White is a powerful color.
It’s a dilemma that many attorneys face. After deciding to start a blog for their law firm, after setting up the website and making it look how they want, and right after putting together the landing pages and the other core elements of a legal website, attorneys sit down to break ground on their first blog post.
What should I write about? How should I sound? How much do I write? Do I just jump right in? How can I make it do a lot for search engine optimization?
The color white has the ability to make inexperienced or even struggling writers feel overwhelmed and inadequate. How much to write is a common dilemma for new legal bloggers. Here’s what we consider best practice at Myers Freelance.
How Much Should You Write in a Blog Post?
Of course, it depends on the topic and your firm’s style. However, we use one guideline, and one rule for blog post length.
- The guideline is to write 500 words, plus or minus 10%. This leads to our blog posts falling within the range of 450 – 550 words.
- The rule is that no blog post should have fewer than 300 words.
The rationale behind the rule is simple, but the guideline is a little more nuanced.
300 Words Minimum
The reason why we never write blog posts under 300 words is simple: Google penalizes what it considers to be “thin” content, and search engine marketers have found that webpages under 300 words tend to fit this bill. This penalty can severely impact your search rankings, so it can be worse to write a post under 300 words than it is to not write the post, at all.
450 – 550 Word Range
There are several reasons behind the 450 – 550 word range for our blog posts. It’s reader-friendly, writer-friendly, and even topic-friendly. It’s just a friendly range.
First off, 500 words is typically a full, single-spaced page. It takes under 5 minutes for most people to read from top to bottom, which is what online readers are looking for. Aiming for something in this vicinity will be enough for your readers to get a better understanding of your topic, without getting bored or overwhelmed.
One of the lesser-known benefits of writing blog posts and aiming for approximately 500 words is that it forces you to write concisely. If you blabber on too much, you’ll hit your targeted word count before you’ve even started to delve into the subject. Having a word count range, rather than a simple goal of 500 words, also grants you some flexibility, so you’re not worried about hitting the number exactly. It gives you some leash to write until you’re done.
Lastly, aiming for around 500 words in a post makes you pick a suitable topic for a blog. You can’t write about criminal procedure in 500 words. Keeping that word count in your head before you decide what to write about will make you pick something smaller, that you can effectively cover in that amount of time.