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There has been a lot of debate and confusion over the years about how long a free reprint article should be. The people I’ve talked to who had this question had heard different ideas about “the best” word count for an article. Some had heard shorter was better. Others told me they heard search engines had a minimum word count requirement for a web page to “count” and going beyond that minimum word count was a waste of time. Still, other people I know, write very long articles without any concern for their appeal to publishers or readers.

So, amid all this confusion, what is the perfect length for an article submission?

I think 600 to 800 words is a good length to shoot for. That gives you enough room to provide helpful information on a topic without making the article so long that you lose the interest of the reader.

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering word counts of articles:

1. Your articles must pass the approval of publishers. It’s not enough just to write an article and submit it – article directories and other websites have editors who review the articles before they are approved for publication. If your article does not meet the basic requirements, the article will be declined. Word count is one of those basic requirements.

2. Your articles must be appealing to readers. If your article is extremely long, it can be a turn-off for people who are simply looking for the answer to a question. Most people don’t want to take the time to wade through a 2,000-word article to extract the information they need. Keeping your article to a manageable length allows people to find the help they need as quickly as possible. You also benefit, because the more helpful your article is to readers, the more potential visitors your website will receive.

3. Search engines are not as important as the actual people who will be reading your articles. Search engines are really just trying to evaluate which content on the Internet has the best chance of answering the various questions and searches people type into the search box. Instead of gearing your word count just to reach the minimum that a search engine would require, focus on creating articles that will be helpful to readers.

4. Word count isn’t everything. Most publishers will have a minimum and maximum word count they will allow but, aside from the number of words, the article must contain valuable information. Your goal is not just to create an article in the 600- to 800-word range. Your goal is to create a unique and original article that provides useful information and is written in a way that is easy to understand.

You don’t have to look too far on the Internet to find sub-par content that looks like it was written without any thought. You’ve probably seen content that appeared to be written more for search engines than for real people, and you’ve wondered what the author was thinking by producing such nonsense.

I’d like to encourage you to have a, much more long-term concept of the value of the article submissions you create. Taking the time to write a 600- to 800-word quality article that really provides helpful information to readers will pay off in the long run in multiple ways.

Your article will be attractive to the most publishers possible and, as a result, the article will generate the most backlinks possible. Additionally, the article will serve as a helpful resource for readers and a source of direct traffic to your website for many years.

It helps to keep in mind that article marketing is about more than just building links. It can be an effective form of communication, and it brings you and your business to the attention of potential customers. It allows you to help the people your business is geared toward. People are much more likely to trust you with their business if your article has helped them in some way.

Word count is a necessary aspect of creating content that publishers and readers can use. Keep it at the back of your mind and do a word count check before finishing your article. It’s not the only point of consideration when evaluating your content, but working within a word count limit is a discipline that will benefit both you and your readers.


Steve Shaw is a content syndication specialist. Do you own a blog? Need content? Join thousands of other blogs and get free high-quality, niche-focused, human-reviewed content from quality authors sent on auto-pilot – and it’s all 100 percent free. Go to http://www.autoblogit.com/ for more information.

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