At first I didn’t give much thought to word counter tools when I began writing content for the Web. However, after registering at several Web 2.0 sites, I realized that this would be an important part of my online writing strategy. Unfortunately, I’ve never been a fast enough writer to compose directly on the Web 2.0 sites themselves – by the time I have my thoughts collected and organized, my browser times out and I lose whatever I’ve entered in the form.
Obviously the solution to this problem is to compose online content in advance. This not only solves the browser time-out problem – but also provides the opportunity to more carefully choose keywords while writing. This can make a big difference in how well optimized the content is for search engines and web directories. Regardless of which type of editing tool you prefer (see word counter resources below), it’s helpful to have a rough idea of the word count and character count guidelines that most Web 2.0 sites ask you to follow.
Article Submission Web Sites – Suggested Word and Character Count
Main Story – To ensure that submitted content provides some value to readers, most article submission sites suggest a word count of at least 250 for the main story. Although some sites allow a maximum count as high as 5000 words, most content publishers write between 300 and 500 words.
Titles and Summaries – In addition to your main story, most article submission sites ask for a title and summary of your work. You can check at the web site itself for specific guidelines, but as a general rule, your target count for titles should be around 50-100 characters (not words). For summaries, you’ll find most web site guidelines suggest 100-200 characters.
Social Bookmarking Web Sites – Suggested Word and Character Count
Main Description or Summary – This should be a brief overview of the article you are reviewing. Most sites limit this copy to somewhere around 500 characters. However, a well-written summary can often be only 200-300 characters.
Titles – Similar to article submission sites, the titles you provide to a social bookmarking site are usually limited to 100 characters