Do Most Readers Only Read Two Paragraphs of a Post?

Here’s an interesting apparent fact I read recently for all my readers. Apparently most blog readers (around 90%) only read about two paragraphs in a regular post whether they are interested in the topic or not. I found this interesting as most of my posts on my blogs are well and truly more than that.

If this is true, does that mean bloggers should be designing our posts for the people who just skim read posts unless of course they are the unusual ones like myself who actually read peoples posts fully? By the online survey it read that most people will skim, pause at images, then read around them, then skim to the end picking up keywords. Should I be writing shorter posts I wonder, except for the fact how do get all my information into two paragraphs. Either way it certainly gives me something to ponder?

Update On Readers and How Much They Read – 2013 Edition Addition

Hey All, I wanted to do an update on this topic because over the years many aspects have changed. Now as research suggests readers want more content and less ads on page. So a perfect page is at least 5 to 6 paragraphs minimum and broken up to help them read them as well. The truth is still a lot of readers will skim, but it is the the ones that do not that are of big value to your long term sites traffic and success. So there is no no specific amount. As for search engines and there competitiveness they are after much more content, but less weighty content, so lots of content with less titles and less keyword density is what they are looking for.

Overall, to keep your reading interested images and lures need to be used to keep them moving down the page, videos help as well, or luring them to a solution in writing to you point further down the page, this can increase readership of the more than two paragraph rule as well.

Another tip to note is paying attention to stats in analytic’s really helps to break down what the readers are doing, modify your content to see improvements and keep at it. These are all elements at play here, so to the saying they only read a little it is true to the value a post or page represents. Make it more valuable, more engaging and see how your bounce rate improves and then you know you are on the right track.


  1. Luca Di Nicola says

    Hi Timon,
    With Twitter (micro blogging) becoming more and more popular it’s easy to understand why people are saying that they will skim posts. I still believe that a blog should give good and valuable content as yours does and make it as lengthy as neccesary. Of course it’s also O.K. to make short posts depending on the topic
    Keep up the great work

  2. Hey Luca,
    Yeah I agree, it fully depends on the topic.

  3. Update – Looks like a lot more readers are reading more which is good, it appears that the trend of reading only a small amount is more so for the readers that are not so much interested in the topic as well. If a good topic with lots of pictures or videos then that should definitely spruce up these numbers.

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