What is the right length of a blog post?

A question without a definitive answer. Finding opinions from authoritative sources can also be easily obscured due to search engine optimization or even the choice of words used while searching.

I used the following search terms initially in Google and DuckDuckGo.

  • what is the right size of a blog post
  • what is the ideal length of a blog post

I then started with the term “ideal blog post”, and here are the type-ahead responses. Clearly “length” is the definitive winner in word association. My first thought was “size”, is that a technical difference?


  • ideal blog post length
  • ideal blog post length for seo
  • ideal blog post size
  • ideal blog post length 2021
  • ideal word count for a blog post
  • ideal length for a blog post
  • ideal length of a blog post
  • ideal length for a blog post

NOTE: Size mentioned only once.


  • ideal blog post length
  • ideal blog post length for seo
  • ideal blog post title length
  • ideal blog post length 2022
  • ideal blog post length for seo 2022
  • ideal blog post length 2021
  • ideal blog post length 2020
  • ideal blog post length for seo 2020
  • ideal blog post frequency
  • ideal blog posts

NOTE: Size not mentioned once. As a result the original title of my post was changed from size to length.

Search Outcomes

Using Google, which now often will provide a summarized result (known as a feature snippet) before examples of what People also ask, or ad results that are even before ranked actual results.

what is the right size of a blog post – Google

2,100-2,400 words
For SEO, the ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words, according to HubSpot data. We averaged the length of our 50 most-read blog posts in 2019, which yielded an average word count of 2,330. Individual blog post lengths ranged from 333 to 5,581 words, with a median length of 2,164 words. Mar 2, 2020

ideal blog post length – Google

about 1,500 to 2,000 words
Although your blog post length may vary depending on your topic and audience, it is often best to aim for about 1,500 to 2,000 words for articles or posts. Longer pieces seem to do better when it comes to ranking on SERPs.


I have not yet seen, nor in these examples is DuckDuckGo creating a single answer summary. Probably IMO a good thing.

what is the right size of a blog post – Bing

Branching out I was curious what other possible engines provided.

1,600 words – According to 2 sources

And then a non copy/paste answer that I had to extract from developer tools

In the infographic “ The Internet is a Zoo: The Ideal Length of Everything Online ” from Buffer, they find that the ideal blog post length is 1,600 words. But some sources think a good blog post should be even longer than that. In a Medium article, the writer says that posts with an average read time of 7 minutes captured the most attention.

According to research done by popular blogging platform, Medium, the ideal length for blog posts is 1,600 words (or seven minutes of reading). This number is based on an analysis of the “average total seconds spent on each post and compared this to the post length.”

ideal blog post length – Bing

To sum up, here’s a list of common blog posts lengths to help you find your own ideal length:

Micro content: 75–300 words. Super-short posts are best for generating discussion. They rarely get many shares on social…
Short-form content: 300–600 words. This is the standard blogging length, recommended by many “expert” bloggers. Shorter…

More …

what is the right size of a blog post – Yahoo

Above the fold, after ads and before People also ask and actual results was

For SEO , the ideal blog post length should be 2,100-2,400 words, according to HubSpot data. We averaged the length of our 50 most-read blog posts in 2019, which yielded an average word count of 2,330. Individual blog post lengths ranged from 333 to 5,581 words, with a median length of 2,164 words.

ideal blog post length – Baidu

As the homepage was all Chinese and I wasn’t sure if I should continue but I cut/pasted english and hit the button and got results in English.

The text of the first search response was something I’d not seen on any other page, so for reference apparently there are Blog styles :)

Ideal Blog Post Length for SEO Blog posts vary in length from a few short paragraphs (Seth Godin style) to 40,000 words (Neil Patel style).

What an SEO SME says

So I reached out to my most knowledgeable friend in SEO and asked them the question Without googling or searching online, based on your SME.

Q: What is the right size of a blog post?
A: You mean content length? 1500 to start, ideally more towards the 5,000 or 10,000

Q: What is the best reading time for a blog post?
A: depends – long form vs short – some times a simple paragraph is all you need. Other times you want a book.


