What Should Be My Word Count?
Wow. That’s a broad question. There are so many variables. What size page? What size type? What are the margins? Is the text justified? Do you hyphenate? Are there images? Are there other graphic elements? Single-spaced? Double-spaced? Does your copy use long words like “antidisestablishmentarianism” so common in more technical writing that take up more space? Or do you talk more about “cats” in your copy?
With that said, let’s look at a few examples to give you an idea of how many words to estimate when you’re writing text for a specific space.
The basic letter-sized sheet (U.S. letter):
A good general rule is a standard letter-size sheet with 1” margins all around using a typical font such as Times New Roman at 12pt type will hold about 500 words. And not surprisingly, a half-page of text in the same scenario would be about 250 words.
A print ad:
We all hope that our budgets allow for full page ads. But that does NOT mean a full page of text. If you’re writing a full page of text for an ad, you’re writing too much. And unless it is an advertorial in an industry-specific publication, your audience is not reading it.
There are so many different layouts, and so many variables, this question gets harder to answer. Here are just a couple of examples, however.
If your design and copy are developed together, they should work fairly seamlessly. But, ultimately, the ideal word count will depend on the design, your message, and the type of document you are creating.