Our recent webinar on B2B blogging resulted in more questions than we had time to answer, so we’ll provide a reply on our blog to each question.
Question #3 comes from Don:
What’s the optimal length of a blog? How long is too long?
Don, this is a great question, and believe it or not it can be an emotional one!
I recently got into a heated debate with a dear friend who insisted people would read her novel-length blog posts because they were so interesting. I disagreed. Maybe they were just not that interesting to me! In any event, here are a few thoughts on the ultimate length for a great blog.
Look at the data – All the research shows that people have shorter attention spans and read less. I think it is foolish to ignore these trends. Get in, make your point, get out.
Be respectful – I think most of the time blogs run too long it indulges the WRITER, not the READER. Many bloggers have long ago made their point and just keep babbling to satisfy themselves or glorify their points. Most of the time long blogs just don’t respect a reader’s precious time.
Listen to Mark – (Twain that is!) Twain once said in a letter, “I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to make this shorter.” It does take more time to write well, and with brevity. I typically go back and cut at least one-third out of each rough draft. Sometimes I even take out what I consider to be great points if it doesn’t move the story along. Spend the time, and have the courage, to be brief.
500 is magic – I love blog articles that are less than 500 words. If you write well, you can comfortably tell a great story or make a meaningful point in that length. My advice? Shoot for “under 500.”
Earning more – There are certain blogs that I read no matter the length. But these bloggers are established, brilliant and have EARNED the right to pontificate at whatever length is needed to cover their points. If you are just starting out, I believe it is more important to build an audience through short, punchy prose than test them with an intellectual treatise.
Just for the record this post was about 400 words. I think it worked out well. What are your thoughts on blog length?