How long should a blog be? We write blogs because we (should) have a passion for our subject but of course, as we know that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation - the art of getting high search engine rankings) places content as king are we are writing to boost our ranking or because we are passionate about our subject? The answer should be bother which leads to the next question; lots of short blogs for our low attention span population of today or big blog containing quality content?
Some have argued that 400 words is idea. Others say that 140 characters is sufficient as that's what people are used to reading. However, a look at ranking of websites you will find that the sites with highest positions are those with the biggest word counts.
Quality not quantity
Consider two types of writing; novels and the Tweet. We will have all read a book that we found impossible to put down and frequently only managed to read halfway through a Tweet before getting bored. It's not about the content, it's about the quality.
If you are a reader of the BBC website you will notice that the content is written in short paragraphs. There may be many paragraphs but breaking the text up into bite sized chunks makes the articles more readable.
We are more attracted to long copy and equate size with value. If we see a book with1000 pages and another book with 500 pages yet they cost the same, we will be mentally deciding that the bigger book has better value. Online, people will often see long articles as being more valuable and attractive to read.
Another reason we see long content as more valuable is because we attribute more knowledge to the author. If they haven't written much then there is a chance that they don't know a lot either so there is no point in reading it. Longer posts are shared more frequently and get more links to them.
The theory and the evidence suggests that longer blogs get more attention and Google itself prefers size (assuming quality is also there) when pushing articles up the rankings. In other words, and to put it very simplistically, bigger articles are good for SEO.
All of this just proves the point that content is king. Know your area. Know what you are blogging about and write big, relevant, quality content. By doing so you will not only prove to your readership that you are a credible source of information but Google will reward you for it too.
Ironically, this article only contains 440 words while the the top 10 search results contained between 2000 and 2400 words. It's a matter of not practicing what I preach!