How Many Words Long Should Your Online Articles Be?

As a highly prolific online article writer, many people have asked me what is the best length for an online article? Some of the top online article directory sites believe that it is between 400 and 700 words. Most online trade journals are looking for articles in that range or slightly higher. I have noted that most news articles online are under 300 words, and often under 200. Depending on the topic and subject, many e-zines or electronic e-mail newsletter editors want to articles under 500 words, preferably under 400 words.

If you are submitting articles to online article directories, which in turn attract others to take those articles and repost them on their blogs and websites, then you must think about the individuals who will be taking those articles and reposting them, along with your byline, thus, adding more inbound links to your website. I’ve noted that my average article gets syndicated 17.8 times each, in other words, it gets reprinted in other places.

If an electronic e-mail newsletter picks it up, and they have 10,000 to 50,000 subscribers you can understand how wonderful that is. If a blog picks it up, it may be read by 300 or 400 more people, or even go viral, and all this is in addition to the number of article views which your article gets at the online directory sites where you originally posted it.

So what is the best number of words? This is a good question, and the answer is it depends. Therefore, you have to ask yourself some questions, such as;


  1. Who Is Your Article for
  2. Who Would You like to Pick up Your Article
  3. What Is Your Target Reader’s Attention Span Level


You see, the reality is that if you are writing popular articles for the Internet about relationships, dating, teeth whitening, or what Paris Hilton’s dog had for breakfast, then the attention span of that particular reader is about 18 seconds. Don’t laugh, that is a true statistic online. Therefore, you should write the minimum number of words possible, and make your articles very scannable, because no one’s really gonna read it anyway. All they are going to do is scan that article, and click on a link somewhere. Hopefully the link they click on will be the one in your byline.

The reality is there is no right and wrong answer to the number of words that any articles should be, or a certain length of article that you should write. Often, those Internet surfers with low attention spans do not like to scroll down the page, and thus, if you are writing for that crowd, you want your articles to be short. If your articles are more scientific, technical, or contain very specific industry information that people are looking for, these are the types of articles I enjoy writing, and thus, I believe your articles need to be the length it takes to explain what you’re talking about and not a word more. I hope that makes sense.

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