Is Longer Really Better? How Focused and Comprehensive Content Ranks Better

How long does it take to write a long form article?

Let’s do some calculations.

Let’s say you write an article that is is 2,300 words long. That’s the average length of my articles.

The average typing speed is 40 words per minute.

If you type without stopping, you’ll be wrapping up the article in just under an hour — 57.5 minutes to be exact.

But obviously it doesn’t work like that.

You’re not writing a bunch of words! You’re writing a well-researched article!

According to, 2,300 words comes out to about 5 pages.


A well-researched, five-page article requires exponentially more time.

According to research from Estipaper, it would take almost seven hours to write a paper of that length!

And since the average worker is only productive for three hours a day, producing an article like that could take all day Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday!

In our experience, there are some great writers out there who can produce content in way less time.

Their “secret” is using a combination of raw skill, intense focus, and a familiarity with the subject matter.

There’s a helpful thread on that discusses the topic.

Here’s the question:  How long does it take you to write an in-depth article (1,500+ words)?


The people who responded to the thread are probably somewhat experienced with writing and marketing.

I went through the responses and boiled them down to just the numbers, summarized below.

Keep in mind that without all the discussion and context within people’s answers, these numbers can easily be misunderstood.

There are so many variables (native language, distractions, subject matter, research level, knowledge level, etc.) that looking at raw numbers can paint a false story.

However, it does help to look broadly at how long it takes people to create long form (1,500 words) content. (When a respondent says “days” in their reply, I calculate a day as 8 hours.)

Here are twenty-nine individual answers to the question, “How long does it take to write 1,500 words?”

  • 4-8 hours
  • 2-3 hours
  • 7-9 hours
  • 11-12 hours
  • 1.5-47.5 hours
  • 16 hours
  • 2-3 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 4 hours
  • 3 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 4-40 hours
  • 7-8 hours
  • 28-56 hours
  • 6-12 hours
  • 20 hours
  • 8 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 12 hours
  • 3-5 hours
  • 4-5 hours
  • 2-8 hours
  • 2-3 hours
  • 3 hours
  • 6-8 hours
  • 8-12 hours
  • 2 hours

Keep in mind that most of these numbers include the whole process — research, writing, editing, posting, etc.

For some of these, the research phase is the most time-consuming. In order to write a great article on a deep topic, you have to really master that topic.

Doing so requires a lot of research. For some of the writers in the discussion, that phase takes them days.

  • The average writing time (calculated by maximum time) is 10 hours.
  • The average writing time (calculated by minimum time) 7.6 hours.

Some people are a lot faster, obviously. But some — including some of the most respected professionals in the field — are slower.

There is an interesting summary of responses at

Kevan Lee at Buffer can bust out a long form article in 2 hours and 58 minutes. Here are some of his times:


Google doesn’t care about word count. They care about three other things.

Longer content has more backlinks.


Longer content has more organic traffic.


Longer content has a higher social engagement (the Y axis below shows engagement metrics):

And — this is the kicker — longer content typically has higher SERP ranking:


Most SEOs take this information and think, “Oh! I need to write more!

So, like the discussion above, they work hard (and long) to write more content.

This is where I caution you against wasting your time.

You can’t expect to simply write more content and get all the good stuff — higher ranking, more backlinks, increased social sharing, and enhanced social engagement.

Instead, you need to write better content.

“Better” content is typically longer, yes.

But it’s more than just length. In fact, the real reason for high-ranking content isn’t the length of the content at all.


By | 2017-03-17T09:20:48+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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