If you're looking for short, easy answers to some common blogging
questions, here you go:
- How long should a blog post be?
Answer: 1,000 words
- How long should you take to write a blog post?
Answer: 3 hours and 16 minutes
- How often should you publish blog posts?
Short answers aren't always the same as thorough answers, of course. Read
on to understand why:
Two comprehensive studies about blogging
Bloggers are publishing longer posts these days-and spending more time
writing them. Bloggers are also publishing less frequently and focusing
more on distribution.
In other words, bloggers are devoting more time to promoting fewer, but
more in-depth, content pieces. This is the top conclusion from Orbit Media Studios'
3rd Annual Survey of Bloggers. The survey's data are consistent with another recent and fairly
survey by ConvertKit. Additionally, the data in both studies mirror my experience in B2B
How long should a blog post be?
According to the Orbit study, the average length of a blog post is about
1,050 words. This is up 19 percent from the same study the previous year.
Additionally, the study found that the percentage of blog posts with 2,000+
words has doubled.
Similarly, ConvertKit found that the most popular blog post length is
between 500 and 1,000 words. However, when ConvertKit segmented its data
between professional and amateur bloggers, it found that professional
bloggers are about 70 percent "more likely to write posts of 1,000 words or
Study after study has demonstrated the trend toward long-form
content—and length is broadly characteristic of high-quality content.
However, just because a post is long doesn't mean it's of better quality.
Quality content often begins with research and analysis and careful vetting
of sources and data.
When clients ask me how long a blog post should be, my answer is: As long
as required to effectively communicate an idea.
[RELATED: Ragan creates custom content, from white papers to emails to intranets and more. Find out what our team can do for you.]
My posts (whether or not they are for a client) are usually around 1,000
words. I don't set out to write 1,000 words, though; I aim to explore an
interesting topic and write good content.
How long does it take to write a blog post?
The Orbit survey found that people take about three hours and sixteen
minutes to write a blog post. That's a 26 percent increase over the same
survey last year. However, the study also found that "twice as many
bloggers are now spending 6+ hours on their average post."
There appears to be a correlation between the time invested in a blog post
and its results. About one third of bloggers who spent six or more hours on
a post reported "strong results," whereas only a quarter of bloggers who
spent less than six hours reported "strong results."
The ConvertKit survey didn't provide statistics for how much time bloggers
take to write a post. My experience tells me it takes somewhere between
four to eight hours to write a high-quality post. This includes preparing
for and conducting interviews, researching a topic and closely vetting
However, many factors are involved, such as the topic's complexity and the
writer's experience. There are also intangibles, such as the seemingly
unexplained behavior of a digital community.
For example, I've seen posts that took only an hour to write go
unexpectedly viral. I've also seen carefully constructed copy that the
author has painstakingly rewritten over and over receive, at best, a muted
response. I've also seen old posts spontaneously come back and sail around
the web on a second wind.
There are best practices and techniques bloggers can implement to encourage
shares, but sometimes you'll write a post that simply strikes the right
How often should I publish blog posts?
The Orbit survey found that daily blog post publication is down 50 percent
from last year. Interestingly, "weekly is now the most common answer to the
question of frequency." However, the survey also found that 38 percent of
bloggers publish posts monthly.
The ConvertKit study also found that the "vast majority of people intend to
publish weekly," but that professional bloggers are far more likely to
publish daily or even several times a day.
Blogging is central to content marketing, and
matters more than frequency. It's important to have a cadence to
publishing, or else deadlines will slide and the effort will never really
get off the ground.
That said, two of most successful corporate blogs I've contributed to
publish daily or twice a day. One had the staff for it, and the other
didn't. We simply made publishing a priority and put some processes in
place to make it work.
Consistency fosters discipline to publish on deadline and, more
importantly, cultivates audience expectations. Whether you publish once a
month, once a week or once a day, make sure that your schedule is
sustainable. It's much more acceptable to ramp up production than slow it
Once you develop a content marketing process—brainstorming, writing,
reviewing, approval, publication, promotion, analytics and
content repurposing—then you can gradually increase frequency.
Blogging best practices
What works best will vary from organization to organization, because
audiences are different. This is why the most
successful content marketing initiatives
focus on audience needs rather than a brand's agenda.
Corporate blogging is a marathon, and you will make mistakes along the way.
Learn from them, and keep moving forward.
A version of this article originally appeared on
Sword and the Script.