Now That’s A Good Question !
How long should blog post be? has to be the most asked question from every new online business owner. I know that it was one of the first questions I asked when I first started. I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate, an online platform for business entrepreneurs and I know that I would read everything to do with writing blog posts and there are three very straightforward rules to follow as far as blog length is concerned. This very much simplified things for me.
Types of Blogs
There are three types of blogs, they might be called different things, but for my understanding I call them…. Foundation, Fundamental and Feedback. They are essentially very diferent and require different topics and different presentations. The whole point of having all three types of blog on your website is to solidify your reputation as a go-to source for great, qualtiy content with in-depth information and reliable resources.
This is the bedrock of your blogging, the foundation for your content marketing website business. They are the meaty posts, that are well researched and well written.You will include images, documenation to support your comments, video/audio also as support. The evergreen articles that will be there year in and year out. Of course this would only suit a certain type of blog and this is where each of the three blog styles differ. Foundation posts futureproof your website, they have longevity. Most posts get a flurry of activity within the first 2-3 days of being posted but then the action disappears or is very much lighter, bringing a small amount of traffic but nothing spectacular. But Foundation posts are long lasting.. the bedrock of your website, keeping on giving year after year. It solidifies the feelings your audience has about your website and you as an entrepreneur – It isn’t good enough nowadays to publish lightweight blogs and expect to get through to your audience and get them to buy your product or service. They should be falling over themselves in their effort to purchase your product or service by the very blog they have just read. Once they have read your foundation blog they will know how incredibly valuable you and your website is to their success.
What Is A Foundation Post?
This type of blog would be used for a tutorial – something that is indepth and gives great detail on a specific subject such as mini instructional guides such as my blog about Tailwind.
This is an indepth post about Tailwind, a social media scheduler going into every aspect of the platform, explaining every detail of the scheduler. This is a new post but I expect that it will be around for a very long time and be one of my foundation blogs.
Great places to find topics for Foundation style blogs are Quora, Yahoo Answers, Google ‘People Also Asked’, a great way to find out what your audience really want to know.
I asked Google – How Do I Add A Link To My Blog? and Google added these questions that my audience may be asking…
Other foundation posts may start ‘ 10 Ways To Find Killer Headlines’ or ’25 Tips On Pinning Quality Pins To Pinterest’
You know this type of blog will have some sort of list that will give you detailed content. This sort of content assists your audience quickly to find solutions to improve their business.
Foundation posts may also present as quick reference guides, a way of getting quality information into a blog in an informative, detailed way that your audience will find promptly.
A statistical based post would also be a foundation post. Whilst the statistics will become dated as time passes, it is still a mark in the sand at that point for which the statistics will still be relevant.
A resource or curated post will also be a quality piece of work because it involves detailed analysis of the work being curated bringing authority to the article.
So there must be benefits from writing a foundation post, after all, its going to take longer to write.
– Your audience spends longer on the page.
– Higher Google ranking!
– A decrease in bounce rate.
– More social media shares so getting the word out about your website.
– More traffic through the lifetime of your website.
Promote Foundation Posts !
We can’t be writing foundation blogs all the time, otherwise nothing else would ever get done – all the research and imagery required for a foundation post would not allow for anything else and your audience will get cheesed off having so much to read. The chances are you will get a high bounce rate. Not good for business.
The Fundamentals blog is the staple of your blogging. It is more competitive than a feedback post and more in-depth but clearly not as researched as the Foundation blog. The fundamental blog will bring traffic to your website and it is a crucial part of generating that traffic.
Fundamental blogs may answer questions such as these …………………….
Fundamental blogs may use more bullet points – with lists and quick summary boxes to get the points across faster for your audience.
Clearly it is easy to get carried away with a blog and just keep on writing but with the clear focus of doing a fundamental blog, this keeps your thoughts controlled and your typing within the parameters of a fundamental blog.
– Quicker to write
-They are well researched but do not take as long to do this.
-Easier for your audience to read
-Encourage readers to stay on your page longer.
– Reduced bounce rate.
Feedback blogs are the most straightforward. They require little research and are frequently a reaction to something that has been asked … a direct answer to a direct question. They rank quickly and are written within an hour. There are two ways of looking at a feedback blog, you can either be in the camp that these are the main blogs on your website, or you almost never write any because you can’t stop writing ! Feedback blogs are usually using low competition keywords that will get you onto the first page of a search engine quickly but the sudden popularity will disappear as quickly as it came, so spiking then fading. These are not blogs that hang around for long but they d attract your audience so a successful post !
