Why Shorter Articles are Best for New Blogs

The question of article length is one over which many bloggers agonize. How long should your content be? Beginner bloggers in particular face this dilemma. If you go online, you will come across different pieces of advice relating to this.

Why Shorter Articles are Best for New Blogs

The question of article length is one over which many bloggers agonize. How long should your content be? Beginner bloggers in particular face this dilemma. If you go online, you will come across different pieces of advice relating to this.

The majority of people subscribe to the view that content should be long and the longer the better. You will hear different figures being thrown around relating to exactly how long. Some say in modern times, the ideal article length is at least 1500 words long.

We beg to differ. In our view and based on our experience, shorter articles are actually better, particularly for new blogs. The following are the reasons why;

Shorter articles are less demanding

The first reason why you should opt for short articles of less than 500 words is that they are less demanding to write. This is something that we have experienced in our own blogging career. The first blog that we created had longish articles.

We had heard that Google and other search engines love long-form content. As such, we created some articles that went all the way to 3000 words. That was almost a fatal mistake. Are you aware that a lot of beginner bloggers give up after only a little while?

One of the reasons for this is that they soon become fatigued while trying to produce all that content. It’s well enough if you can afford to pay other people to write articles for you. However, if you are doing the writing on your own, you are bound to hit an emotional brick wall.

Imagine spending a week writing a 3000-word article, only to discover afterward that no one is really interested in what you have to say? It happens a lot. A lot of good content is lost in the labyrinth that is the internet. Shorter articles are less demanding, making them ideal for beginners.

You can write more short articles

Going back to the example of a 3000-word article, you could very well write 6, 500-word posts for the same effort. Or you could write 10, 300-word posts. So, in terms of sheer content production, shorter articles are preferable.

But people may argue that longer articles have better SEO value than shorter ones. That is not something that we have discovered to be the case. Just to give an example, on the first website that we created; the one where we had long posts, it took 3 years just to reach the 500 visitors per day mark.

We have recently created another website that focuses on the South African telecommunications scene. That website is made up exclusively of articles that are 500 words and below. In four months, the site has grown to 700 visitors per day from 200 articles.

Of course, that’s an incomplete comparison, but you can see the results for yourself at face value. And in terms of the mental toll of the effort, we are hardly fatigued. That was not the case with the first site where we focused on long posts.

People do not really want to read longish posts

If you go online you will come across bloggers such as Neil Patel who write very long content. It’s all good and we have nothing against Neil. In fact, he is one of our inspirations. But, how many times have you taken the time to go through an article that’s 3000 plus words long?

In our case, that’s too much. We only skim through the post or we go to the area that contains the information that we are looking for. The rest is chafe. We don’t have the time to spend reading a 3000-word blog post. The same applies to the average person out there.

All they want is a few bits of information. If they want longer content, they will get a book off Amazon or something. So, shorter articles are best. Do you know that on average, people spent just 54 seconds on a web page across all industries?

What does that tell you? Well, people have no time for longer blog posts. Of course, Google loves these long articles, and so it has become a fad, contrary to intuition.

You have a better chance of hitting the mark with more articles

We have already noted that you can write many more short articles with less effort than when writing a long one. One thing that we have noticed is that blogging is something of a hit-and-miss affair. You may write an article after doing all the keyword research in the world and it will fall flat on its face.

However, another article that you did not think would amount to much immediately starts getting you 100 page views per day. It’s something of a lottery. The point here is that you are much more likely to hit the mark with more articles.

If you write 6 articles that are 500 words long, surely a couple of them will attract a few visitors a day. That’s precious for new bloggers. It can be the difference between giving up and going on. But that 3000-word article that you spend so much time working on may get virtually no readers.

So, it’s a game of numbers. The more articles that you have, the more likely it is that you are going to get hits. The fewer your article, the less likely that your content will find its target audience. Again, it’s a simplified analysis, but we have found truth in it while blogging. Pumping out 5 articles or 400 words per day has brought positive results.

Most keywords just won’t do with long articles

In our experience, the majority of keywords will not work with longer posts. Going back to our current project, how many words can you have in an article focusing on “Cell C APN settings?” Cell C is one of the mobile networks in South Africa.

Clearly, people who search for that are looking for specific information. You can be done with such an article in less than100 words. Of course, we stretch it to at least 300 words. And you could wax lyrical about the history of Cell C, the history of APN, and the history of settings, but really, you will be waffling.

That’s the nature of the searches that are made on a daily basis out there. People just need specific information or specific instructions without acquiring degrees about how this and that works. So, shorter is better in this regard.

What’s the best strategy?

So, what’s the best strategy? Our advice to beginner bloggers is to pump out as many of the short articles as is possible on their particular area of focus. Produce hundreds of 300-word articles and you are likely to perform better than someone who spends long periods of time trying to emulate already established players.

Of course, when your blog is well established, you can start writing longer-form content.  But for the first 6 months or so, write short articles. They are manageable, not only from your point of view but also from the point of view of your readers.