The Ideal Length of All Online Content (This Isn’t One of Them)

I have to confess I'm a bit of a content marketing junkie.

​I'm on the email lists of all the top content marketers, social media gurus and ​SEO experts, and get daily feeds on what's hot in the space.

​So you can imagine my delight when I happened across this post by​Kevan Lee on the Buffer blog, which outlined the perfect length for maximum engagement of various content types according to scientific research.

how long should an article be

In the comments of the post, my attention was also drawn to this great article by Andy Crestodina on the Orbit Media blog, which filled in a couple of the gaps in terms of content types – namely video and podcasts (the latter being a favoured format of my own).

The whole of Kevan's post (and Andy's), struck me as being very well written and put together, and one reader (Matt Ragland) even sketched a superb infographic of the main points:

Online Content Length

Online Content Length. Copyright Matt Ragland.

Dissension In The Ranks

Yet some of the comments also questioned the validity of Kevan's research, citing this story published in the New York Times that found content length actually had nothing to do with engagement – and that it was really the content of the, erm, content that created the buzz.

One particular commenter made the point that ‘length' of content on its own is irrelevant, as a six character domain name could for the sake of argument be something like ‘banana' (my example) – but have little to do with the context and overall content of your site, (unless you run Fyffes).

However, I think this is all beside the point. We are obviously talking in terms of context here – and in that regard all of Kevan and Andy's research holds up.

Anyway, being a conscientious member of the community, I decided to combine both of these fascinating posts into one definitive infographic (note the six word title folks!), and I've published it below in the hope it will provide some value for you.

For my own part, my own podcasts will always be longer than 22 minutes (because I find my guests so interesting), but the stuff about the length of posts, videos and tweets I found especially useful – even if I'm already breaking the ‘rules of engagement' with this very post.

Here's my infographic, if you like it you can embed it wherever you want with the code found below. (And yes, I love the combined version but there's definitely something about the character of Matt's sketched one that gives it the edge!) Have fun 🙂

Ideal Length of All Online Content

How to publish this infographic

To make it easy I've included the following code so you can embed this infographic on your own site or social media platforms. Simply cut and paste the code and you're ready to go…

This article has 6 comments

  1. Mustafa Khundmiri

    Interesting one, Loz.. I definitely agree with the email subject line and podcasts part. However, I do think 1600 words for a blogpost is a little high and producing that many words per post consistently can get a bit challenging. I feel anything above 1200+ words is good enough.

    • Loz James

      Hi Mustafa

      Yes, it’s definitely a matter of personal preference.

      I don’t mind writing posts of 1,600 words, and most of my podcasts are about 40 minutes long – so you’ve got to go with what you feel is best for each type of content.

      Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it 🙂



    • Eijaz Pardhan

      Nice article, very informative and useful as well. However, if you are going to write 1600 words content, then it will take more time than 7 minutes. What do you say?

      • Loz James

        Thanks for the kind words Eijaz

        The 7 minutes refers to average reading time, which equates to about 1600 words.

        It’s not referring to the length of time needed to write the blog post 🙂



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