These blogs are quicker to write, so means you have more time for other aspects of your business. They highlight the low competition keywords, some of which you may feel do not require a long article so a quick feedback blog will work well. They rank quickly, as I said but do disappear quickly too. But thats when the foundation blogs come into their own.
You should be writing around 1/3rd of your blogs in each category, giving you a well balanced and rounded website, with blogs that will get you ranked quickly and those that will be around for years. It allows you to build your website comprehensively, attracting your audience for a variety of reasons but being consistent with the quality of your work.
This article was truly enlightening. I love how you explain the difference between foundation, fundamental and feedback blogs. Posts’ length has been one of my main doubts since I started working on a new website. I write different types of articles, sometimes involving in-depth reviews and sometimes involving simple tips and advice for readers. There is really no one rule for how long a post should be and length should be tailored to the type of content you’re publishing. I also like how you explain why foundation posts are so important for long-term visits.
I think you are doing fine! This classifying of blogs helps to get a balance between those that will rank quickly and those that are more foundational and will take longer but hang around for much longer. Its a super help for beginners and those, such as me, that constantly write blogs that are too long and take too long !!
Thanks for your enlightening post. I haven’t heard about the 3 ‘Fs’ before. How you explain it makes sense. But for each of these types of post do you have a guide on what the word count for each should be? I’ve heard for example the pillar post or foundational post should be over 2200 words long. Do you agree or do you think there shouldn’t be a guide on word count for each?
Thanks for your comments James. I have put in a little quick guide by each ‘F’ that shows you what each one should have as far as word count is concerned. The foundation blog should have in excess of 3000 words, the fundamental blog from 2200-2500 words and the feedback blog around 1300-1500words. Hope thats of help.
I’m glad I found this, I was just wondering if my blog posts are long enough. I found out that most of them are, I’m usually somewhere between the 1500 – 2000 words. If I have a really important blog, foundation blog, I go for over 3000 and that takes time.
The tailwind looks interesting – I definitely need help scheduling my work. How do you find it? Is it helpful, easy to use?
Thanks for your comments. I always had issues with whether my blogs were long enough or too long and usually they’re too long ! So I need to cut back a little and do more off the middle of the road ones and the feedback ones. But Tailwind is awesome.! Really easy to use and well worth the monthly fee. If you want to try it out, follow my link, they let you try it out for free.
Let me first of all compliment you on an extremely well organised tutorial that I found very valuable indeed as well as being easy to read, entertaining and informative.
I was convinced by the hierarchy and taxonomy of the foundational, fundamental and feedback forms.
I did some research recently only to discover that Google’s preferred (median) length for a post, regardless of type of post, is 2450 words.
Yet while I was being taught originally, by some pretty experienced Bloggers, they favoured the 1300-1500 length as their staple.
In terms of Blogging specifically, would you say that your guidance above is fixed, or is there, has there been, a fashionable ebb and flow, in the popular length for each of the Blog types you describe?
Thanks so much Hamish for your comments and very insightful question. I think trends on length of blog has changed over time. Our search engines like quality, well-written articles that show authority and understanding of the topic. Many of the shorter blogs could potentially get away with shorter word counts, thus cloaking their ignorance to in-depth knowledge but now, whilst shorter blogs are accepted, they don’t last long as a definitive in search engine eyes. The mainstays are the fundamental and foundation blogs, those that are longer and offer more insight. I do think that the length of that quality blog is fluid, changing with new developments in the industry and we need to be sensitive to that change to ensure continued success.
I found your post easy to read with a ton of information to go through. I enjoy writing and have recently started a website to publish my blogs. I have tried to make sure every post is a minimum of 1200 words but it depends on the topics I am writing about.
What ratio between Foundation, Fundamental and feedback blogs would you say should be included in a website?
Hey Darren, Thanks for your comment and question. I think we should aim for a 1/3rd for each, to give a good balance. Those feedback blogs will score early on the rankings front but not have the staying power of the foundation blogs, which will carry on counting for years. So a good balance and you will have a very solid website.
Thank you Helen, that’s a very useful article for me, as I’m also a blogger. Never thought of the content this way, although I was writing these three types of posts anyway, but rather unintentionally, without thinking I should maybe have some balance here.
I understand you use low competition keywords for feedback posts. How competitive are the keywords you use for foundation and fundamental posts?
All the best!
Foundation and fundamental blogs could have keywords that are more competitive because they are going to be blogs that are around for a while, showing your authority and experience with the topic. So you can take the ‘risk’ of using more competitive keywords, waiting for the organic traffic, but safe in the knowledge that you do have feedback blogs too. Great to know that you are already doing this without realising! I can be a bit verbose on my articles so I have to watch how much I write.
