Word Count Maximum Raised To 5000 Words

Earlier today, we raised the maximum word count accepted from 3,500 words to 5,000 words. The minimum is still 250 words. (Updated 3/1/2011 – The minimum is now 400 words.)

For the past 30 days, here are the percentages of a few word count ranges:

250-299 words: 10.2%
300-349 words: 10.7%
350-499 words: 34.2%
500-749 words: 30.9%
750-999 words: 7.6%
1000+ words: 6.4%

We’re glad to see that the majority are 350-749 words (400-750 was my previous guidance) and will be starting educational campaigns soon to encourage a 500 word count floor for several reasons…mostly relating to article quality and depth expectations from our readership. It takes an exceptional writer to craft a high quality article under 350 words.



Hi Chris!

I’m trying to follow your advice and write shorter articles because the readers prefer to read few and wise words then to spend an hour reading an article.

I don’t think that articles with more than 1200 words can have any success. Perhaps for some writers the possibility to write longer articles is very good because they can show better their work, but I don’t think they’ll be followed by many readers!

Sometimes when I write articles providing psychotherapy I think I have to write as much as possible because people need it. However I’m trying to be brief even in these articles because the readers don’t have time to read too long articles and because it’s only a matter of predisposition. If we decide from the beginning that we are not going to exceed certain number of words, we simply stop developing the subject in certain point.

I even sent today to the ezine an article about happiness with 350 words and another one about depression with exactly 500 words!

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 3:52 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

This is great because many of my papers lose their value when I cut them to make them fit into the maximum. It is too bad, so many great pieces I cut down previously. Many of them do not do justice when I cut out important stuff.

Meanwhile I believe the minimum ought to be raised to 300 words now.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:10 PM



Hi Chris

I think you should have a small word count for some classes of posts i.e. Poetry, etc.

May be you could develope a system that set a limit for each class or group?


Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:17 PM


Roy MacNaughton writes:

Hi Chris: I think this is a good idea. When I first started writing a weekly column for local newspapers and other pieces for business publications (all offline) they told me how many words I could use. Period. That’s the way this business is. They have space limitations.

This actually makes it easier. Each week I would write my column and after a few I could ‘eyeball’ the length of my piece and just ‘know’ it fit within their required parameters. Then I would check the word count just to be safe.

If you are going to be a real writer, this is just one of the rules of the game; it gets easier with practice. You should have no concern about cutting longer articles back to size. Don’t write them that long to begin with. Work to the criteria the publications sets.

p.s. I think the minimum should be at least 400 words too. Less than that is not worth spending the time (to read it…or to write it).

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:46 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

George, I agree and also recommend the same for the Humor Category. Because once the poem or joke is over, adding to it just ruins it.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 4:53 PM



Hi Chris,

I was a contributor to some of the off-line newapapers. The Editors used to tell me a good article should have 800 words. But I prefer in on-line world that should be even less.

We should remeber one thing, we are not writing articles having in mind that readers are doing research.

We should concentrate whether we are entertaining them with good, short and well-written informative aricles.

Comment provided July 9, 2007 at 9:37 PM


Chinmay Chakravarty writes:

I fully agree,Chris. You mentioned ‘depth expectations’. What are the depth expectations from ezine readers?

It’s really the ultimate to have a short article with both information and depth.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:49 AM




It’s a very subjective thing to determine what’s going to be a value to any reader — but it is very easy to spot what will most likely not be a value to any reader.

Readership satisfaction – Is the reader satisfied with your article that they come back again and again to read more… or are they bored to tears and leave in haste.

Do you deliver on the promise in your article title or are you just a big tease?

For me personally, when I read very short articles — I seek bullet points and lists of valuable nuggets of information or checklists to consider. Short articles don’t have the luxury to ramble on and on and on. They must get to the point immediately out of the gate.

