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  1. #1
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    How long should a good article be?

    Is there a certian length of an article that is preferred by readers. Basicle which is better, Short or long?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict dbr's Avatar
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    That all depends on your article, the audience, and what you are trying to say.
    Basically you should cut anything and everything out that does not really contribute.
    If it is a particularly long article, summaries are sometimes useful to give a quick overview and let the reader determine if they want or need to read deeper.
    Following word limit guide lines are always good when they exist. Otherwise, I do my first draft which basically captures all my thoughts. Then I read, edit, refine several times before I'm satisfied with the final piece if it's an important piece.

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist asprookie's Avatar
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    I've had long articles written by competent writers spread over 5-8 pages, articles that were previously published in print and most readers don't go to the 5th page.

    The answer is short and 1 page.

    A lenghty in-depth article that can't be shortened to 1 page should be separated into multiple sub-topics, all hyperlinked from the first page.

  4. #4
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    What medium would your article be published? What topic is the article on? I think those are two very important factors that would affect your article length and content.
    Sara

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    short is always better than long if it conveys the same information
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Member kissedbymysweety's Avatar
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    Just say what you have to say, don't drag it out too long... People get bored!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member CoolCopy's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a specific word count, it's been my experience that the average reader won't bother past about 500 words. Of course, that changes if you are tageting a very targeted group of readers, in a very specialised niche; then longer content is generally acceptable.

    Hope that helps
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast Mike Newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCopy View Post
    If you're looking for a specific word count, it's been my experience that the average reader won't bother past about 500 words. Of course, that changes if you are tageting a very targeted group of readers, in a very specialised niche; then longer content is generally acceptable.

    Hope that helps
    I agree. As mentioned, it is all relative to your audience, market, etc. I usually break long articles down into 2 or 3 parts for my particular niches.

  9. #9
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    I was going to say same thing. 500 worded article is your normal/average looking article. I never go beyond that number when I write myself or sometime I hire someone to do it.

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    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    I don't bother too much with the leghth. If I have lots to say in an article, I'll make it long, if the information is more condensed, it will be short.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast Kevin_R's Avatar
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    Like anything, there are a lot of variables. Intended audience. Reason for writing the article. The list goes on and on.

  12. #12
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    I think that 200 words are minimum. It depends what do you want to tell. Don't think to much about number of words, just try to tell what you want on the best way

  13. #13
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    Id go with short. Def keep it on 1 page if possible. I make sure my posts on my blog are at least 100 words though. Im also lazy so you can take that into consideration.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers View Post
    I was going to say same thing. 500 worded article is your normal/average looking article. I never go beyond that number when I write myself or sometime I hire someone to do it.
    I agree with that. i usually try to stay within 500 words. A longer article may appear challenging and intimidate people.

  15. #15
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Length of an article shouldn't be an issue. An article should be long enough to sufficiently cover a topic. You can keep your readers interested by formatting articles to your advantage.

    Make sure your headings are eye-catchers. Especially if the article is going under the "fold", try to put a new heading just above the fold to draw the reader's attention to the next section. Do the same with bulleted lists, blockquotes, or add an image to draw the reader's focus down the page.

    Divide longer articles into more than one page, but when you do, be sure you make the first page lead into the second with a point they won't want to miss. Don't use single blank words like "more" or "next" as your page lead-in. Use something like "next: interesting point that you won't want to miss" -- except of course replace the words after next with the interesting point your readers won't want to miss.

    I actually like dividing articles into pages because it gives me the opportunity to get my readers clicking in the direction I want them to go.
    Linda Jenkinson
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  16. #16
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    Long or short it doesn't matter to me. If it short I will skim it. If its long I will skim it. lol I wouldn't worry about the length just get what points you want across.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast btcollins's Avatar
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    Word Count

    It has been my experience that most article directories have at least a 300 word minimum.

    If your article goes over 1000 words you should split it up into sections.

  18. #18
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    if the purpose of the article is to communicate something, then the question is how short should it be

    as short as necessary, but no shorter

    perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away

    however, if the purpose of the article is not to communicate but something else (e.g. to act as a "medium" for the conveying of advertisements) then it doesn't matter how long it is

    you could pad it right out with nonsense, carry it over to page 2, page 3, and so on

    hey you could even serve different ads on subsequent pages!

    excuse me i hafta go write some articles...


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  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast EmLiam's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Points

    I prefer to read article with listing (1, 2, 3,...), which I feel is more clear (to the point) and brief.
    Last edited by EmLiam; Jan 17, 2008 at 07:28. Reason: addition

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard angilina's Avatar
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    500 words

  21. #21
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    I think it's good for around 600 words.
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  22. #22
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    A good article, especially for blogs, must be at least 250 words to 500 words.
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    My articles are as long as they need to be. I edit for concision to shorten them as much as I can while still conveying the same amount of ideas. If my article's too long for some people to read through, they weren't my audience.

    My articles tend to focus on science, language, philosophy, theology, and history so they are as complex as needed to address a topic. The intended audience includes those with the passion to read fairly complex works to get a deeper understanding, or appreciation for different perspectives on an issue. As such, my approach might not work in your situation.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot Jim Beam's Avatar
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    If you have a good article, really good. Even in this case don't hold it for months. I think the best is a week...

  25. #25
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    I think it depends. 500 words is your average length and maybe should not cross 1000.


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