TLDR is an urban dictionary acronym that is short for, “Too Long; Didn’t Read.” You may have seen this acronym used across Reddit, Facebook, or other online forums. When someone begins a comment with TLDR, they are essentially giving a “reader’s digest” or “Cliff’s Notes” version of a lengthy post.
People have short attention spans, they will often skim an article that is long and create an opinion on what they did read. So before you publish a lengthy post, think about what your purpose of writing such a long post is.
Blog posts also can be too short. Blog posts that are too short can have the same effect as TLDR blog posts. Blog posts with less than about 300 total words do not rank on search engines, and what is the point of having a website if the posts are not going to show up on search engine results?
There is a time and a place for lengthy blog posts, and there is a time and a place for shortened blog posts. Depending on your goal, you can determine if you need to write a short post or a long post. Knowing the different styles of blog posts and their lengths can save your post from becoming the next TLDR or no-show on search engines.
100 – 500 Word Blog Posts
There is a place in the blogging world for these short posts. If you are looking for a blog post that will generate a lot of comments, these short blog posts are perfect. Some topics also work better as short blog posts, especially if the topic can generate a discussion in the comments between readers.
Here are some other factors to consider when writing a short blog post:
- Lighthearted Entertainment – If you are looking to write an informal post about an easy topic, then a short blog post will be perfect.
- Mobile Friendly – Short blog posts are more mobile friendly than longer blog posts. They will allow readers to easily read through short paragraphs of a few sentences rather than War and Peace-length novels.
- Infographics – A blog post with more information and graphics can be summed up using these shorter blog posts of 500 words or less.
- Call to Action (CTA) – If your blog post is simply to sell a product or idea, you will not need a large amount of words to do so.
Peppering in short blog posts with lengthier blog posts on your website will give readers a variety of content to enjoy.
500 – 1,500 Word Blog Posts
This is the sweet spot if you want your blog post to be shared on multiple social media sites. Like anything that is shared on social media, you will need to make sure your post title is catchy and your content is relevant and easy to read. You should be able to include relevant content without adding filler when writing a blog post between 500 – 1,000 words.
The closer you can get to 1,000 words, the more likely the post will show up on search engines and be shared on social media sites. This sweet spot around 1,000 words will give you the best of both worlds: readers will be more likely to comment, and your post is more likely to be shared on social media sites.
1,500 – 3,000 Word Blog Posts
These lengthy blog posts are called “long form content,” especially if they have more than 2,000 words. You will want to write 1,500 words or more to get the most out of search engine research results. In fact, the closer to 3,000 words, the better. These are some of the best blog posts that are found on search engines:
- Buying Guides & Product Reviews
- “How To” Guides
- Research and Informational Guides
- “Best” Product Guides
You will want to write these blog posts using relevant information and various heading styles. Headings can take a wordy blog post and organize the content into an easy-to-read functional arrangement for readers to understand and enjoy.
What is Your Goal?
Before you go knocking out a short 300-word blog post or sitting down to write the next War and Peace, you should ask yourself, “What is my goal for writing this?”
Think of what you want to achieve first before you decide to write your piece.
Do you want to create a post with a lot of comments and reader engagement? Then you should write a small piece at 500 words or less.
Do you want to create a post that will be shared across social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter? Then you should write an article around 1,000 to 1,500 words.
Do you want a keyword-filled article that will help boost your ranking on search engine results pages? Then you should write a hefty long form content article around 3,000 words or so.
It is important to define your goal before you write your blog post so that you do not get discouraged when you do not receive the result you expect. For example, if you expect to write a short blog post that will be shared virally throughout social media, you will be pretty disappointed when that doesn’t happen.
Set your goals and expectations and match the length of your blog post accordingly. This is a recipe for success.
There is a Place for All Lengths of Blog Posts
No matter what, no post is too big or too small; it all just depends on the reason you are writing the post.
Do not get discouraged and think that you cannot write a successful short blog post. Short blog posts are perfect for reader engagement and discussion. The same concept applies to long form content articles. If you want to really boost your ranking on search engine results pages, then write a lengthy article and incorporate as many keywords as possible (naturally, of course – you don’t want to be penalized by Google!).
The best way to achieve a perfect balance on your website is to offer content of all shapes and sizes. Short, medium, and lengthy blog post all have their place on the World Wide Web; it is up to you to make the most of that space!