Using what the engines provide as a single recommendation, not the top organic search result.

Source Response
Google 1,500-2,000 or 2,100-2,400 depending on question
DuckDuckGo -
Bing 1,600 (only to mention time of 7 minutes)
Yahoo 2,100-2,400
Human SEO SME 1,500

Additional Helpers

A recent edition to my short reading email summaries of useful articles is TLDR. While this is not new information the inclusion of 1 minute read, 2 minute read, 11 minute read is useful data to me in making an informed decision based on the factors at the moment. Other information that helps this example which is a newsletter is 300,000 Subscribers and 43% Open Rate. There are also other data points that help, and could narrow your audience and determine what you may consider and ideal size.

Returning to the summarized results of various search engines, only one, Bing, provided this additional measurement of time, and the answer was “average read time of 7 minutes captured the most attention.” which translated into 1,600 words.

I cannot ofter any personal validation of either of these data points, but I should perhaps start collecting it.


What is the answer? Well, only your target audience can inform you of this. The question(s) is then who is your target audience? Is your target audience who you think they are?

For the record, my last blog post was 1973 words long, and this one is 1216 words long, therefore averaging 1594 words. NOTE: These numbers were the original versions length, both of which have changed/evolved over time with additional feedback.

This leads to a more important question. How are you measuring the impact of your blog posts and how does size/length/time play a role in that?

Sidebar: Is a blog post actually the best way for people to read your content, or at least gain insights into what may be useful for your readers. Is a newsletter a better option?

Going back to the TLDR newsletter for a moment, this information can be found on the website.

  1. Highly technical audience, primarily software engineers and other tech workers
  2. 30% United States, 10% United Kingdom, 10% Canada, 25% other EU, 25% other non-EU
  3. 50% ages 25 to 34, 20% ages 18 to 24, 20% ages 35 to 44, 10% other
  4. Primary sponsors get between 1000 to 1250 clicks
  5. Developer sponsors get between 750 to 1000 clicks
  6. Subscribers from companies like: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, … (it’s interesting this is a list of logos, and what order they are in, FWIW)

I do not have access to the data so I am unable to gain more insights as to what is most read articles based on time. Hint: Interesting infographic for TLDR to publish.

I would ask how do they know point 1 and point 3 of my information without additional data mining providing this detail? I provided an @gmail email address, and my location can be determined via IP.

Can a picture replace a text description?

Data visualization, data storytelling, and data lineage are all ways to better describe and visualize a specific situation for a set of data. Generally, I find these techniques are used as a means to uncover or identify information that ultimately pertains to individuals. For example how many sales have we made across time/location/business unit? How many customers do we have? How many social media photos has a person provided over a period of time? Unfortunately, this is not the kind of data that I feel has real-world meaning to me. It doesn’t describe the advancements made in the biomedical field to help fight disease, it doesn’t tell us the amount of energy that we have saved or the amount of energy that we failed to collect and the impact that has locally and globally on our world, or it doesn’t describe valuable human experiences in history about people and places. I find this value in data visualizations of others.

During a recent vacation, I thought about the impact of the visualization of my experiences and just how much information was not collected, and how much information was collected but is of average or poor value or is extremely valuable. How hard it was to collate even what I had collected, and to who or what the value of this information is? While these are personal experiences and not that of a commercial organization, Google certainly informed me of how many people were viewing a public image I uploaded and a comment I made of an iconic Australian location and food.

Inaccessible value in a text description

I recently caught up with a very dear friend. She had lost her husband 10 years ago after more than 50 years of marriage. He kept a written diary every year since 1946, starting a year after the end of world war II that he served it.

So from 1946 to 2012, that is 66 years, there is a wealth of information that includes personal feelings, expectations, and perhaps thoughts about what is going well and what’s not going well. It would also include valuable information about the world view from a very intelligent and influential individual. These diaries are still located today on the same shelf in the same office they have for the short 25 years I was aware.

To draw a conclusion to the question with a data analogy. A single copy, in a single location of un-indexed information, which first-hand sources know has unlocked potential. It is also an immutable and finite time capsule. It would also IMHO contain great value in feelings, emotions, family, and history that is important to a small community. Could a picture represent this data?

