This weekend I got a DM on Twitter from someone who read one of my books. They wanted to know if 1,600 words was too long for a "listicle". A "listicle" is a type of blog post that presents the content in a list format!
While it's hard to give precise advice without seeing the article, I explained that 1,600 words is not the appropriate length for a listicle because listicles are meant to be scanned, not necessarily read word-for-word (like an essay).
If you're trying to figure out the right word length for a blog post, here are some things to consider (I originally published this as a Twitter thread):
Instead of word count, think about your blog post premise. What is the point of this post? What is the goal for the reader? The scope is the most important thing. Word count is irrelevant if the post isn't focused.
First drafts will probably be long and slightly off-topic. That's OK; your first draft isn't what you end up publishing. You should edit your posts with the following questions in mind: What can I cut? How can I say this with less? Is this clear?
Always write and edit with your premise in mind. If you're going off-topic ask yourself: "What is the goal of this post?"
Word count isn't a good metric to measure effectiveness. It's possible to write an unfocused blog post or go on many tangents in less than 1,000. Better metrics include relevant keywords or phrases, formatting for scanability and readability, readability level.
Your drafts get better with each revision. Review and refine your content before you publish it!
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
I'm Stephanie, a Content Strategist and Technical PM. Visit developersguidetocontent.com to learn more about my work!