Three hundred words sounds about right. In the Twitter age, people are used to reading many different blogs/whatever in much shorter bursts throughout the day. Writing long, detailed posts isn't going to reverse that trend.

Rechelle Owens, Author said...

I definitely agree that it is easier on readers for blog posts to broken up into small digestible paragraphs.

As for word count, I generally try to keep it under 500 words but I think it really depends on the topic and the post's purpose.

I myself, don't mind longer posts if they contain great information.

Jemima Pett said...

I think it depends on what you're blogging about too. If you've got a short story, then anywhere between 250 and 1000 words is acceptable. Ok some of mine went rather longer than that, but they are for the fans!

Bear in mind that for some of us, pages take a ridiculously long time to load (blogger blogs with lots of side graphics are worst). So to spend longer waiting for the darn thing to load than it takes to read it can be a turnoff!

Hope you've enjoyed your A to Z-ing

Jemima at Jemima's blog