How to Write a “Long Enough” Blog Post
“What I really want to tell you is…”
I’m an avid listener of the Being Boss podcast, and this statement is one of the most impactful things I’ve learned over the years of learning from Emily and Kathleen.
Sometimes, the idea of writing a blog post is overwhelming or intimidating. Does anyone else feel that way? Before writing, I go back and forth about topics, (check out the post about Timely Blog Post Topics if this is your top issue!), then, I take forever to think about all the different ways I could start and structure the post. You’re calling me out with the core issue right now, aren’t you?
Go ahead, let’s say it together: PROCRASTINATION.
Yeah, I know. It’s not that I don’t want to do it. I want to write a blog post. Then the second-guessing creeps right in. Maybe even some imposter syndrome, depending on the topic. I want to share what’s going on in this wild brain of mine I just don’t always know how to put it into coherent, readable posts. However, once I get started, the words just flow. That’s where the above quote comes in. Start there. Quit overthinking it. If you don’t know where to start, find yourself second-guessing or just overthinking the whole thing, start typing. Start with, “What I really want to tell you is…” and just go for it.
But, Danica, what in the world does this have to do with blog post length?
Oh, thank you! I’m so glad you asked. One of the big things we hear on consult and planning calls is that you have trouble paring down your message. You’ve got a lot to say, and just don’t think people will read the whole thing. So, is it better to write everything in one post, or to break it up into a series of posts? What is the cost/benefit analysis for SEO? Is there a perfect blog post length? Let’s break it down.
Blog Post Length: Step #1
Ask yourself, what are you REALLY trying to say? What does your reader need to know in order to use the information you are taking the time to write about? This is where the quote above can help. Write that down. If you have at least 500 words to say about it, then you have the makings of a blog post! Congratulations. IF your thoughts can’t fill that much space, consider sharing on social media instead? There’s a time and place for both, right?
Bonus tip: Later, you can compile some of your best, bite-sized advice into a longer blog post! What a great way to grab content you’ve already taken time to write and re-purpose it for a different audience or type of learner!
Blog Post Length: Step #2
I’m going to assume that if you have made it to this part of the post, you are clear about the fact that you have something worth sharing and have determined that a blog post is the best way to do it! Thanks for sticking with me here…this is a process. Now that you have written out your thoughts, about how long would that post end up being? Somewhere between 500-1,500 words? Excellent. That’s where I’m going to put the “optimal” stamp of approval. 1,600 words? Great. That’s fine too. This is not a bright-line rule! If you are closer to 3000 words, we should probably consider breaking that into at least two different posts, or finding another outlet for that brilliance. (Book chapter, perhaps?) A single blog post is just not going to be the best use of that wisdom.
That said….our fearless leader Jessica is a huge fan of long blog posts. Consider this quote from her,
“No such thing as too long of a blog post! My longest blog posts have not only ranked the best but are the ones new clients are most likely to reference! We have a couple of blog posts that people have specifically said were the reason they reached out and they’re longer posts…so, my personal opinion is longer is better.”
However, I’m going to go out on a limb and slightly disagree with her here…I think if it’s 3,000 words you’re totally ok breaking it into two posts! Now you have two 1,500 word blog posts which are both long enough to get ranking well!
Blog Post Length: Step #3
You’ve got your core genius written for this topic. You’re in that sweet spot of 500-1500(ish) words. You. Are. Awesome.
Now, let’s make sure it’s readable! At the time of writing this post, I’m currently at 801 words. So, when all is said and done on this post, I’ll be right in that 1200-ish, safe place. That’s a LOT to read through on a quick break between clients if I don’t make it interesting. So, please take a quick glance back up the page.
See what I did at the beginning of the post? Blogging for SEO is all about readability
You’ve got pull-quotes to read. A short, personal story to get semi-invested in. Interesting photos to help you make a point and break up space without distracting from your content. An easy-to-follow, three-step framework to work through, without it feeling like work. Then, I’m going to wrap it all up, remind you how simple it was to do, and give you a clear call-to-action if you want to learn more or get some help from us with this.
Again, it doesn’t matter exactly how you write a blog post. You don’t have to use the same components I used, but for SEO, be sure to break up your text with visual elements (photos, subheadings, pull quotes, bulleted lists, etc.) and write at least 500 words. Even better if you’re making those keywords flow right in with the rest of your writing. That’s what I’m about to do, from an optimization standpoint.
Now, it’s YOUR turn to share
Leave a comment, or connect with us to share your thoughts!
What do you think? Does this make sense? What questions do you still have?
Do you feel like you have a better sense of how to plan your blog posts in a way that you can get the information out to your audience, with the quality and scope we know search engines are looking for? You can have the best blog post in the world, but if your ideal reader never sees it, it’s not doing you any good. That’s where we come in.
What Can Simplified SEO Do For Your Therapy Practice or Other Small Business?
Whether you have a whole library of blog posts or are just considering sharing your wisdom with the world, we can help your information get seen. Our Done for You SEO services are a great place to start, with options ranging from optimizing 1-4 posts each month. If you’ve already had us optimize your site, consider getting a boost with an alumni blogging package! We can write them, or not, and will optimize them in a way that will not only get your posts read by more eyes but will also help get those eyes looking onto other pages around your site! This is key for turning casual readers into clients. Finally, if you’d rather just do all of this yourself, we’d love to teach you. We have online and in-person SEO training options for the DIY therapist who is ready to learn.
Let’s Get Your Website Ranking!
To get started, let’s schedule a free, 30-minute consultation! You can talk with me or Jessica about your goals, fears, and desired level of involvement in your blog or website. This will help us both determine where to start and how to get your site working for you! All this, without the never-ending investment of paying per click to get to the top of those search engines. We look forward to talking with you, soon!
About the Author
Danica Wolf is an MSW who has years of experience in the mental health field herself first providing advocacy and then directing our local relationship and sexual violence prevention center. She spent years managing the website for that center as well as for own business as a Doula. Since joining the Simplified SEO Consulting team, Danica has quickly become a favorite among our clients! She loves interacting with small business owners around the world and watching their business grow as they start ranking well on websites! Seriously, she loves hearing client success stories! Danica takes a very client-centered approach to optimizing, making sure that websites not only rank well on Google but truly serve the needs of clients who visit the site. She is our Lead SEO Specialist and helps review website pages others have optimized to ensure every website is gaining as much traction as possible!
Content with over 1,000 words do better on average in terms of ranking in search for highly relevant keywords. A good benchmark is to write content that’s around 1,000 to 1,500 words. At a minimum, blog posts should have at least 300+ words so that they won’t be labelled as having ‘thin content’.
Absolutely. Thank you for your input and we completely agree for standard recommendations. Our clients are primarily helping professionals, usually therapists or psychiatrists. Many of them are trying to rank within a local area or a state. In less competitive parts of the country most are able to get by with 500 word blog posts. However, people in more competitive areas or trying to rank nationally (we do have some clients with businesses trying to rank nationally) we absolutely recommend 1,000-2,000 word blog posts on carefully chosen content. Regardless, we always encourage people to write high quality content that’s really focused on their ideal client.