Blogging Insights — The Long and the Short of It

Blogging insightsIn her latest Blogging Insights post, Dr. Tanya essentially asks the age-old question, “Does size matter?” Okay, that’s not really accurate. She’s actually asking about “long-form” posts (2,000+ words) versus “short-form” posts (1,200 words or less).

Here are her questions and my answers.

How long are your blog posts on average?

My average words per post has dropped precipitously since I first started blogging on WordPress, as you can see in the average words per post statistics below.

  • 2009 – 772 average words per post
  • 2010 – 699
  • 2011 – 684
  • 2012 – 724
  • 2013 – 718
  • 2014 – 556
  • 2015 – 437
  • 2016 – 367
  • 2017 – 255
  • 2018 – 235
  • 2019 – 237

In my early days of blogging, it wasn’t that unusual for me to hit 1,000 words or more in a post, although I don’t think I ever came close to 2,000 words. But since I started this blog in May 2017, my average words per post barely reaches 250. Given that I post a lot of responses to prompts with word limits, ranging from 280 characters to six-word sentence prompts, to five lines prompts, to 100 and 200 word max prompts, that’s to be expected, right?

Given the option, would you rather post long-form or short-form content?

The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

Who am I to argue with Neuharth, FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain? I’ll stick with short-form.

Time is short and the attention spans of social media users shorter still, why do you think the search engines prefer longer content?

Maybe the preference of search engines when it comes to the length of blog posts is more around commercial and political blogs than personal blogs. In any event, I don’t blog to get better rankings in Google searches, so I don’t care what Google prefers.

By the way, this post is 327 words, so it’s definitely above average.