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Does size really matter?

writing on the wild side

Does size really matter?

Let’s unpack the never ending question of ‘does size really matter’?

The answer…Well, yes and no…

Now, what are we talking about exactly? The length of content of course…and you’ve probably heard everything from 275 – 2500 words is the ideal!!! WTF????

So let’s considering the most popular lengths of written copy…

  • The micro post or blog – very short, quick and often frequent posts
  • The ‘standard’ blog – 300-750 words
  • The mid-range posts – under 1000 words – typically 800 words
  • The long form content – anything over 2000 words

Why should we care about the length? Well long form content – posts, articles etc. over 2000 words do tend to drive more value – so they offered both quality and quantity. From a BuzzSumo study of over 100 Million articles, long form posts got more shares. Backed up by additional studies from the likes of Co-schedule, Hubspot and Moz – long form content also achieved more referral links than shorter posts. So, the longer the better, right?

Not necessarily – as it turns out – size isn’t the be all and end all. Because we must always remember the readers – yes, over and above Google and all the SEO stuff.

When questioned:

  • 75% people prefer articles to be under 1000 words
  • Only 5% prefer articles over 2000 words

Which flies completely in the face of the long form content being best, right????

Confused yet? You don’t need to be. Repeat after me – both can co-exist – the long and the short can both lead to a successful relationship. The big and the little (even the micro) can be satisfying…at the end of the day is all about the quality, what you want to achieve with those words, and of course what you do with the words.

The average adult reads at around 200 words per minute – so this means that the average long form posts takes at least 10 mins to read. I’ve said it before – that can be a major a turn off! Who has 10 minutes in the middle of the working day??? Not many – even if you really do – the perception is that you don’t. Three minutes – now that I have. Of course if I really want to delve into a topic then I will spend 10 mins reading one article rather than needing to read multiple 4 min articles to piece together the knowledge. And that’s the key!!

The overriding point being, if I can get the ultimate solution or answer to my question, if I can be thoroughly entertained, educated and satisfied in 3 mins – then that’s what I’m going to do – because I’m a busy girl after all.

Next…what do you want from the encounter?

  • If you want comments – go the 275 words – smash it out!
  • If you want social shares – 600-1500 words is the good spot!
  • If you want to rank on Google – buckle in – 2500 words is the bee’s knees and that’s going to take some serious time investment.

So the answer to the eternal question – does size matter? Is – it depends. Not helpful? Bear with me. When creating your content consider these key points:

  • Don’t force it – say what you have to say and friggin stop – quit padding, fluffing, waffling on.
  • Remember repurposing – can that 2000 article be divided up to create smaller, bite sized, more easily digested pieces?
  • Be open to the word count that your content deserves – it’s technical and informative – go long. It’s edutainment – go short and sweet.
  • Be less concerned about what Google thinks and more about what your reader wants – if you hit the right spot they’ll be back for more and they’ll tell their friends – eventually that will lead to Google jumping on board too and you’ll end up with the best of both worlds.

So, size doesn’t matter except when it comes to a serve of coffee – that always has to be the largest they got!!

You can learn much much more content in my Crafting Content Course – which you can grab here