As a blogging service, word count is important to us.
We get asked about it. We try to provide good insight around the topic.
Some folks come to use mentioning Neil Patel. I’m a huge fan of Neil’s. One thing he’s big on is content that is 2,000 or even 3,000 words.
There is some data to back it up.
I think it’s good to shoot for high word count…in the right situation.
I like this post over on KISSmetrics about word count. That’s really the approach we believe in at Ghost Blog Writers. We like to focus on the questions the target audience is asking and provide the best answer that we can.
If you look at most of our posts they come in at about 800-1,200 words. That just seems to be the type of questions we identify.
And I do think it depends on the question.
Here’s an example…
You get the question:
Q: Should I go to Dave’s Family Restaurant for dinner?
A: Definitely. I’ve always loved it.
That’s a really short answer, but it’s all the person is asking for.
You get this question:
Q: What are your thoughts on Dave’s Family Restaurant?
A: I think it’s great. The first time I had dinner there the waitstaff was great. They bring out delicious homemade bread…
That question indicates that the person is looking for more information. They want detail. They’re looking for the specifics of your past experiences at the restaurant.
So what is the correct word count for blog posts? It depends on the questions you want to answer.
Now let’s say that you want to focus on questions that require long answers. Answers that are 1,000+ words.
Here are the correct ways to increase word count without adding fluff.
1. Add Personal Examples
Something a lot of blog posts lack are personal examples. Stories that set the context for the point of the article.
For example, if I’m going to talk about a management tip I could mention a story from my days in the corporate world. Something I learned from a specific happening with my previous boss.
These stories not only add context to help the reader understand, but they also boost the word count in a way that’s not adding fluff.
2. Add External Examples
If you don’t have examples yourself you can look for external examples. You could find case studies online. You could link to someone else’s blog post where they shared an example. Or you could even reach out to folks in your company or outside your company to ask for their examples.
3. Add Quotes
I also like the idea of adding quotes. If you’ve ever seen HARO you know that a lot of writers use it to find quotes from external sources. It’s a really great way to provide value while boosting the word count of articles.
4. Co-Create The Content
Another great way to boost content length is to co-create it with someone. Let’s say there is a great topic. A big question in your industry that doesn’t have a lot of answers. You could write your own answer. Maybe that comes out to 500 words. Or you could team up with someone else in your industry. Anther expert. You each give your insight to create a post. Now it’s 1,000 words. You’d have decide who gets to publish it. Maybe they get this one and you get the next one.
5. Add Studies, Stats, Surveys, etc.
Big one here. Adding this type of information validates what you’re writing about and it can boost your word count. If you’re looking to add something like 200 or so words then find a study and add another paragraph or two while linking to the study. More value. More validation for your point. A better blog post.
6. Make A Bigger List
A 5 point list might come out around 600 words or so. But if you want to create more boost it up to 10 points, 20 points or even 100 points. The more points you have the more you challenge yourself and the more word count you get usually with just as much value. Just watch on getting too much to the point where you’re adding fluff.
7. Take The Question More Broad
Let’s say someone asks you a question. You want to answer with a blog post. You’re a dentist. They ask you what the best toothbrush is. You could give a simple answer, but maybe you really think it’s best if you provide a longer answer. A full script on not just the best tooth brush, but the best technique for brushing teeth. Something that will really help the person.
8. Include More Tools, Products and Services
Just like creating a list above, you can also increase the number of tools and outside products and services that you mention. Like the tooth brush example in the previous point. You could list one example, but you could expand it to your top ten list all with variables to help the person decide on the best one for their situation.
9. Update Old Content
Sometimes it’s good to go back and update your old content. Maybe you wrote a great post five years ago on a topic. Now things have changed. You have more knowledge. Go back and add the next content to the post. You boost the value and the word count.
10. Include More Detailed Instructions
Let’s say a person asks you how to do something. You could give them the basic steps. Or you could take it more in depth really giving them the specifics on what they need to do to see success.
The big one here if you want to write a higher word count is to focus on the right questions. If you try to turn a simple question into a long answer you’re likely going to end up with fluff. Even Neil Patel believes in shorter content. He has a great podcast where the episodes are usually about 6-8 minutes. That’s probably about ~600-800 words.
But there are great reasons to increase word counts. The methods above will help make sure you’re adding value and not fluff.