It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
MAY QUESTION: Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?
MY ANSWER: Yes, all the time. It did surprise me the first time I encountered a totally unanticipated reaction, but not anymore.
After my recent foray into the A to Z challenge in April, I’ve been contemplating the optimum length of a blog post. Does it exist? I went to the internet for answers, and Google spit out tons of hits. Here are two that jumped to the top.
Both of them, and some other sites I checked, recommend approximately the same numbers, depending on your ultimate goal as a blogger. If you want more comments, more interactions with your readers, your posts should be 200-600 words. If you want to come up high in Google search, your posts should run to 2,000+ words. Google needs lots of text.
Personally, I prefer to write shorter posts, 300 – 500 words, with one or two images. And as a reader, I also prefer shorter posts. When a post is over 600 words, I become bored. Of course, it also depends on the quality of writing, but even with mediocre writing, I would probably read a shorter post to the end but start skimming a longer post halfway through, and simply close the window if the post is overly long.
It is also about my time. I don’t want to spend too long on reading posts unless the information is too important for me to skip a single word. I think the post falling into the category of HOW TO, manuals of anything from using Photoshop to knitting a patterned shawl should be as long as needed, while personal opinions and journal entries should be short and spiffy.
The only exception to this rule is fiction. When I participate in the flash fiction blog hop WEP, the stories by all the participants are around 1,000 words. We all know it and gladly read each other’s stories in full.
Images also play a role. When a post includes many images on a single theme, I’d probably stay with the post to the end, especially if such posts are not heavy on text. I subscribe to a couple bloggers who post mostly images linked by a common theme. For example: ‘My garden’ or ‘Hot Air Balloon Festival’. I always scan their posts to the end.
But if the images are not connected, I rarely read such posts from top to bottom. Or if there are a glut of images plus several thousand words of text. I really dislike those. They might do well in Google search, but they take too much time to read. Of course, it is a personal preference.
What length of posts are you most comfortable with as a blogger and as a reader? Tell me in the comments.
BTW: this blog post is a little over 500 words. I think it borders on being too long.