For a fun experiment, go here:

And do a keyword search for something in your niche selecting to view articles with less than 300 words. At least 1 out of every 4 articles you view will most likely not meet your expectations… but this is also a great way to identify the common traits of high value, low word count articles.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 8:15 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Sometimes a very important subject can be fully discussed in 5000 words. Denying large articles of that size might deny the author an outlet. Plus there are people who do research on the Internet and might like to read a more indepth article. I am one, although I know that MOST of the humans that are surfing the Internet probably have not read that many words in one sitting in years.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 1:41 PM


Roy MacNaughton writes:

It is interesting to note that whenever you find yourself pointing your finger at someone else, there are always at least three pointing back at you.

Perhaps Lance should keep his fist closed.

If an article of 5,000 words in length is extremely well written, the people who will be best served by its content and relative value will detect that immediately and likely read it in its entirety.

But tht is not the point of Chris’ comments: this is his venue, his ‘place’ and justifiably, his rules.

If one wants to write 5,000 word articles, s/he might write an eBook , or move to another venue that accepts such. That is always that writer’s option.

But to slam those on the Internet who are not interested in wading through a 5,000-word piece, is not really fair play. There are always reasons why they won’t do so.

The bottom line here is the QUALITY of the writing, not the quantity. Anyone can write a 5,000 piece….it might be drivvel or a total waste of time reading it, but it still is 5,000 words. Perhaps Lance misjudges the readers who know a puff piece or sub-standard writing when they see one and elect to vote with their feet.

Think of this as a marketing challenge: if Chris wants his ‘service” to continue to be the top-rated online article directory and we as writers want to be a part of that top-rated status, he must set up rules to protect that sustained status.

Naturally, having a directory full of long-winded, ramblling, poorly written 5,000 word tomes will not do the trick in that department. He would be doing himself a great disservice…..the most talented writers would soon defect to other sites.

Put yourself in his shoes: this is HIS product, we are privileged to be able to participate. Period.

If I owned this site, I too would keep the

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:09 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed, I think a closed fist is smart rather than trying to smack knuckle heads up side the head with a flat hand. Thus, I will continue the fight for what is right, and allowing for a 5,000 word article on this site shows its versatility and ability to deliver to the most number of viewers with the most varied interests. Those who wish to write small articles fine, those who have larger ones, why not, there is space, that is not any issue.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:17 PM


Roy MacNaughton writes:

Reading Lance’s comments about knuckleheads
makes me ask: “why would anyone follow an act like that?”

I rest my case.

‘Nuff said.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:26 PM



//palms facing up waiting for a high five//

Do we really want 5,000 word articles? I don’t care.

Do I think email newsletter publishers who come to EzineArticles for content are going to syndicate 5000 word articles as their first choice? Most likely not.

Would we like to see authors who typically write 250-350 words move into the 500+ word category? YES. :-)

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:31 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I truly believe that the best older folks I have ever met with, typically lead by example and have enough experience, expertise and observations to serve the rest. For those I respect for they have earned it.

Before anyone condemns me, they ought to look at the scoreboard. There are writers and there are doers and on rare occassion there are doers who become writers. Those are the people I wish to follow and one Ought Not follow those who condemn on a whim. And I am confident I can write that up in under 400 words as an article to enlighten the average Internet Surfer.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:38 PM


Ulla writes:

It is an art to write good content in few words and not compel it. To write loads of word just to create a certain amount of words seems to me worthless and hard to understand the meaning with it. The most people have not time to read a long article filled with loads of word that don`t come to the point. And I think that it is time consuming to read them.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 2:39 PM



You know what? I’m having a great idea with this possibility to write an article with 5000 words! It’s going to be a free report. I’m going to write one in order to give free information that cannot be given only in few words.

I wanted to do that, but I was thinking about a small ebook. However, a free report in this Ezine will be the same thing.

Some people don’t have time to read long articles, but there are people that are looking for free information in the Internet all the time, people that want very much to read as much as they can about the subject of their interest.

They’ll love very long articles with very good content!

