Blogging Insights #20 – Long form VS Short form Content
Hello everyone! Hope you are doing well! I’m officially free from the wrath of the flu! My goodness, I can just breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂 Today I want to explore this question:
Have you ever wondered the differences of impact between short-form content and long-form content for blog posts?
Today’s post will be centered on Dr.Tanya’s questions regarding blog length featured under #blogging insights on her blog, Salted Caramel.
- Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?
- How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
- What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
- What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?
For the past eight weeks, I’ve been working on a class in which my professor wanted us to engage our audience via WordPress or LinkedIn platforms. Setting this intention and accomplishing assigned objectives required me to do some research.
I found an intriguing article called: 10 LinkedIn Publishing Tips: We Analyzed 3000 LinkedIn Blog Posts
It explored what sort of content works best on the LinkedIn platform, and various data correlation and comparison for successful LinkedIn posts. I began to wonder if there is similar analytics done for WordPress blogs.
Here are my responses to Tanya’s thought-provoking questions:
Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?
I really enjoy writing short form content when I want to relax from a busy, chaotic day. Typically the content I write is fun, light-hearted, and contains beautiful poetry, photo short story. This is primarily what my audience on my blog sees. It’s easier for me to generate posts prolifically when inspiration strikes spontaneously giving me more freedom to explore.
The downside to short-form content, in my opinion, is that it’s ideal for producing timely updates relevant for a short period of time which requires consistent production of posts. Otherwise, your stats and traffic begins to drop. Long-form content, on the other hand, has some lasting quality to it. While readers may not sit back and read all of it in one go, they will come back for more if they’re truly interested.
I write long form content for school or work when the content requires more time to plan and analytical thought. I enjoy writing long research papers when the subject matter is something I’m passionate about. I tend to dive really deep into the subject matter, and I lose track of time.
I’m competent in writing quality business reports, white papers, and proposals that require technical research. It’s a different sort of “like”. I feel more like a detective investigating a solution and feel a sort of thrill reaching a conclusion.
Writing long-form content develops your blog’s branding and credibility which can deepen a blogger’s relationship to their readers. Many people also reblog and reshare long-form content more often than short-form content.
How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
I feel that the ideal length varies from blogger to blogger and depends on the subject matter and purpose. Bloggers may ask themselves many questions such as:
- Why do you blog? To improve your skills? To inspire? To meet people?
- What are your goals? Do you want more followers? More posts?
- Are you aligning the length of your posts with reader’s intention?
My ideal blog post tends to be 200 words or less because it works with my schedule and it’s primarily for my enjoyment that I want to share with others. It’s difficult for me to write anything longer consistently due to time constraints. Every now and then, I’ll save a long post in my draft box and work on it until completion, but those are few and far between.
If your intention is to create viral headlines and create content that generates a lot of traffic and followers, there seems to be several articles like the Linkedin article I mentioned above where data analytics tells a story of what makes for an ideal blog post.
Blogging boot camps also give recommendations for creating and monetizing blog posts that generate large sums of profit which depending on the blogger’s values and perspectives can be very ideal.
What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
On WordPress, I prefer reading shorter posts related to fiction only because there are so many talented writers I like to read throughout my busy day. It’s easier to read shorter posts on my phone and it’s also easier to scan for information I like. If bloggers like to write extended stories, I prefer it to be broken up in separate blog posts. If I’m still interested, I can buy their book if the blogger has published one.
What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?
Despite my preferences mentioned above however, I don’t discount the effectiveness of long-form content. I really enjoy reading long articles in The Atlantic or The New Yorker when a writer demonstrates their authority and expertise writing about something that intrigues me such as trending updates in health/wellness, nutrition, improving home space, environment, history, business, technology, or anthropology.
Long-form content provides a platform to highlight important stories that define our time and generation. It may provide in-depth knowledge that you may need to succeed in your endeavors whether it’s starting your business, working through the pain-staking issues surrounding divorce, or a how-to article on fixing the intricacies of your car.
Long-form content gets higher search rankings and outperforms short-form content in this regard. The longer readers spend time reading a blog post, the more readers can develop trust with the blogger. Readers have invested time reading more of what the blogger has produced, and therefore more likely to interact with the blogger. Bloggers give direction to their posts and target a specific audience.
Whether my preference is either short-form or long-form, there are benefits and limitations to both. With that in mind, I think I’ll focus on delivering the best valuable content I can. Curious about the topic of content in general, I’ve collected some food for thought below regarding content.