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How many words

One of the things that many writers struggle with is finding the appropriate amount of words to write for their piece. Articles can be tough because they are meant to be short. My personal theory is that an article for a blog post or website should not be more than 1200 words. What are your thoughts?


  • As a freelance writer, I can definitely understand the value of setting a limit on how many words you are going to write for a website or client. If you don't, you can easily be taken advantage of. 

    I, myself, wouldn't mind writing more than 1200 words for a client, but it has to be for a client that has paid on time with smaller pieces of content. I also would expect adequate compensation as well.
  • It depends on your target audience, the style, the site that you're hoping will buy it, etc. Writing a 4,000-word academic article is no use if you're selling to Cosmopolitan, and a 500-word enthusiastic promo is no use if you're writing for a serious medical periodical, for example.

    In general, articles sell in the 250-650 range. Anything over 500 words is more specialised and requires a more patient audience (i.e. not BuzzFeed, though even they sometimes do it).

    Personally, I think the tone has as much importance as the length. If you're writing something long, you need to keep the momentum, the pace, and reader interest; if it's a short piece you need to grab them, shake them hard and assault them with strong ideas.
  • I will agree with @SpikeWyatt. The type of articles depends on your audience and whether they will make the investment in your article (whether in time, money, or both). As a rule, you want to adhere to SpikeWyatt suggested about 250-650 words. People on the Internet usually scan, so this provides just enough content for that. When you go above that range, you're going into specialized knowledge territory.

    If you are writing for a client (like a magazine or blog), you want to stay within the range they already have (unless you have something really exceptional). This is what the audience and client are used to and what they will respond to most. 
  • edited August 2015
    The only time I really write a 300 word article is when I am doing a review or something very specific. My articles usually range between 600-800 words because I do a lot of list format pieces. My articles usually cover 5 to 10 of whatever I am writing about and the descriptions of each thing are brief.
  • I have been writing for nearly a decade now and have worked with different clients with different requirement. My current clients want only 325 word articles. They believe that the attention span of an online reader is brief. So I have been asked to keep my articles short, simple, lucid and precise.

    I agree with @SpikeWyatt, keep the word count range between 250-500. However, have subheads and bullet points to make it easier for the readers. Also use simple language so the readers understand what you are trying to convey.Catchy title also matters but it must match the contents. Always give a summary towards the end, its important.
  • Ya, this range seems to be very appropriate. 

    May be, it is best to write articles in this range and I will stick to it, but I have actually seen blogs that contain very very long articles, like more than 5000 words many times. I have read them patiently and like me so many commentators are there, so they are also reading that stuff too, but the articles are quite unique and informative, but yes, I guess, it is best to stick to this range(250-500) generally.
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