I heard through the blogging grape-vine that shorter posts are more welcome by readers. Hmmm. My posts are definitely not short. However, due to the upcoming Slice of Live Challenge in March, one of my goals was to write shorter posts. In fact one of the other blogger/author/educators that participated in the Slice of Life Challenge last year told me she aims to have most of her posts be less than 500 words. She cited many common sense reasons to keep posts short. However, I find that staying below 500 words is a tough thing for me to do. I think on average, most of my posts are around 750 words.
So, last night I googled tips for writing shorter blog posts. Of course there was a myriad of sites to visit and topics to read on this subject! The first one I clicked on,
How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?
A Writer’s Guide by Joe Bunting
held some interesting information. If you are wondering about how appropriate the length of your blog posts are, you should really check out this article. The author, Mr. Bunting, states that those who think blog posts should be short are perpetuating a myth! In summary, he goes on to say the length of your blog should be whatever you want it to be – in other words – whatever number of words it takes to get the job done or to convey your message! Aha! I was almost giddy when I read that because essentially that is how I write my blog. Whatever it takes to get my message across is how long my blog posts turn out to be. I never, even though popular belief suggests I should, start out with a word count in mind. After all, my blog is not a limiting college application essay nor is it a comic strip or a full-blown research paper. My blog contains my thoughts, my reflections on life and my life experience. Some of my posts are shorter, and some longer than my average of 750 words. I am guessing at my average since I started paying attention to the length of my posts. I just get an idea and write! Luckily, I have been able to attract readers without paying attention to word count (more on this later).
But, since I am guessing (and maybe worried) about word count, I decided to check out my insight page on my WordPress statistics page. There, I received a surprise as well –
TOTAL POSTS 9 TOTAL COMMENTS 18
AVG COMMENTS PER POST 2 TOTAL LIKES 39
Do you see that? For both 2017 and 2018, my blog posts have averaged 500 words – not the 750 words I was guessing at! For all WordPress bloggers, I think that the insights page can yield quite a bit of information. If you are newer to blogging and have not checked it out, you should! The tab is located at the top of your statistics page, next to the traffic tab.
What does all this mean? It means that I have written without paying attention to my blog post length, and my average post is really not that long! Have I had a few longer posts? For sure! When I am passionate about the subject matter, my posts are typically longer. In fact, my most viewed (written not photographic) post since I started blogging was April 30th of last year (2017). It had 64 views and was 937 words long. The post was called, When Volunteerism Gets Sprayed in the Face.
So, as the Slice of Life Challenge for March approaches, I will have to re-evaluate whether I need to shorten my blog posts or not. Perhaps, I should have a different goal instead. I know only one thing for sure; I will keep writing.