The numbers you use when writing a blog post can make the difference between crickets and fans. Keeping the numbers in mind as you write helps you write for the edutainment and infotainment industry. Find out why that’s important.
Are Blog Posts Edutainment, Infotainment, or Entertainment?
No, we’re not talking about current blog visitor stats or how many times you post per week. Instead, we need to look at some other numbers.
First of all, we need to acknowledge that blog posts serve as a form of entertainment. We might even call it infotainment or edutainment. If someone wants a wall of words, they purchase a book. If they want entertainment or edutainment, they’ll open a magazine with glossy photos or go to the Internet.
For hundreds of years, newspapers and magazines have included graphics of some sort. The graphics break up the text and help guide the reader through the reading experience. Researchers have discovered some interesting statistics about successful blog posts.
When you write a blog post, keep the numbers in mind.
1. Headline Numbers
Your headline needs to include action words, emotion words, and uncommon words in order to hook the reader. Just make sure that you don’t practice bait and switch. CoSchedule has a free (you’ll need to create an account first) headline analyzer that makes it easy to pick the right headline. (link to headline analyzer)
2. Sentence Numbers
In order to keep your readability level easy enough for infotainment purposes, you’ll want to vary your sentence length and avoid long, convoluted sentences. Yoast (a free plug-in for self-hosted WordPress sites) will analyze your post for readability using a variety of measurements such as an average sentence length of 20 words and the difficulty of the vocabulary.
The average American can read and write at the 3rd-grade level, and most books for grown-ups have an easy sixth-grade reading level. Think of it this way. Hardly anyone sits down to re-read their college textbooks for entertainment. They choose novels with easier reading levels.
Do your readers a favor (which will in turn bring them back for a second visit), and use a variety of sentence lengths in an easy-to-read format.
3. Section Numbers
Just 300 words in each section (not paragraph). As an English teacher, I found this number difficult to swallow. Why? Because 300 words don’t fit very well with the classic essay-writing framework. But never mind my feelings, it actually fits nicely within the framework of edutainment and infotainment.
Yoast has discovered that more people read posts that have about 300 words between each header. Yes. You need to use headers. Bonus tip—use the headers as a place to plant SEO keywords.
Once again, remember that blogs fall into the edutainment or infotainment category, and the people who read them get turned off by walls of words.
4. Graphic Numbers
According to one research study, blog posts should have one graphic for every 75-100 words if you want a better chance of having your post shared on social media. Even if you don’t do Twitter or have a Pinterest account, you need to make sure that readers can share your content easily.
Having graphics in the proper formats helps readers share (and brings you more readers organically). I use RelayThat to easily brand and resize my graphics (affiliate). I need to work on inserting more graphics, though, because I generally have three total per post, not one for every 100 words!
5. Post Numbers
The experts seem conflicted on this number. But most agree that at minimum, a post should have 300 words.
According to research conducted by HubSpot, blog posts between 2200-2500 words receive the most organic traffic (as well as social shares). Orbit Media says the average blog post length in 2019 hovered around 1250 words.
Google rewards long-form content (posts over 2000 words) because they recognize that you have authority and don’t just try to keyword-stuff a 300-word blog post (a practice of some marketers).
My advice? Publish a variety of blog posts in different lengths. Take the time to write some really good cornerstone posts that have over 2000 words. Make sure you do your SEO research and find a good headline. Include plenty of graphics, appropriate section breaks, and vary your sentence length. Do this once or twice a month.
Keep your other blog posts between 300-1200 words long. As a reader, I find it exhausting to read 2500-word posts unless I have searched for a specific answer to a question.
Keep in mind the rest of the numbers for short-form posts, too.Five key numbers to remember when preparing a blog post. Some of the numbers might surprise you. #blogger #write28days #amwriting Click To Tweet
The Numbers Matter, but…
The numbers really do matter, but they will only get you so far. With 152 million blogs out there, numbers alone won’t help you. What helps you the most as a beginning blogger? Community. Come back tomorrow for more on community.