A picture

Whilst traveling I used my camera as a means to record the experiences that I was having with my family. I am a photographer and not a videographer so my expression is a picture rather than a video and optionally audio. Sidebar, we did give our child a diary for this vacation to write in, however the attempt to build this new habit only lasted 2 days. Forming new habits can be hard.

But can a picture relay adequate information to describe when and where this photo was taken, why it was taken, how I felt, who I was with, what did it inspire, how did it make me think about related experiences in the past.

Today there is technology now that can take a picture and describe the contents, effectively it could create a summarized description of the picture. With additional metadata such as Exif data where you can extract more details such as time and location. With machine learning you can do picture comparison to identify locations even if location was not specified with the photo.

You can now have AI create an image from a description, if only my Dall-E-2 account would not keep crashing I would try it out.

A picture on its own only contains some value. If you collect all this information and combined with other sources, for example when I used my phone and not my camera, this is stored use google photos. This company can use this information to create a timeline of where you were, when you were there, perhaps you were with and combined with all the sources this company has such as your Google calendar, and Gmail it can and does create a timeline much like the timeline you see in social media platforms such as Facebook if you are regularly user of such a platform.

So we have not a picture, but a collection of pictures, including those not taken or owned by yourself, combined with other structured and unstructured data that can provide an improved timeline.

In comparison in data visualization there is usually a time component for most data. Animated data visualizations which can be awesome usually represent data across time.

Example pictures

Let me give you some simple images as an example and I’ll add some information that is not included in the photos specifically what is available in today’s modern technology such as GPS location. First my existing EOS 5D camera does not provide that information and second I do not enable that on my phone because I want to keep that information private and Google does not provide a capability that would enable me to store personal information but do not share that information for consumption by for example use that information for other machine learning capabilities.


I had never seen an emu roaming in the wild in Australia before this trip. From a conversation with a friend on a different topic did she provide information that driving between Jeriderie and Narandera you will find emus in the wild. Indeed we did multiple times on this specific highway without having to randomly goto some isolated place hoping for the same outcome.

This is a truly unique animal without only an ostrich looking similar.
Emu in nature, NSW Australia

AWS Rekognition output with values >90% categorize this photo with Antelope, Animal, Mammal, Wildlife, Bird, Sheep, with parents categories of Wildlife, Mammal, Animal. Well that is horribly wrong. An Antelope has 4 legs, this clearly has 2. An Emu is not a Mammal.

AWS Rekognition Response – August 2022. Larger version

That was so bad (and unexpected) I wanted to give the technology another chance with a different emu pic.
Emu in nature, NSW Australia
This time AWS Rekognition output with values >90% describe this photo with Bird, Animal, Emu, Sheep, Mammal, and at 88% Antelope and Wildlife. So if you get Emu (that has two legs), why would you say Sheep which is 4 legs and not a bird? And if you said Emu and Bird, why would you then select Antelope, also with 4 legs, but so not a Bird.

AWS Rekogintion Response – August 2022. Larger version.

Feeling a bit duped by technology, I tried Google Image search next. The first image was recognized as “Tasmanian Emu”. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but it did say Emu and all other related visual matches were Emu. I was surprised it only picked 3 of the 4 animals in the first pic.

The second image was recognized as “Tasmanian emu”, “Emu” and “Common ostrich”. Doh!


This next image I was confident AWS Rekognition would be spot on. It’s even a more unique animal, and there are no grass or obstacles to obscure the animal. Boy was I wrong.

Platypus in nature, Eungella QLD Australia

AWS Rekognition output with values >90% describe this photo with Wildlife, Animal, Mammal and at 87% Hippo. It is true that a Hippo is a mammal, and you do find them in water, but?

Platypus in nature, Eungella QLD Australia
Finding an even more evident picture that anybody would recognize, well the software could not. Wildlife, Animal, Mammal. At 85% Lizard, Reptile and Otter. A lizard is not a mammal?

This post is starting to turn into a self proposition even more than I thought.

