I’ve been hanging out at the ProBlogger.com forums over the last week. One topic which keeps springing up in the writing content section is post length, something which most new bloggers always seem unsure about.
Undoubtedly, new bloggers compare their post length to blogs they read regularly (usually blogs within the same niche). Which encourages these bloggers to emulate successful blogs rather than doing their own thing. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing but it’s important to blog the way you want, rather that the way you think you have to.
I believe that you should write articles to suit your writing style. There is no point trying to write in a manner which feels uncomfortable to you. If you prefer to write long 1,000+ word articles so that you can explain everything in detail, then that’s exactly what you should do.
Likewise, if you find it difficult to write long articles, short blog posts will work out better for you. Put simply, you should not write an article of a certain length if it’s difficult for you.
It makes sense to compare your own blog to others in the same niche, but it shouldn’t dictate what you do. Here’s what I wrote on the subject last week on ProBlogger.com:
I don’t think that short or long posts are better for any particular niche. I think you should write the posts you want to write. If you want to write longer posts then I say go for it (particularly if you feel more comfortable writing longer posts).
Infact, this could actually work to your benefit. If all other sci-fi blogs are writing short posts, you could carve out a niche by writing long, funny, detailed articles. For example ’10 successful sci-fi shows with terrible acting’ or ’10 Sci-Fi films that make no sense’, that kind of thing.
An important thing to remember about post length is consistency. Readers get used to a certain writing style, a certain posting frequency and a certain post length. Change isn’t always welcomed, particularly by those who subscribed because of the way you usually post.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t mix things up a little every now and then. You shouldn’t hold back from doing a short news post if you normally do longer posts.
It’s worth pointing out that you don’t need to stick to long or short posts either. You can mix things up from the start if you want and no doubt, your readers would get used to a mix of short and long articles. Infact, BloggingTips regularly has short news type posts and longer articles which go into a topic in more depth.
Please view this post as a guide rather than the right or wrong way, as I really don’t think there is a right or wrong way to blog. With technical aspects of blogging there is usually a correct way of doing things and an incorrect way.
Though with many blogging topics like writing style, marketing etc, it comes down to a personal opinion rather than someone being right and someone being wrong. If something works for you then keep doing it. And don’t let me or anyone else tell you otherwise.
I will leave you with a quote from UFC owner Dana White, which he said during an interview with Fight Magazine about the legend Bruce Lee. I think it illustrates my point about blogging
“If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away.”
As always, I’d love to hear your opinion on all of this
Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and Google+.