Thanks for that very well written and informative article. I’ve been building my website for just over 2 years now and had never heard of the 3 Fs Foundation, Fundamental and Feedback blogs. Now that you have explained it I guess my posts fit into those categories. I do ‘How To’ posts, Info posts and ‘Best Of’ product reviews and the minimum length is about 2000 words. The only Feedback I do is to reply to comments at the bottom of the post. Would you say that a ‘How To’ post is a type of Feedback post as it answers a question?
Thanks Greg for your comment and question. Its sounds like you have a very solid website! I would consider the ‘How To’ style blogs to be more fundamental/foundation depending on how much detail you go into. The feedback blog would be something like ‘ What Is SEO?’ or ‘ What Is Low Hanging Fruit?’ Whilst you can turn these into fundamental or foundation, you can easily write a short 1500 blog feedback blog within an hour, answering the question directly which for some readers, this is all they want. This sort of blog doesn’t hang around long but will rank quickly.
I understand with some websites it would be good to have a diverse range of blog styles. If you are wanting to tell a story through your blogs, would using different styles off put your followers?
Are we so hooked up on how many words we write for a post. Does this manipulate the way we write. If people tend to skim long posts, is better to be more succinct in some cases?
Thankyou for your comments Johan. I don’t think the styles of blog should have any negative effect with your followers. Storytelling style would be perfect for the foundation type of blog… a longer blog with more in-depth writing, so an ideal writing style. The shorter blogs such as the feedback blog, can be used for answering questions that require a succinct answer. Using these styles of writing should enhance your website and increase the following.
Thank you for the post. Many of us fail to understand the types of blogs, how to use them, and also not knowing how much of content to write. I am one of them, but improving over time. I think you have done a great job with providing good information on description.
It seems like there always has to be a minimum to how many words need to be written to each blog. Do you know why that is?
The minimum word count is a guide to the length of the blog and whilst these look like random numbers, they are statistically shown to be the length that will rank on search engines and social media. According to Forbes, blog posts containing over 1,500 words are over 68% more likely to be shared on Twitter and over 22% more likely to be liked on Facebook compared to shorter posts. Longer posts take longer to write and of course longer to read but some topics simply need that level of input such as my article about Tailwind.
Unsurprisingly, I find that I am constantly learning. Your article has certainly enlightened me. I had no idea that ‘blog posts’ could be broken down into such specific groups. For this, you have my thanks.
Now that I have this new found knowledge, I find that I can look at my work from a different perspective. It has given me pause, in that certain posts will come under one of the three types, yet they might not fulfill the word count criteria. How important do you think it is to try and stay within those word count parameters ?
I’m wondering if it’s imperative or is just a guideline. Understandably, certain subject matter would require a more indepth article, yet others, though still detailed, may not have a need for the length suggested. One thing I know for sure though, is that when I do my imminent overhaul for the one site, I shall be using your article as a guide for identifying how many of which type of post I have and making the necessary amendments.
Thank you Twack for your comments. I think this would be a guide, that we should aim for, as many bloggers find it tough in writing the longer blogs, with 3000+ words. Its intended to show that level of depth and requirement to achieve the authority and experience your readers are looking for. I would use the parameters as a guide, of course you may exceed it but for some they will find it hard to achieve the minimum.
Thank you for coming back to me on this. One of the reasons I asked is because I have one site that covers some fairly ‘heavy’ subjects. Up until reading your post, I had it in mind to do a series of posts, all covering various aspects of the same subject. Now I am thinking it would serve me better to have one ‘foundation’ post, followed by a couple of ‘fundamental’ articles. That said, it does seem to be a fine line between the two.
Wow, compliments on your amazing informative article. It quite impressive and I learned so much reading it. I never heard about the 3 f’s and this was interesting how you put things in perspective. You have answered the question I not even realised I had, and you made me realise I have to write more fundamental posts as I write mainly feedback posts.
It makes sense what you are all saying and you need that good balance for a good fundament on your website.
Do you reckon you can mix the styles of different blogs together in 1 article as well? So an article what is really well researched like a fundamental blog, alternated with a feedback style paragraphs to give the reader a break in between the in-depth staff?
Thanks for this great read, I bookmark your page to reread this as I have to read the information a few times to absorb it all.
Interesting question Jude… I think I would have to answer no to it. Its not something that I would do. I would use other strategies to break up the foundation style blog, different elements such as I used in the Tailwind article – illustrations of what I want to say, so that it makes a change from reading all the time. This is something that I use a lot, infographics as they stick in the mind better and like you say, give the reader a break.