Blog Traffic...Creating a Traffic Jam

News, trends, and the future of publishing
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Re: Blog Traffic...Creating a Traffic Jam

Post by beacon22 » February 4th, 2010, 7:54 am

What are your thoughts about the length of blog posts? Sometimes I feel like mine are too long (approximately 5 paragraphs). Is is better to do shorter posts? Longer? A bit of a mix? Or if the content is good, should it not matter? What do you prefer when you're reading blogs?
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Re: Blog Traffic...Creating a Traffic Jam

Post by charlotte49ers » February 4th, 2010, 8:53 am

I'm a little ADD. I like short and sweet, but that is totally just my opinion. I think if you do write long posts, I want them broken up in smaller paragraphs instead of large blocks of text, kwim?

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Re: Blog Traffic...Creating a Traffic Jam

Post by JFBookman » February 4th, 2010, 4:02 pm

Beacon, the research I've seen is that articles of 400-700 words are preferred by many readers. But if you look at popular blogs, what stands out is the writing, not the length. There's also a lot of emphasis on breaking up your copy into digestible "chunks" by keeping paragraphs short, using space between paragraphs, using numbered lists, bullet lists and subheads to keep reader interest from flagging. I think, like lots of other kinds of writing, that if you hook the reader they'll stay with you for the ride. There are very successful bloggers that regularly churn out 1000 to 3000 word articles, and the readers keep coming back. You have to find what works for you.

I've been blogging daily for the last 5 months, and I've noticed that my articles tend to run in the 800-1000 word range. I didn't set out to write that length, and I don't pay much attention to the word count while I'm writing (well, it's hard not to sneak a peak because the WordPress input box has the word count right there in front of you), it just worked out that way. That wouldn't keep me from writing a 350 word news item or quick reflection, and it didn't stop me from going much longer on a personal-history series I did where I wrote about my entire career in graphic arts, publishing and book design over a period of a couple of months.

So I would say, go with what feels right to you, and be confident that your readers will be the people who "get it" and want more.
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