Why Shorter Is Better

I’m not just a writer, I’m a reader. But like many of you, I have only short, sporadic windows of opportunity to read my favorite bloggers’ posts.

When I find myself with a few minutes to spare, I open Google Reader and skim headlines to see what catches my eye. Sadly, an average of three or four articles are intriguing enough for me to want to read more.

If you don’t grab me in three seconds, you’ll never have me.

In the blogging world, it’s  important to write posts that are original and interesting, but it’s more important to grab the reader’s attention with a great headline and then get to the point–quickly. No one has time to read a blog that goes on and on.

If you blog, I beg you, take a look at your latest post and cut it down–shorten your paragraphs and delete unnecessary fluff.

And just when you think your post is the perfect length. Cut it down again and  highlight key messages for easy skimming.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Karen Shaffer

Karen Shaffer was born and raised in Massachusetts. She is an active blogger and new media junky with over 15 years of content development and customer relations management expertise. She's currently working as a writer for an interactive media agency in the Boston area. 

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  5 comments for “Why Shorter Is Better

  1. January 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Hi Karen,
    I fully agree with the premise of your post-thank you! In fact, in my Bloggers’ Bulletin post from a few weeks ago, one of my primary blogging resolutions was to create shorter posts & blog more frequently: here’s a link to my post: http://bit.ly/52Qiyt Another resolution was to comment more frequently on other people’s posts. Finally, related to staying organized with the landslide of content that is available, I would highly recommend developing a strategy to manage RSS feeds. This technique compiles feeds from all of your favorite blogs and lets you see as soon as a new post is up. I use http://www.netvibes.com (it’s free!) and that’s how I was alerted to your post. Netvibes also lets you manage your Twitter account from the same screen which is convenient if you want to share any of the great content that you discover or save it as a favorite. Finally, here’s a link to a great podcast for anyone who wants to learn more about RSS feeds: http://bit.ly/5cJDcL It’s also available as a blog post for those who prefer the written word.

  2. January 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Very true, we all suffer from information fatigue! And short posts are great on Fridays as people really cannot be asked to read much…

  3. January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Wow, great tips, Blase. My RSS feeds and Twitter accounts are a hot mess. Time to clean up my act.

    TGIF, Jorgen!

  4. January 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Just as I thought when I established my resolutions for 2010.
    In social media as in marketing, less is more!
    Awesome!

  5. January 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Karen,

    Thanks for posting this.

    I’m guilty as accused, and concise writing is a requisite for my livelihood. Sometimes, for me, it’s hard when blogging to provide enough information quickly to make it easily applicable (I’m dealing with a very tight niche – namely horse training and care).

    I’ve never been able to manage RSS feeds effectively so don’t try anymore. I pick the blogs I want to read (and many are very long in the copy department – but valuable on the learning front) and have them sent to my e-mail. And I read them all.

    Different strokes.

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