Some people will say that asking how long your content should be is like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”
And while they’re not entirely wrong, they’re not entirely right either.
So let’s start with the obvious question; Does size matter when it comes to content?
Yes, it does.
The length of your content is one of the major factors in how it is discovered and recommended by search engines, meaning it plays a big role in how you rank on sites like Google.
Additionally, you want your audience to feel as though they’ve gotten their question answered, problem solved, or “how to” fully demonstrated when they come to you for support.
On the other hand, you don’t want to make your content longer just for the sake of making it longer…
Are you starting to see why this is a tricky question to answer?
While there may not be a hard and fast rule, there are some things to consider when it comes to how long – or short – to make your blog posts, podcasts, or video episodes.
Here are some things for you to think about:
Google’s 300-Word Rule
In order for Google to discover, read, and understand your post, it needs a minimum of 300 words. If you’re writing a blog post this should be fairly easy to manage.
However, if you’re a podcaster or YouTuber, you’re not off the hook. For many reasons, I highly recommend maintaining your own website and sharing your episodes there as well as on their native platforms. That means that your podcast show notes or video description would also need to be 300 words or more in order for the post to rank on Google.
Note: Even if you’re not ready to build and maintain your own website yet, I suggest that you start writing out your 300+-word show notes and/or video description as you create your content. That way, when your website is up, your posts are ready to go and you don’t have to go back and rewatch or relisten to all your old content to create discoverable show notes.
There are always people coming out with studies about how long your content should be… and many times the studies contradict each other, so take them with a grain of salt.
Blog posts that are between 1,500 and 2,000 words perform best when searching on Google.
Podcast episodes between 20-30 minutes are more likely to be listened to in their entirety.
YouTube videos of 10-15 minutes have longer watch times.
I’m not a big fan of doing things just because everyone else is doing them, but I am highly in favor of knowing what others are doing so I can make an informed decision.
With that I invite you to do some research into what other content creators in your area of expertise are doing on your platform (blog, podcast, or video).
Who are the “big names” in your field who use your platform?
How long is a typical piece of their content? Hint: if they have a popular posts widget or playlist, start there.
Is there a general similarity in length between all these experts? If so, you may want to start with content that is as long or longer than theirs.
You Do You
Before you start mapping out your content, we have to talk about another important factor in determining the length of your posts or episodes. YOU!
Some people naturally lean towards wordier stories, while others are naturally more brief. Neither is right or wrong, good or bad, but it can be difficult to go against your instincts, so you have to consider them when creating your content.
I, for example, prefer brevity in my own writing, so my blog posts rarely exceed 1,200 words. I’ve gotten messages from people telling me they love how I get to the point on my podcast and in my blog posts.
Others I know and admire can easily pop out a 2,500 word post without breaking a sweat, and they’re likely getting fan mail about their style, too.
There is no one way.
And remember, finding your “just right” content length is going to take practice and trial and error. You may also find that some of your content just naturally works in a shorter format, while other kinds need more meat. Maybe for one of your content pillars you keep things short and sweet, and with others you dive deep. You’ll never really know until you give it all a try.
Join me on Tuesday at 7:30 pm (EDT) in the Side Hustle Teachers Facebook Group for a LIVE recap, answers to your questions, and 3 essential mindset shifts you need to make to create great content! A replay of the video will be posted below the Friday after the live. ↓↓↓