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).