There has been a constant debate on the ideal length of a post in a blog. There are people who say that an idea can only be communicated in a blog post that is long. Small posts cannot express things effectively and so on.
What is your take on the ideal length of a post?
To a great extent it is true that what you want to express looses its effectiveness if you do not explain it in detail and in a manner that your reader understands it. In order for you to put your point across effectively, you have to write a detailed post and such posts will be about 600-700 words long. I am a firm believer of the fact that blogging is like story telling and for a story to be effective you have create a background for the story and when you create a background, the story becomes slightly longer that you would want it to be.
Just imagine, would the Hollywood movie “Avatar” be as effective, if the director tried to wrap it up in less that 90 minutes. It would not, right? Nobody bothered about the length of the movie, because the story was neatly laid out and told effectively.
So, does that mean only long stories can be effective? No, that is not the case.
Then how can will you make a long story short and yet keep it effective?
Let us discuss about the movie “Avatar” itself. If you have seen the movie, you will notice the fact that the beginning of the movie is actually a narration. The director narrates a background very effectively in very limited words and straight jumps into the actual story. The base of the story is the narration at the beginning, yet it is so effectively communicated in a short narration and while doing this the director also ensures that the viewers do not loose interest or, focus in the story.
While writing blogs posts, it is important to do the following -
- Identify what is the crux of your article and write about that it only so much detail that your readers can clearly understand it.
- Rewrite all such sentences that are creating the background for the article in such a way that it conveys a longer message in shorter sentences.
- Whenever you write short sentences to convey an idea, just ensure that you maintain a smooth flow of ideas into the next few sentences where you actually narrate the story.
Having said all that, I should also say something here. While we are discussing about the length of the blog post in this post, and while the world may profess that the length of the post is important, Brian Clark, who is a master copywriter himself, breaks all the myths by writing one of the shortest but most effective posts, I have ever seen. You can see this post “Actually, Blogging *is* dead” at his blog at copyblogger.com.
In an effective and short post he discusses about the debate on “blogging is dead”. He very smartly links this post to a few of his earlier posts thus ensuring that he creates some internal links and also makes his readers ask for more. And they find more information when they read the other posts that he is linking to in this particular post. I rate this as the “Post of the year”. This short post has already been tweeted 538 times, has been shared 58 times on Facebook and has about 85 comments. That can tell you the effectiveness of the post.
So, forget about the length of the post. An effective post can be short too.