I’m in a bit of a quandary. I’ve started in on a series of posts about email lists for beginners. This was originally a post I had written over two years ago, and back then it was as all-encompassing as I could make it, and it came it at around 3000 words.
I originally wanted to dust off some of my older posts with a 2019 update and some better SEO and other bits, but when I read this post, I thought that it would work better as a series of posts. 3000 words seemed long at the time and I thought that it could be broken down into three smaller parts, so I set about rewriting and updating the post.
The first post in this series landed yesterday, and came in at 1100 words. I was worried that I had pushed that to too many words, but I’ve just written the second part, and it’s come in at 1700. I have cut out as much chaff as I felt comfortable doing.
The post is aimed at a beginner, so there is plenty of explanation of how to get your list up and running. It is the information I wished I had access to when I was first getting in to this writing game.
Now I’ve also written the third part, which I assumed would be the final part, but in doing so, I’ve realised that there is another step I could take, but that’s going to be a whole other post and I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. This 3rd part has come in at 2200 words. Now that feels like a lot. As before, I think there is a lot of info in there that is relevant, so not really much room to cut more.
I could cut it in half and make it two posts, but there is not really a natural break at the mid-point. The natural break would leave me with a 700-1500 word split between the two posts. Not much better.
What Does The Data Say?
Well, if you know anything about me, you know I’ve got the stats to inject into the discussion:
The results are in and the result seems clear: longer posts seem to fare better according to research by serpIQ.
according to quicksprout.com:
There are different content types that get indexed — page title, headlines (H1, H2, H3, etc.), metadata, alt tags on images, etc.
The more content you have, the more of it gets indexed. The more that gets indexed, the better it will perform in searches and results. It’s just that simple.
Evidence also suggests that the more words you have, the more link-backs you’ll get. I’ve certainly noticed that with a couple of longer recent posts. Instagram -1800 words and Hashtags – 1500 words, did well for sharing, with the Instagram post being my best ever for reach.
Is that enough to convince me that a 2000+ word post is okay? If I’m honest, not really. Not yet. That’s why I’m asking here, I suppose.
I try to follow the rules:
- Style – My style tends to be conversational, which makes it slightly longer. I could change my style, but it wouldn’t sound like me, then
- Substance – I try to make sure the meatier posts (like the ones I have mentioned) have plenty of relevant information
- Format – I try to stick to short paragraphs, with a generous sprinkling f relevant images to help with reading
- Audience – I realise there are some experienced bloggers who will read this, but I’m aiming at people in a not too dissimilar position to me (the opposite of experienced), and I want them to learn with me as I progress.
Will people even read a post that long? Anecdotally, I speak to people who say the sweet point is about 500 words, for sharing. I know I share shorter posts, but I also share longer posts. Hmmm.
I’m going to stop here at around the 700 word point, because I’ve already written 2 other posts today and my word count now sits around 4.5K for the day, and it’s really starting to bug me!
My question to you: particularly those more experienced than me, what is the sweet spot for a post? is 2200 words too many? (even though the data says not – Aaaargh!)