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 3:31 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Most of my articles are small, I would say 8,500 to 9,000 of them are under 350 words and they make up most of my 4.5 million article views. So, it would be silly for me to pretend that shorter somewhat tight articles are not the way to go for the average internet marketers. Of course, at 40 and retired, I am not marketing anything, more giving out information now. And whereas I side with Roy, Ulla, Chris and others here that, yes indeed it statistically is true to run short and sweet articles; I also realize that sometimes more indepth articles are much better to stay whole, and often the run over 1,000 words to 3,000.

I believe Christina is right. I have several things I would like to write and have written that are 5,000 words and cannot be made into a whole eBook and using the EzineArticles venue to promote these ideas or give them away, seems like a wonderful opportunity. I would say that it would not hurt anyone, by allowing the occassional 5,000 word article which will probably be less than 2-3% of the total here.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 4:23 PM



Our articles can be of many kinds, depending on the subject and our intention.
Some articles have to be big if we want to give information, advices and orientation. If we try to make them shorter they lose their essence.

On the other hand, we better write the essential in few words, because most readers don’t have time and patience to read long articles.

So, the standard shall be articles written with 500 words, but we can have many variations.
Each one can be very useful and successful if they are well done.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 5:07 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I believe 500 words is good too and another point I would like to make is that when you see 500 word or more articles, the Adsense ads seem to project more apropos ads. Has anyone else noticed this?

When the articles are at the minimum count the AdSense ads often have very little to do with the subject being discussed, meaning that some folks who might use that article for websites, may change their minds if they also know of this phenomena of the “AdSense Spider Algorythms.”

So this is yet another reason I feel that the minimum count articles, which I confess to have quite a few, may not be the most appropriate for Online Article Marketers who are looking for syndication exploits to increase their viral marketing strategies. Does that make sense?

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 5:57 PM



Very interesting observation Lance! I saw what you said too, and I thought it was intriguing because the ads must have some relation with the text where they are.

One can find many interesting details about everything when searching for them, or even by chance. There are many details we despise, but that have their importance.

Comment provided July 10, 2007 at 6:17 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

It would be interesting to find out what topics the “1000+ words: 6.4%” articles came from.

My hunch is they came from a more scholarly perspective.


Comment provided July 11, 2007 at 8:24 PM



Not only Edward. If you have to give a definition or explain which is the history of a phenomenon you cannot write only a few words about these subjects. You have to write an article around 1000 words without any doubt.

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 3:47 AM




We’d have to write a report to find out which categories those came from… but I think it’s safe to say they came from scholarly people rather than scholarly categories…

Meaning, those who are not here for marketing purposes or are totally confused about the article syndication model will be the group who writes 1000+ word articles on purpose. I can imagine a few write 1000+ word articles for marketing purposes by accident or if they fear not delivering enough depth for their topic.

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 6:27 AM



If you write an article in order to help people, you have to explain a lot. Through articles with 500 words you cannot give the same support. You can’t be brief and cold if your business is related with human support.

Besides, an author can have many purposes and write many different kinds of articles, depending on his or her intentions. You cannot say that his/her articles don’t have a marketing purpose or that this author fear not delivering enough depth for his/her topic, because his work is not the usual one.

His articles are not only promoting his business, or he cannot be superficial and write only a few words without meaning. He has to explain seriously what he is talking about.

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 10:04 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

As an experiment, last night I wrote 11 articles and I disregarded any and all word counts. Three of them were between 278 and 350 words and the rest were longer, but my point is, I simply wrote until I completed the article and made the point and gave the information. I see that if approximately 30% of my articles are under 350 and the rest higher, that I am completing my topics and meeting the spirit of the 500 word guidance. Maybe the word counts should come second to the focusing of the content and writing well. If you focus too much on word counts you may get choppy articles and that is something that the reader can tell. It takes a “A” article idea or topic and shoves it down to a “C-” and maybe this is something we too should discuss.

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 3:16 PM



The standard shall be 500 words, but we can have many variations according to the kind of article we write.

There are types that are better written with many words; there are subjects that are better expressed in only a few words. It depends of many factors!

The important is the result.
Are we are giving the messages we want to?
Are the readers accepting our ideas and our products?
Is everything working?

Comment provided July 12, 2007 at 5:46 PM


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