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Why are the most successful internet articles 300-500 words long?

Updated on May 28, 2014
trotter2099 profile image

I have been a chef for the last 10 years but I enjoy writing as a hobby. I really enjoy writing for Hubpages because it is fun

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Internet articles

Short Articles Are More Successful

There is a very simple answer to this and it is based in the subjects of Psychology, Economics and Physical tolerance.

The main reason that the most successful articles online are 300-500 words long is that Internet users want information now! They want to be able to find an answer to a question quickly so that they can get on with their busy days. Internet users want information in a much summarised way because they cannot sit about all day reading articles because they have busy days ahead of them. If a person has to read over 1000 words they are going to lose interest very soon and click on to the next article hoping to find the information that they require in a smaller chunk.

The second reason why internet articles tend to be 300-500 words long is that staring at a computer screen for a long length of time can damage a person’s eyes. If you cannot use your eyes you cannot fully appreciate the power of the internet. There are now screens that are technologically designed so that they do not cause eye strain but these tend to be expensive pieces of equipment so there are not that many internet users out there who use them. If we blind our readers there will be no repeat custom.

Thirdly it is because the internet is full of information. You can find out pretty much anything that you wish to find out if you know exactly what you are searching for. Economically speaking it would be a bad idea for somebody who writes online articles for a living to write 1500 word essays about their chosen topic because people would not bother to read past the first sentence. Basically I am saying that your average internet user has the “attention span of a Nat”. Consider the fact that most people who use the internet are between the ages of 13 and 25 you must break down the information into entertaining and manageable pieces otherwise they will not bother to finish reading your article and will move on to another website.

Those of us who write articles for the online audience tend to keep them between 300 and 500 words long so that people can easily digest the information that we are providing and so that we do not cause them to go blind or get bored.

The internet audience likes their information to be broken down into small, easy to manage chuck so that they can glean the information that they need and then get on with their day. Affiliate marketers make great use of this because they are able to churn out 400 word reviews about the latest product that people will devour easily and then but that product through a link provided by the author of the article or even the author of a blog post.


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    • onlinecashdigest profile image

      onlinecashdigest 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I beg to disagree on this one....long articles that are well written and uses Headings on every subtopic of the article provides good and organized information on readers.

      Longer articles are also more SEO friendly.

      In the end, the correct length depends on the topic of the article. And a rule of thumb is to write for the readers and not for the SEO alone.

    • trotter2099 profile image

      trotter2099 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I agree that we shouldn't have to dumb down our articles, but for our articles to be read we do need to be very to the point. That doesn't mean we have to leave out vital information just that we have to cut out a lot of the waffle that enters into articles and keep them concise.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 6 years ago from New Jersey

      I think you are correct, because I often get comments to shorten my hubs. But I like to research my topics in depth. Why should I have to dumb down what I write for people who have the attention span of a fruit fly? If we all dumb down our hubs and leave out important facts, HP will be filled with crap, and short articles about the same old boring topics, much like the ones that the "leaders" of HP write. They are very light on content, IMHO.

    • profile image

      Reena J 6 years ago

      It's very clear. Articles that are simple, precise and easy to read are preferred by readers.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      I agree, that's how I am.


    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 6 years ago from US of A

      Thanks for following your own advice. I was able to get the gist of your article in no time. Like most of the netizens out the, I want to get to the meat of the article quickly.