Have you ever had something wear out its welcome? Something that should have ended but, for some reason, continued to go on? You may have a movie in mind or a television series with one too many seasons. You may even be thinking of that one family member who just needed a couch to crash on “for a few days, I promise.”
Or, you may be thinking of a blog post.
Yes It Goes on and on My Friend
Even if a blog post has great ideas, it is possible for it to feel like it’s too long. Corey Eridon via Hubspot answers the question, “How long should a blog post be,” by taking the advice of an old college professor. “As long as it needs to be.” You might think that means that your blog post can be as long as you want it to be, but the key point in this sentence is the word need. Eridon goes on to say, “They should be as long as they need to be to serve their purpose.”
While it’s true that there are no word count police, as Eridon says in his article, your blog post needs to have a point, and the content in it needs to feel like it’s leading up to that point. Your audience needs to feel like they’re reading for a reason, and if your post doesn’t reach that point — or if the content doesn’t tie in with that point — then your blog post will feel like it’s going on and on, my friend.
Some People Started Writing It Not Knowing What It Was
Chances are you don’t realize that your content is going on for too long. “The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content,” says Rachel Sprung of Hubspot. When you’re putting your topic to paper — or rather, Word document — organization is key. Your content can be as long as you want, however, it needs to be organized and the things you say along the way have to have a reason for being mentioned in the first place. Ideas are great, but structure is what fleshes them out and prevent them from feeling like they’re going on for too long.
Let’s create a scenario. You’re sitting in a movie theatre, anxious to see the newest film that’s been the talk of the town. The lights go out, the previews run their course, and soon the movie starts. Two and a half hours later, the credits roll. That’s a lot of time to sit and watch something; however, if that something is a good something that a) gives you what you need or b) gives you more than what you need, the length makes no difference.
According to Box Office Mojo these are the top ten biggest grossing movies of all time:
- James Cameron’s Avatar (162 minutes)
- Titanic (194 minutes)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (143 minutes)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 (130 minutes)
- Ironman 3 (130 minutes)
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (154 minutes)
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (201 minutes)
- Frozen (102 minutes)
- Skyfall (143 minutes)
- The Dark Knight Rises (165 minutes)
Nine out of ten of these movies are over two hours long and half of them are over two and a half hours. Two of them even surpass the three hour mark.
And They’ll Continue Writing It Forever Just Because…
So length is no issue if your content can deliver and satisfy your audience. As Eridon says, “Can your blog post serve its purpose in 200 words? Cool. Stop writing. You’re done. If you need more words … cool. Keep writing. You’re not done.” But again, that key word is need.
“When it comes to web content, length is only one of the factors to consider,” says Neil Patel of Quicksprout. “You’ve got to consider a host of other issues.” And his list, which has been briefly summarized, is as follow:
- Substance — what are you trying to say?
- Style — brief and to the point versus conversational and interactive.
- Frequency — how often do you post?
- Format — how is your blog post going to look?
- Purpose — what is the goal you are trying to achieve with your blog post?
- Audience — know your audience and create content they will need.
- Medium — is your content simply text, or will there be infographics, pictures, video, ect.?
When all of these factors are considered in your content, length is of no consequence.
Whether it’s done in 200 words or 2,000 words, if the content is clear, concise, engaging and gives your audience what they need, your blog post will never feel like it doesn’t end.