Had I provided GPS, it would have said Eungella, QLD and any more additional searching would show that it’s a popular destination for finding a Platypus in nature. In-fact a precise GPS location would give the name literally as “Platypus Deck”. here. A human would quickly articulate this by reading text from basic online searches.

Would AWS Rekognition discount values responses if it could know the precise location or even the country. Somehow I feel not.

For what it’s worth, a Google Image Search of Platypus yields tons of pictures AWS should use in it’s recognition validate and ML model.

What this image does not say with whom I was traveling with, that is a local of the area and his comment that in 20 years I’ve not seen platypus as easily and playful as this. It would not describe that on social media, many locals were surprised with the quality of images and videos. It would also not describe what the video shows, how they dive and then burrow into the muddy water using their bill, then rise to the surface and dive again.

Trying Google Image search again, the first image yielded platypus which it is. For the second image, google found no results. Again, I was rather shocked in comparison to the images of platypus a Google Image search shows and the fact this second image showed more detail IMO.

If I correctly label this image with alt text as a platypus, will Google Image search in future show this within search results, or will the output of correct recognition improve at a later time.

Other animals

At this time I decided to give up on animals. An echidna is a unique animal unlike almost any other, a quokka is also, but does resemble a small kangaroo. I do have a hippo, I’ll have to try that out.

Other images

I decided to try some more easier images and I was again overall disappointed and therefore decided to stop adding content here after these two images.

Surfers during summer waves in Oahu

AWS Rekognition above 90% accuracy was Sea, Ocean, Water, Nature, Outdoors, Person, Human, Surfing, Sea Waves, Sport, Sports.
Google Image search gave the first visual response as Viewing summer Swells on Oahu, which is spot on. It was Oahu, not Maui (wonders if I have a surfer image from Maui), and it was more importantly in Summer and not winter which has much larger waves.

Finally I tried to pick one of the most uniquely observable images that you will only find in one location and this image also included readable text.
U.S.S Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor Hawaii

AWS Rekognition above 90% was Flag, Symbol, Watercraft, Vessel, Vehicle, Transportation, Waterfront, Water, with Ferry and Boat being 88%. Rather shocked it could not pull out not 1 but 2 specific and clear areas of text and used this. The visible text is “U.S.S ARIZONA MEMORIAL” and “USS ARIZONA BB 39″.

Google Image search described this image as the Pearl Harbor National Memorial which is exactly what it is (in summary).

Even a picture of the Sydney Opera House, a truly unique building did not yield the result of Sydney via AWS Rekognition.

I look forward to this post being indexed to see if Google can give the source of the image as my site. I am also going to have to look into Google APIs for image recognition rather then the very slow and painful web browser option.

In conclusion

To return to the question of this post. Can a picture replace a text description? In short, no. A picture can summarize and quickly convey meaning simply because of how our mind processes visuals but it cannot replace a full text description.

In these examples I would expect almost every reader to be about to summarize these images more accurately, whereas (accessible) machine learning has a very long way to go. Even with location information, only some people would be able to add additional value or better infer an initial description, however all the information I could convey that is of applicable value is not within the picture itself. You cannot interpret additional meaning and value without more context, or without intrinsic knowledge. Using the surfers example, you can find waves used by surfers all around the world. In Oahu specifically in summer, surfable waves are infrequent and small, whereas in winter apparently they are very different.

With data storytelling, a data visualization is going to provide a similar outcome. Better visualizations will contain color and legends that visually describe information more clearly. They will also offer additional insights in creative ways, such as magnifications or clear differentiators. Should photographs as these shown here, automatically contain further context that is shown just in the image. Should image recognition automatically suggest titles that can be further edited by the author? Should an audio summary of the image be able to be recorded with the image? Should any single picture use context of other pictures around locality or time or similarities in the view to build a better picture. It is interesting to consider how technology could improve to provide greater value to the consumer.

How much text is needed is an entirely different question. Is the saying “A picture is worth a 1,000 words” approximately accurate?

Even a complex picture that takes months to review all the detail does not replace a full text description. If you would like an example for comparison checkout the “L. Tellier Kitchen Poster”. A piece of art that I own.