The more that I think about it, Goldilocks was on the right track. She kept trying things until she found what was just right for her! I forget if that’s the moral of the story or not.
Anyways, many bloggers find themselves asking if their posts are too long, too short, or just right. And, like Goldilocks, you might not know what is the right length until you’ve tried them out! According to the Reading and Comprehension section of the “Words Per Minute” Wikipedia page, the average adult reads prose at about 250 to 300 words per minute. So if you expect your readers to spend 5 minutes on your blog post, you’ll need to produce 1,250 to 1,500 words per post.
Five minutes might not seem like a very long time, but in today’s environment of fast paced digital consumption I’m not sure anyone spends 5 minutes reading anything!! Twitter doesn’t think so, they restrict us to 140 characters per tweet, which is an average of 28 words (average word is 5 characters). Those 28 words take the low average adult just under 7 seconds to read.
That’s a lot of averages and we’re talking about what is right for you. The most accurate way to figure out the ideal blog post length is to experiment, just like Goldi. Check the average time your readers are on your site in your Google Analytics, pay attention to how long you yourself spend reading other blogger’s posts, and test different lengths out. (psst… we’re at 250 words)
Find what works for you, if you write a long post and your Analytics on that post show people leaving quickly, then your audience probably got a little nervous with the long length. Most of us scroll all the way through a page before deciding to read it. (psst… we’re at 300 words) You want to reach at least 300 words so that Google indexes your blog posts.
You’ve found the right length when your average words per post mesh with the average amount of time people spend on your site. Of course, for every rule there is the exception so if you really enjoy writing 1,500 words on your blog’s topic, by all means do so! You’ll attract the readers you want with original and authentic content, not matter how long it takes them to consume it.