For Better Blogging, Write Long And Short

The Smarter Message for Better Business and SalesThere are lots of opinions about the best length for blog posts. Since you’re writing primarily for readers, the value of your post should be your main concern. Not its length. In other words, your posts should be as long as they need to be to satisfy visitors.

How long is that?

If you can best explain and share your “of-value topic” with, say, 186 words, stop there. If you need 1000 words, so be it.

Go short, go long. Just be sure that you deliver well-written, high quality, valuable information that captures your readers’ interest, and (if it’s your goal) prompts them to act in a way that benefits you both.

Do it right for their sake—and yours.

You’re posting not for just any reader, but for those readers you want to build some kind of relationship with. If the value isn’t there, length won’t matter.

Other factors CAN influence how long or short you’ll write your posts. What does your target audience prefer? What about User Experience research, which indicates that people don’t like to read online. For various reasons, they tend to scan.

How long is too long?

Well, if it’s really a research study (or other long and involved topic), use a shorter blog post to attract attention, sum it up and link to it or provide a download.

Consider breaking up posts that you sensibly judge may run very long (and turn off readers) into a series of posts. Publish 1x a week for 4 weeks running. There—you’ve instantly filled some of your pipeline.

Overall, use value as your reference point. (My blog’s target is content-aware people in business who want to drive qualified traffic, nurture relationships and build recognition of their offering and brand. Hence, the emphasis on value for their audiences—and mine.)

It’s what you write AND how you write it.

For easy access and with respect for someone’s time, make your posts scannable.
Use bullet points and numbered lists.
Insert heads and subheads.
Include text formatting.

Of course, that all helps your search engine optimization as well. Frequent, high quality content + well written copy (that includes appropriate keywords) = better search engine results.

Quick Benefit Rundown
Long Posts
• Flesh out a topic with information and insight that can build your reputation for experience and expertise
• Give some readers more of what they want, keep them on your site, satisfy the desire for information
• Are useful for SEO purposes if carefully and thoughtfully written because there’s more to index
• Are rewarded by Google (if the quality’s there)

Short Posts
• Message is simpler and possibly easier to consume because focus is most likely on one point
• Save readers time and satisfy their need for limited information
• Are easier to access on small screens/devices
• Can be easier and faster to write

Make posts worthwhile for your target audience.

Why limit your business development potential or annoy visitors? Write blog posts of various lengths that meet their needs for substance, value, quality, easy access and satisfaction. (Visually, it’s stimulating, as well.)

Combine this with good search engine optimization copywriting.

That’ll keep ’em coming—and coming back.

Contact Liz Manning at liz@thesmartermessage.com