A guest post by John Sherry of realsimplepeople.com.
It’s no secret in the blogosphere that content is king. Great content rules. Remarkable content, as top blogger, Leo Babuata, of A-List Blogging calls it. Content that solves problems and inspires the audience . . . something that makes the reader feel that the author understands their life and knows their problems as a friend does. Content that makes them feel content.
Readers become subscribers when you don’t put words in their mouth. When you get inside their heads knowing just what they are thinking, going through or need answers to (unless maybe they are nude skydivers, extreme ironing fans or garlic munching enthusiasts). Beneficial blogging begins with blogging benefits.
But how big should your benefit be? What size captures most eyes?
If content is king, then content size is the crown jewels.
Have you ever thought about your crown jewels? Seriously?
The average blog post of a full time blogger numbers between 750 – 1000 words and is posted around three times a week. Typically, topics are in the list format such as 6 Benefits of Wearing Socks or 10 Techniques for Good Ice Cream Licking or even 3 Secret Keys to Being a Secret Agent (FBI approved).
Also popular are the ‘How To’s’, as in, How To Be a Millionaire By The Weekend and How to Love Your Mother-in-Law When She Doesn’t Love You (a bit of a classic that one (when I get round to writing it!)). Fairly straightforwards, helpful stuff, and generally what readers want.
But all blogs need reading. And that means words. Creating content of around 1000 words per post means a subscriber or regular visitor has to invest the time and desire to take in 3000 words (or mini e-book) per week in their spare time (or work time..naughty, naughty!!). That could prove a bit much. Here’s why:
- Busy, hectic lives means many people have little time to invest in sitting down and reading for long periods, bar flicking through magazines with their pretty pictures and celebrity gossip. They are popular due to their short, punchy, colourful nature
- Great content equates to meaningful and useful articles. People need a while to take this in, to understand and filter it and then work it into their daily lives. And they have two more that week to read and three more posts to come every week after that. Backlogs build up!
- It gets repetitive. Posts begin to take on a sameness air and the natural art of scanning a post (whereby a reader casts their eye across text to spot headlines or phrases that appeal to them) turns to boredom instead. The ‘I’ve-seen-it-all-before’ syndrome sets in and they lose interest.
Subscriber numbers can tumble. Readership dwindles. Comments fizzle out. Even spammers start yawning.
But there is a solution that’s worth a king’s ransom.
Commit to smaller portions on a regular basis. Take your normal number of words or post length and cut them in half. Push yourself to creating fab content in only 400 words. Give the reader something more simple to get their teeth into. Snack style inspiration. Smaller food for thought. A tiny morsel they can take away that still gets their juices flowing.
Why it’s a majestic strategy:
- Short and sweet is neat. Modern life is quick-on-the-go, so posts that are short, to the point, in-and-out without fuss, and able to be read on a train or during a quick tea break will go down well, as they match peoples’ lives
- Easy to do. More compact content will only have room to zero in on one or two tips. That makes their advice easier to try and easier to achieve
- More encouraging. Bite-size blogging acts as a comfort zone breaker. It helps people start off due to their simple nature, to build up momentum and feel encouraged. And they will thank you for that.
- Challenges you. Reducing blog post length challenges you to be more concise and less wasteful in language. It also demands that you get to the real nugget of any point you want to communicate. It focuses your message
Bite-size is the right size.
In the blogosphere kingdom, readers and subscribers are your loyal subjects. Don’t tax them with confusing content. Set them free from the labour of long passages to enjoy short chunks to chew over with easily digestable dialogue. All for the princely sum of a few hundred less words.
So, if you want to rule the blog world, make regular bite-size content your crowning glory.
Bio: Real Simple Guy, John Sherry writes the simple life blog, Real Simple People. No rejecting modern life. No religous practices or retreats to mountain tops. No daily mantras or meditations at dawn. Just uncomplicated tips for the everyday person on how to simply enjoy life.