Friday, 27 May 2011

How Long Should My Article Be?

Article length can vary depending on the topic but no matter who you ask the point is always the same - as long as it takes to cover the question.

There is nothing worse than trying to read through an hours worth of text for a grain of information than getting through two minutes worth of info and still not having an answer.

When well written, you can stumble across articles that actually do take a long time to read but it seems like they are brief. And then there's the others that take forever to get through despite the fact that they are only 500 words long.
Set yourself realistic goals
and shoot  for attainable targets

So what's a good number to shoot for? Something huge and in depth?

Or something short and sweet and straight to the point?

If you are starting out, I have to say about 600-1000 words long. If you are a more experienced writer then I say  about 1000-1500 words long.

However there is no need to count each and every word. I have spoken in the past about imaging that you are writing an email to a friend when you are writing articles and turning your topic into a question...I think we need an example!!

Let's use the done to death dog training topic and people like tips so let's say we are writing about.

"3 Quicks Ways to Stop Your Dog Barking"

So what are these people looking for? They have a problem. They have a problem pooch and they want a solution. In this case, after a quick intro, three tips and a summary (visit us here for more options) you could probably come in at around 600-800 words.

If your title was "7 Quick Tips for Anxious Dogs" or "10 Ways to Soothe Your Problem Pooch"  then you would have a hard time providing your reader with enough of the information they came looking for.

The topic needs covering in detail... but you have to assume that your readers have the attention span of a four year old.

If you have paragraphs that you are unsure about whether or not to include it, leave it out. Ask another question and make another article about it. Parables, anecdotes (and yeah...examples too) can be really effective but only if they are short, sharp and relevant to the point you are trying to make.

Your articles must be original - I hate duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content. Your articles must also be accurate - people are making (sometimes very important) decisions based on the knowledge you are sharing with them..which all boils down to writing an email for a friend again, doesn't it?

Another factor worth you consideration is the way you have written your article. Break it up into small paragraphs instead of large blocks of text. Break it up using photo's or video's (as long as they are relevant). Some article directories have interactive modules like polls that grab the readers attention and keeps them on the page.

The bottom line is to zoom your focus in on a (micro-niche) single topic and cover the problem and solution effectively. Cover it care and with the best interest of your readers at heart.

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