Since I restarted this blog. I am figuring out a way to choose my word count for blog post. Let's see what points need to be covered for that.
1 : What Happens If I Write More
Writing can be done in two ways. First aiming for a keyword and writing around it or writing freely and then later optimizing for keyword you are getting searched for.
In the first approach, you might get hit by penalties from Google for keyword stuffing. You can avoid that by using keyword in limited ratio and only when necessary.
I like the second approach better. Write on a topic, people are looking for, but don't be focused on only one keyword rather explore all the long tail keywords potential.
Google or any other search engine gives your article as result for various keywords, you need to analyze those and tell yourself. So these are the keywords I am getting searched for, let's now optimize it for that keyword and grow your traffic.
a : Focus On Quality
If you happen to only write without giving much value to the users, then it will increase the bounce rate and signal search engines it is not a better fit. Again you may encounter a penalty from Google here.
So what does quality mean?
The article should serve a purpose. Once you have that, it should be sufficient to satisfy the user. After going through it, they should search more. If more some reason, you can't cover everything in your article, you may point out to relevant sources by linking to them.
This way you will ensure your readers are getting their needs and you are striving hard to make sure they don't have to search again, instead you have done it for them.
b : Edit Your Article
When we are aiming to write article, we unknowingly stuff words just to increase word count. Ironically, it will happen most of the times in this article. Editing it and making sure the users get only the needed words will ensure higher article.
You grammar, your tone of writing and the format of the article should be consumable. This is often best done by a person. You can hire someone you trust or you can do it yourself to see where you get bored, where you can add more pointers or where you can cut down words.
To take it a step ahead, you can email your best buddies in industry and ask them for a review. This way you will get most professional criticism and then work on it.
c : Make Introduction Compelling
You can't make everyone to click on your article headline, in similar analogy not everyone who reads your introduction will read the whole article.
It should be crisp, clear and enticing to read the whole article.
The first thing people will check after reading my introduction will be to scroll down. After seeing, I managed to write so many words and in a consumable format, they will skim the article.
Since, I have made pointers, at least some will intrigue them and they will read the rest of the article.
d : Make Short Conclusion
What is the point of writing the article?
If there is no clear conclusion to your article, people will just bounce back. If the conclusion is long, they won't stress too much to read it. The best conclusion should be short and to the point.
Also, it should be able to connect to the readers about their benefit. What is in it for them, if you do it correctly then people who read conclusion first will be glued to your article.
2 : What If I Write Less?
There are two ways to interpret the sentence. If you are writing less frequently or you are writing less words.
The answer is it all depends on your approach.
You can churn out thousands of articles each day, but if they are not being read then what's the point. Here comes the role of backlink's and search traffic. If you have an audience base, then you can churn out content as per your desire and people are waiting to read it.
But, if you are a business then you need new visitors coming to your website more often. If you are high service provider then you will gain backlink's naturally and your website will rank higher like banks and air plane sites do.
Let's say you are not belonging to any such industry and you wish to write less, then too you may rank higher with the help of backlink's, but how to garner it.
The best guys who are able to do it, are those who creates lists with only few hundred words and tens of amazing pictures proving the point. Thus readers enjoy those articles and share it more often. Thus the traffic and backlink's will keep coming.
The underline thing to notice is that you just can't create small articles, you have to provide quality in terms of image, video or any other thing.
People should be happy reading your article and then willing to share it
3 : How Much Words Should I Aim For?
There is an ongoing debate over this and the answer is not same for everyone. My advise would be to test it out and analyze the traffic and share trend. Stick to something which performs better for your blog.
For me, I have a baseline of 300 words for articles and 150 words for poem's. I think less than 300 words is very small and I won't be personally prefer reading articles such short.
Longer articles have benefit too, the on site time of visitors will increase even if they read half of your 2000 words article compared with reading full of 300 words article.
People love in-depth posts, full of information. If you have a knack for writing then there are many possibilities on which you can cover the article.
You can see the article from different angle and then go for a load of information for your users. Read your articles over and over again to see what questions comes to your mind, answer it. Even if a future visitor suggests that the article would have been better with some more points, then explore it and add if necessary.
There is always a scope of improvement for any article, even if it might have been established.
4 : What's With 10 Thousand Words?
Some things just capture user's attention. The most famous list is list of 10 things. Be it 10 ways to heal acne, 10 places to visit before you die or be it 10 thousand words article.
It just performs better. There is a charm with number 10.
If you are not experimenting with list articles then you are missing out on many things. Let's see an example, if you write an article on how to be happy after marriage. It will turn out to be boring article with only some headings.
In list article, you can write 10 checkpoints for happy married life. Each way should be clear and understandable in the heading itself. People shouldn't have to read the article to learn what those 10 things are.
This way more people who skim your articles will stay on and read the entire article. And if someone don't have time, they can decide whether to bookmark it or not based on the list points.
There is only one result if you write awesome list. It will outperform the other types of articles you are writing. Write it more often and increase the number of social shares.
5 : How To Get More Traction For Your Content?
As you all may know, writing great content is just one part of the game. Unless you do the heavy promotion lifting, you may not get the real attention a content deserves.
Some steps to make sure you get the most.
a : Let Your Audience Know
Email your list, share it on twitter, facebook and any other social media account you have. Remember to include a personal story attached to article. This way you will get more traction from your article. More shares, more traffic and thus more satisfaction.
b : Reach Out To Other Blogger's
If your content is awesome and if some other blogger's audience can benefit from it, then you can reach out to them. Don't ask them to do a favor blatantly.
You may email them like below.
I love your blog and am a fan. I blog on similar interest and the recent article solves a problem. I think you may like the article. Feel free to share about it.
This way, some of the bloggers will share the article and even some will link back to you.
c : Respond To Comments
Comments whether on social media or on your blog post serves a purpose. They help other people's question. So try to respond to every comment with thanks or an answer to their question.
This way people who haven't shared your stuff at first will do now as you helped them.
I have wrote post from 100 words to 2000 words and the best performing post are all above 1000 words. So, I will try to stick with anything above 1000 words for now at least in this blog.
Remember, you need to analyze on your blog by experimenting to see which posts do well length wise and then stick to it.
What is the longest post you have ever written?