Within the blogging establishment, one issue that seems to be forefront at the moment is the debate over long-form versus short-form content when posting. Both have their place in the blogging world and function exceedingly well in specific situations in providing information, insight and enjoyment to readers.
Coupled alongside that, are those like myself that prefer one style over the other when it comes to both writing and reading.
The next installment(Number 17) in Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights Series is Blogging Insights #20 – Long Form versus Short Form Content.
Dr. Tanya gave us this preamble to her post.
The blogosphere remains in constant flux, changing shape and form according to the needs and desires of readers and writers. Hence, any rules or norms that govern it are pretty flexible too.
This is true of the length of posts or content. Post length is arbitrarily divided into short-form and long-form content.
Short-form posts are approximately 300 to 400 words, can be read in about two minutes and do not usually require a lot of critical thinking to assimilate.
Long-form content is, loosely defined, a piece of writing more than 1000 words, some say not less than 2000 but again the criteria are arbitrary. It is a popular notion that search engines prefer longer posts.
She gave us four questions to consider:
1. Do you prefer writing long-form or short-form content?
2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?
Here’s my take on this:
Do you prefer writing long-form or short-form content?
Generally, I prefer to write short-form content.
With my lifestyle and work schedule, the majority of my “blogging time” occurs only on my days off and then only until about 9 or 10 in the morning. In order to post on those days and to perhaps get a post or two “in the bank” to schedule at a later date during the week, my writing tends to be more short-form in length. Anywhere from 750 to 1000 words in length.
I have written posts in the past that are much longer. But having said all of that, more often than not, my posts end up being whatever length they are in order to say what I need to say.
How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
From a technical perspective, I don’t have the expertise to answer that question in terms of SEO and search engine ranking issues.
Ideally, the post should be long or short enough to convey to the reader what the writer has to say.
Personally, I like to read articles that are short and concise. I don’t have the attention span to sit and read for much more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. After that, I tend just to simply scan the pages to get the “essence” of what the author is saying.
What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
I think I answered this in Question 2 – shorter posts for sure.
What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?
This is a difficult question to answer.
When reading blog posts, I like to “get in; read them; get out; move on to the next one.” Again it comes back to my preference for short-form content. I do tend to gravitate towards personal development and mental-wellness topics to read, so if they were well written as long-form content, I might slug it out for the duration of the post.
I do have trouble reading for any excessive length of time on the computer regardless of the topic. I’m more of a “tactile reader” in that I enjoy and find comfort in the feel of a book in my hands.
I know that there is much research and information available as to the benefits of long-form versus short-form content when it comes to blogging. At this stage for myself and I’m sure for other writers as well, long-form versus short-form isn’t much of an issue or concern.
There are many of us who write and find the words to say which are birthed from a well that is deep down inside our souls. A place where long-form and short-form content doesn’t reside. We simply write until we’re satisfied we’ve got it all out there for that post.
As always, a huge thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and looking at “long-form versus short-form content” within the blogging universe.
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —