I didn’t have time to write a short post, so I wrote a long one

If you have a simile on your face admiring the irony of this popular joke (the title), you never realized that it’s not a joke at all.

Try writing a post without losing details in fewer words. It needs a lot of thinking and time. So essentially, writing a short post without compromising on the details is not as easy as writing a long one. Why is the length so important?

When people are busy too to read, Serve them in small bits

The length of posts and the update frequency matters…

The internet is an information junkyard, if you don’t like one page, you can easily click to the next one. Usually, you are on a page because the title seemed attractive or it was relevant to your Google search. What pages do you really read?

Studies report that Netizens scan the page before they even start reading. If you can’t stick them to your page, then you loose a reader. Of course, splitting up posts into chunks and adding lists can make your post sticky, but the length definitely has an impact on the influence you can make. Let me bring you some case studies…

  1. Short emails are read faster and replied faster: Being an email lover, I find myself hooked to gmail for at least 2 hours a day. I make sure that all emails that hit my inbox are read and replied, and I always try to be the last person replying to a threaded email. If the email is too long, I scan it, mark it as unread and move to the next one. I leave that for later time. If you get loads of email everyday, you are probably no different.
  2. Too many Updates are scary to many: I am an email subscribed reader of two popular blogs: TechCrunch and DailyBlogTips. While TC brings me latest news on Tech ventures and startups, DBT fills me with blogging wisdom. But I often find that I read every post on DBT and often open the TC update email only when I have nothing else to do. Why? DBT brings in one post a day while TC brings in at least 10. Information overload.
  3. A reader has unsubscribed: I recently had a person unsubscribe from my email list last week and the reason he mentioned was, too many updates. This month, I went off my schedule (it’s usually one in every 48 hours) and that should have lead to an information overload to someone. Sorry for that, I am back in schedule. Again the culprit was Information overload!

What’s the deal?

  • Try to keep your posts short without compromising on the detail. Shorter posts with great content show how much you value the time of your readers.
  • Have a regular update frequency so that your readers know when to expect. If you have two posts ready, schedule one to a later time so that your readers are not overloaded.
  • Bonus: I have a Fast Forward Button (Get one) with which readers can jump to the main content. I don’t know how many use it, but those who use it are definitely saving time 🙂

Sorry for this long post, I had no choice 😛

Hello, I am Arun Basil Lal. Thank you for reading!

I am a freelance WordPress developer with over a decade of experience. I am passionate about making things and traveling the world.

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20 Comments.

  1. Sriraj says:

    Arun,
    First of all what are those book marking buttons? Make them inline. They are looking very odd.
    Coming to the post, readers to a blog are important, but to me search traffic is a lot more than readers. 1 unsubscription notification from your 224 readers doesn’t mean a lot. Other 223 readers are feeling OK. Isn’t it?
    Even I’m subscribed to TC. Its simple, every new post makes your blog more visible in SERP’s. Reader’s are add-ons.
    Same is the case with Read write Web. Atleast 7-8 posts/day, which only means more traffic.

    • Sriraj,

      I was not talking of just one reader who left, many leave but the number of people coming in is far better, so no worries 🙂 I was talking about the reason he choose to leave. We cant ignore even a single person. There are millions out there and many think alike, so what you think applies to a lot others too..

      I am no longer concerned about SERP’s and traffic. I even stopped keyword research and SEO optimizations. This has a definite impact on the traffic levels. The goal now is to serve the best to what I have right now rahter than hunting for more traffic and readers. I believe that if I serve them better, they would spread the word. I have seen the effect of word-of-mouth working out and I believe it will work for me too. Thats my action plan, lets see how it works, you stick to yours.. 🙂

      Volume does matter, more updates equals more traffic, no doubt on that…

      [Whats the deal with the bookmarking buttons? It was there the same way before too, right? I didnt make any changes. Thanks for notifying mate, but I didnt get what you meant 🙁 ]

      • Sriraj says:

        I said why can’t you make the bookmarking button be in line rather then one below the other. It wasn’t like this before(at least to the best of my knowledge). You said they were the same before so look out, somebody’s creeping into your blog 😀
        You are right when you said word of mouth will do the trick. When you said that I’m assuming your thinking of the great greats of bloggers. But they already have thousands of readers. They are in a position to dictate and influence that many people. But according to me, you still have a long way to go, and should concentrate on traffic which implies more readers which eventually will lead to the said ‘word of mouth’.
        It’s amazing how my way of thinking is always different from you. Thats what the blogs are meant for, ‘Express yourself’.

        • Ha ha,
          It’s great to have a different opinion on everything I say, if we dont disagree on things we never evolve. What if everyone thought the same way? where would be revolutions and civilizations..?

          I am not saying of word-of-mouth in terms of the established bloggers, but I have seen how a local company here went famous without spending a buck in advertising but on purely word of mouth. As bloggers, SERP is our greatest advertisment, but I think more than focussing on keyword stuffs, brining out what I have best in my mind is worth. I am already bringing in atleast 150 Google visitors daily to my older posts, plus yahoo and ask, if I could turn 10% of them to readers, then things are awesome

          I just checked out my Analytics keyword report, I am getting new visits for my posts this month too. Whcih means, even without concentrating on SEO too much, you can get visits 🙂 (to the seo guru’s: No offense pls)

          [ I tired the pages on Flock, FF, IE and Chrome and the pages look Ok. Can you give me a screenshot pls..? ]

  2. Amal Roy says:

    Yes you are right. A short and well written Post will do the trick.Thanks.

  3. cheth says:

    I had read the same post title somewhere before as well.. But I didnt get you first sentence “simile on your face” ? lol

    • Hey, the post title is a popular ironical statement. People assume that it takes more time to write a long letter than a short one, thats how it becomes an irony 😀 And ironies are humorous, so I thought you might smile if not ROFL 😉

      Cheers man..

  4. jagan charak says:

    Arun this one is the another cool tip from you

  5. Washington says:

    sweet info, I really enjoyed your post. Keep up the good work

  6. Loan Motification says:

    Now that is an awesome post. I will be sure to come back and tell others about your site. Keep up the good work.

  7. Stop Foreclosure says:

    I am so happy I found your blog. The information on your blog needs to be discovered so I have added you to my Google News Reader. I really look forward to reading more posts from you. Keep up the good work!

  8. Karl Foxley says:

    It’s always good to find older posts on people’s sites that still contain useful information. You are right, keeping your writing short is a skill that actually takes time and energy to master.

    I initially found it hard to write short blog posts after spending a few years writing technical papers for university where I had to use jargon, technical language and I tended to pad out my writing to reach that all important set word count.

    Blogging is so much purer, quicker, and isn’t confined by such rules.

    Warmest regards,

    Karl

  9. Bryan says:

    I prefer short but direct to the point posts as I get bored reading long posts and sometimes doesn’t even dare reading it.

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