As I promised last week, today I will be discussing why I’m so against the idea of padding out a blog post in order to reach a specific word count.
One of the most widespread trends in the blogosphere these past few years has been to write incredibly long posts. Yes, I know that this is happening because longer articles give a site a better chance of being highly ranked by Google search engines, but I don’t like how this trend is changing the blogosphere.
Clean It Up
I really don’t like it when a blogger stretches what could have been a concise, 500-word post into something several times larger than that.
Not every topic is going to require that much explanation, and readers can tell when you’ve stretched out your points or repeated the same idea in several different ways in order to reach a specific word count.
When I run across posts like this, I skim them. I’m also much less likely to share them because It’s irritating to read something so padded out. The pacing of posts like these often becomes sloppy and uneven no matter how well written they are otherwise.
Many of my posts hover around the 1000 word mark, but some of them do not because the topic I chose for that day didn’t require that many words. I’ve read spectacular posts on other sites that only needed a few sentences to get their point across. If you genuinely require 2,000 or 5,000 words instead for a complex topic, that’s also wonderful.
The important thing is to match your ideas to how you express them.
Mix It Up
Some of my favourite blogs are the ones that mix up their writing styles. They might write 2000 word essays most of the time, but they’re also not at all afraid to push out something much longer or shorter than that if their subject requires it.
I trust them so much that I don’t hesitate to read whatever it is they publish. If they’re giving me a 3000 word post today, I know every paragraph in it is going to be crisp and concise.
Basically, this all boils down to looking out for your audience instead of worrying about SEO analytics in situations where bigger isn’t better.