Day 26 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge
There was a great conversation going on today in one of the forums I follow. The discussion was about how long blog posts should be.
At this point in the challenge, I probably don’t need to mention this, but I will anyway. If you want to create a strong social media presence, you need to have great content.
People need to want to come back for more. Your content has to speak to them in a way that is different and more valuable than all the other choices they have available to make.
And it’s not getting any easier. Every passing day, there are more people competing for the same readers as you.
There are a ton of different opinions on this. Since this is my blog, I get to promote my opinion. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
1: Make every post as long as it needs to be and no longer than it should be.
Every word must earn its place. If the word, sentence, paragraph don’t need to be there to move the article along, they’re out. Make every word count as opposed to counting every word.
2: Write for people.
There are way too many blogs out there that are written for the search engines. And they read like it. This is one of the key reasons why Google is always making algorithmic changes. So writing for the search engines may work in the short run. But it is not a quality strategy for the long term.
3: People will read what they’re interested in.
Many people feel they need to keep articles short because of the ever shortening attention span of the reader. To a certain extent that is true. But who is your reader? If your reader hates reading, make videos instead.
4: People don’t need to read the entire post for it to do its job.
What’s our goal when creating content? Getting people to become fans, make comments, share our stuff and come back for more. I follow people religiously who’s content I don’t read all of. Sometimes I just scan it. Sometimes I read enough to get the main idea. But I still comment, share it, like it and return all the time.
5: Write for yourself.
Enjoy the process. If it is something you find interesting and would want to read, chances are great that there’s others out there who will feel the same.
6: Turn one article into two.
If a post is running really long, I can usually find a way to turn it into two different posts. As long as it makes sense, break up the wicked long ones.
7: Break things up.
You will notice I use a second readership path in all my posts. These are sub headlines that appear every few paragraphs. I also may use images, bulleted or numbered lists to break up the post as well. This may not make the article any easier to read. But it will make it look easier to read. And when it looks easier, it is easier. Plus, scanners like me can still get the main idea.
It All Comes
Down To Interest
At the end of the day, I really think that if you write great content people will read it. If it interests them they will clamour for more if it’s too short and read it to the end no matter how long.
I’ve seen Field Of Dreams a lot of times. If it’s on TV, I will drop what I am doing and watch the entire thing.
If someone wrote a really long blog post talking about Field of Dreams, I’d probably read it. Wouldn’t matter how long it was. Why, because I love that movie.
Write to your audience and let things fall into place. Even more than that, assuming you love the topic like your audience does, write for yourself.
In case you didn’t catch the earlier post where I mentioned I am turning this Thirty Day Challenge series into a book… I’m turning this into a book. So, if you want to be in a book, leave your comment below and share your thoughts on this.
Now I’ve gotta go before this post gets over 700 words…