There are almost as many different opinions about the best way to write blogs as there are on recipes for "absolutely the best" apple pie. Much of the debate centers around the ideal length for a blog post, with one touted rule of thumb being to keep the post short enough so readers don’t need to scroll down to read it all.
Based solely on my own years of experience as a professional ghost blogger for business and in writing this Say It For You blog on the topic of business blogging, my answer to the length dilemma is simple: Make each post as short as possible (to get your idea across), but no shorter.
Fellow blogger Jameiah Earle, in Literary Kicks, calls pieces of fiction having fewer than 1,000 words "micro" or "flash fiction". When it comes to blogging for business, Inbound Marketing authors Halligan and Shaw stress that "people searching on Google are actually looking for something" and have a specific goal. As you make decisions about your blog posts (including how long each post should be), your goal must be to satisfy theirs, reassuring readers they’ve come to exactly the right place.
Here’s one practical suggestion for keeping your blog copy "tight" and on target: If you’ve explained the first of several:
- reasons why a certain thing is important…..
- myth-busting facts about your industry…
- customer stories or testimonials you have to share…,
just "push away from the table", as your diet coach might advise. Leave some of your thoughts on the subject for another blog post, splitting your content into more than one "installment". Each part of the "mini-series" should be able to stand on its own, yet a post might be continuing a thought from an earlier blog post, or promising more on the subject to be expressed in future blog post.
Small business consultant Lorraine Ball, invited to be a guest blogger on Say It For You, explained that using Twitter with its 140-character limit has made her a better writer overall, training her to look at every word and consider the value it adds to a sentence.
Unlike Twitter, blogs, at least theoretically, are subject to no length limits. However, when it comes to business blogging, it might be a good idea to slice up the "pie", and that half a slice is better than one!