What is the length of the ideal blog post?

Modern Life Is Rubbish is a cool blog written by Stuart Brown that seems to feature a never-ending flow of posts on topics of interest to bloggers and technophiles alike. The latest is titled “How Long is the Ideal Blog Post?” and details some interesting and no doubt time-consuming research the blogger did into blog post length. His methodology:

Taking the Technorati Top 100 as my sample, eliminating those which aren’t in the English language, and those which aren’t identifiable as conventional blogs, I took an average word count of the 10 most recent posts on each blog.

What he found was that most of the blogs posts were between 100 and 250 words. Pretty short, in other words. Seems blog readers like short, punchy prose that gets to the point quickly and dispenses with the pleasantries. Not too surprising I guess, given the medium. Most blogs, the most popular ones anyways, are about the links elsewhere. Tell me quickly what the link is about and then gimme it so I can see for myself.

It made me wonder about my own blog. How long are my posts on average? How do I compare with the most popular blogs, with which I aspire to compete? So, I took my most recent 10 posts and calculated the average number of words, including quotes from the news stories I invariably highlight. The result? An illuminating one:

318.7 words on average, median of 302.5. Ranging from 475 on the top end to 201 on the bottom. I’m basically a little higher than the average, which probably has something to do with the quotes from the original source I’m blogging about. Most of the time I just want to bring your attention to a story related to accounting, throw my two cents in, and link it. Stuart’s take:

There’s a distinct jump in word length for some blogs – in these cases it’s usually a transition between writing for entertainment to writing for reference. With the transition comes the ability to post much longer articles, without the fear of losing interest.

So that’s what it is! I have a subconscious fear of losing your interest and I write more for entertainment than reference!

3 replies on “What is the length of the ideal blog post?”

  1. Good link Neil, thanks!

    A lot of mine are well over the upper limit that Stuart mentions but so are most of those on my rss feed, so I’ll just blame my educators.

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