Keeping It Brief

When I first started blogging back in 2005, my posts were often long and meandering pieces covering whatever I had on my mind at the time. It was not unusual for my posts to exceed 1,000 words. And sometimes, when I was on a roll, 1,500 or more words. It took me a while to realize that most people who read blog posts have neither the time nor the inclination to read lengthy posts.

So I decided to embrace brevity in my posts. After all, none other than than The Bard, himself, William Shakespeare said that “Brevity is the soul of wit,” and I do endeavor to be witty in my posts. The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” His “magic number” for his editorials was around 300 words.

It took me a while to retreat from my habit of writing lengthy posts. For example, in 2006, my average words per post was 1,072. By 2009 I was down to 772 words on average. In 2014 I was down to 556. In 2016, 367. By 2018 my average post was only 235 words. And so far this year I’m at 221.

And each year, as my average words per post dropped, my average views, visitors, and followers went up. So I have become stalwart in my belief that, when it comes to blogging, being concise and exercising brevity is the way to go.

Because when it comes to reading long blog posts…


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (brevity), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (retreat), and Your Daily Word Prompt (stalwart).

17 thoughts on “Keeping It Brief

  1. newepicauthor February 24, 2021 / 3:16 pm

    The difference between you and I, is that I don’t care if anyone reads my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 24, 2021 / 3:22 pm

      Oh come on, Jim, yes you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t complain that your Friday Music Challenge posts don’t get many views. So it apparently does matter to you. At least a little bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • newepicauthor February 24, 2021 / 3:36 pm

        It is a bit concerning, but in my own mind, I know that I am a fabulous writer and basically, that is all that counts.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong February 24, 2021 / 3:57 pm

    I think you have to decide what you have to say. I write long when the subject obviously needs it and short when I can. I don’t believe in rigid rules for any artistic form.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 24, 2021 / 4:43 pm

      As I always say, “whatever your boat.”

      Like

  3. Sadje February 24, 2021 / 7:01 pm

    You’re absolutely right, the shorter the post, the better the response.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light February 24, 2021 / 7:59 pm

    Soon you can have an average WC of zero and end up with a million followers! May try that myself…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leigha66 February 27, 2021 / 6:18 pm

    I try not to ramble on too much, but so far this year I am averaging 141 words. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 27, 2021 / 10:37 pm

      That’s even fewer words on average than my posts. But you write a lot of poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

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