How Long is Too Long for Business Blog Posts?

short pencilThe average American, according to, reads between 200 and 300 words per minute with a typical comprehension of 60%.

How long can a presenter at a meeting hold your attention?  If the topic is of interest to you and she’s a good presenter, you can focus for seven to ten minutes at most, according to Mr. Media Training. If people have a short break, they can start over with another 7-10 minute period.

Neil Vidyarthi of Social Times thinks attention spans have dropped to five minutes, and that it’s the fault of social media “ruining our minds”. Samuel Chan is even more pessimistic: “Web surfers have a painfully short attention span, one that matches the goldfish’s nine seconds short attention span,” he dolefully remarks.

For us freelance blog content writers in Indianapolis, do these national stats matter?  “Yes,” says Chan, “It matters, but only up to the point where it reminds us brand owners, businesses, advertisers and marketers how limited a time we have to capture our audience’s attention.”.
Chan’s advice?  “Ignore what these statistics are yelling at you.” Focus instead, he says, on creating compelling content. Offer digestible chunks of information.

If you didn’t already know this, there are tests you can put your blog through to see how you’re doing in terms of readability – are you reaching the right people and doing it by using words and sentences to which they can relate?  A Readability Index Calculator can give you the answer (the most frequently-used is the Flesch-Kincaid).

In coaching new business blog content writers, I like to recommend something that is not driven by statistics: Stay excited – we do that by continually “reading around” and “listening around”.  Readers can sense our excitement.

When it comes to effective blogging for business, we need to exercise “portion control” in the length of paragraphs, of blog titles and of entire blog posts. The professional ghost blogger rule I try to keep in mind and one I teach to business owners is this: Stick to one central idea, and then say it until it’s said.

Simply put, make each blog post as short as possible, but no shorter!