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The Best Length For Articles

By Expert Author: William Thomas

There is no firm answer to the question of how long an article should be. There are, however, some principles you can follow.
For the most part, it's more difficult for people to read on a screen. Our eyes don't want to spend as much time reading online as we can do in print. We also have more distractions online. It's very tempting (as I'm sure you know) to click around and visit more sites. So your best bet is to keep things short.
How short is appropriate? A good idea is to keep things to about 300-500 words. Most people can read that in a few minutes, so it will keep their attention.
It will be even more effective if you take those 300-500 words and divide them into 2 or 3 sections with subheadings. This gives people the feeling of starting something new, and it sort of "resets" their attention span.
Even if a topic requires more in-depth attention, be careful not to go much beyond 1,000 words. For those more involved articles, something more like 700-900 words is appropriate. You can cover a lot more information in that span than you'd think. This article, for instance only has about 400 words.
The Importance of Location
Where you publish is just as important when considering article length as the topic you're writing about. If you're writing to promote your business (article marketing) and you're choosing sites like this one, or Yahoo Voice, then you'll be looking at a minimum of 400 words. That's partly because these sites are meant to inform (and create back links, of course).
If you're working on a site like HubPages, you can afford to go a bit longer. Readers there expect more thorough informative articles. HubPages isn't necessarily meant for heavy multimedia or affiliate linking. So you can feel free to go more in-depth and shoot for something 700 words or more. (Bear in mind, you have no need to write this much, if your topic doesn't need it.)
Sites like Squidoo are perfect for videos, pictures, links, and affiliate links. The text is important, no doubt, but you might actually have more success with less text and more videos and pictures. For Squidoo, you can shoot for 300 words, which can be combined across different text modules.
These are general guidelines, which you can adjust as you see fit, but it should help you get going.

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