Blogging Insights — Sizing Up Your Blog

Blogging insightsIn her Blogging Insights series this week, Dr. Tanya asks us about post length, which she explains is often characterized as either short form posts (typically 300 to 400 words) or long form posts (more than 1000 words). She asks us to share our perspectives by responding to these questions, some of which I answered in this response to a previous Blogging Insights post.

1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

In my early days of blogging, it wasn’t that unusual for me to hit 1,000 words or more in a post. But since I started this blog in May 2017, I generally write shorter posts. My average words per post so far this year is just 250. And that’s up from 237 last year and 235 in 2018.

I think it takes more skill to write a compelling, entertaining, informative, and engaging post in a short form than it does in a long form. You need to write in a crisp, concise manner and you need to choose your words carefully in short form writing, whereas you can blather away when writing posts of 1,000 words or more. To that end, I’ve actually made a concerted effort to be more concise in my writing. I had always considered myself to be a writer who has a way with words, when what I should have been striving to be is a writer who knows how to do away with words.

2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

To me, it’s not how short or long a post is as much as how engaging it is.

3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

I hate to say it, but I have neither the time nor the patience for reading “long-form” posts. Unless it’s an extremely compelling post, I tend to prefer to read posts that are 500 or fewer words. But that’s just me.

4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

You know, this is an interesting question because I’m not sure that there are any specific topics that would prompt me to read blog posts of more than 1,000 words. Unless, as I’m reading a post where the writing grabs me. Then I’ll read it, regardless of its length.

17 thoughts on “Blogging Insights — Sizing Up Your Blog

  1. Sadje March 9, 2020 / 7:19 am

    I like your answers Fandango. Specially about doing away with words, as compared to having a way with the words. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Stroke Survivor UK March 9, 2020 / 7:29 am

    My browser has a reader, which will speak posts to me and will estimate a length of time at the start. This post here, it estimated at 2-3 minutes, which is ideal for me. 8-10 minutes, it had better be by an author I especially like, and over 10 minutes, forget it.
    At the other end, I sometimes see one-word posts, and what’s the point?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 9, 2020 / 7:45 am

      I occasionally participate in six-word story posts, a concept that allegedly originated when Hemingway wrote this story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tatiana March 9, 2020 / 8:23 am

    Statistics show that many people (including myself) don’t have the time to read long articles. It is known that actually on Internet people don’t really read, but just scan.

    Therefore, experts recommend to insert titles and subtitles, lists (like you did here), etc., to make the process of reading easier and keep the readers on your blog.

    If you keep their interest up, the visitors will eventually get engaged and click further on your links or other posts…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 9, 2020 / 9:06 am

      I think having longer posts broken up with images or subtitles does help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tatiana March 9, 2020 / 9:08 am

        Indeed. Sometimes we need to right longer text (depending on the subject), and that is the key! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Shweta Suresh March 9, 2020 / 9:32 am

    Statistics show the people tend to read shorter posts. Just like you, earlier I used to write longer posts. A few years later, I was fascinated by flash fiction. I’ve been writing shorter pieces since then. But there are topics that demand more length. I’m not that picky as a reader. It depends on how engaging and interesting the content is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 9, 2020 / 6:16 pm

      “It depends on how engaging and interesting the content is.” Exactly!

      Like

  5. Paula Light March 9, 2020 / 10:16 pm

    Yep, totally agree. I will read long posts only if they’re engaging. Most aren’t!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. annieasksyou March 11, 2020 / 8:06 am

    So this explains why you haven’t visited me for a while (though I do write shorter posts from time to time)…

    I realize people are rushed and/or have short attention spans—and that my posts aren’t for everyone—but I like to go into some topics in depth, often citing or quoting from research I’ve done. I see no way to accomplish my goals in 500 words.

    I like to read a number of bloggers’ posts that do run on—often much longer than mine. So I guess it’s a matter of taste/temperament. To me, the diversity of offerings adds to the richness of the blogosphere.

    Hope you’re adapting to your new environs and your house sale is progressing smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 11, 2020 / 4:13 pm

      I’ve actually been really bad about reading other bloggers’ post since the move. I’m still in a state of transition and haven’t been able to spend that much time on WordPress. So please don’t take it personally. Almost every blogger I follow could say the same thing.

      Like

      • annieasksyou March 12, 2020 / 1:52 pm

        Hi—
        I guess I took your blogging insight personally because it meshed with my own ambivalence about the length of my posts. I know in many cases “shorter is better.”

        But when I get inspired by a topic and want to know moreandmoreandmore, sometimes I just keep going. What the hell! I’m the boss at annieasksyou.

        My next post will be under 300 words. The boss said it’s time to give it a rest!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango March 12, 2020 / 10:51 pm

          Sometimes you need more words to get across your perspective about complex matters. But I strive to do that in as few words as possible. If I write a long, compelling, persuasive post, but few people take the time to read it, would I have been better off to have written something more concise? Then maybe more people would take the time to read it and understand (and possibly even appreciate) my perspective. But the key is to do whatever works best for you on your blog.

          Like

  7. leigha66 March 11, 2020 / 1:44 pm

    I agree. I write and read shorter posts. There just isn’t time if all the posts were long. That’s not to say I won’t read a longer one if it is good.

    Liked by 1 person

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