“Here are some specific examples small content can make more sense than a thousand-word opus.”
Where’s the Web taking us in terms of content length? What’s the ideal length for your own content?
When it comes to writing content, a question that often comes is: how much should I create? You can hear all sorts of advice ranging from quantitative analysis on the optimized size of a blog post to bloggers recommendations on the merits of 800-word SEO-optimized posts vs long form epic content.
On my end, there are several observations I’d like to make on this:
1. We live in a short-attention span world: as Tom Demers puts it in this post, focusing on simple, easy to digest content can be very efficient.
2. Long form only adds value if it’s really really good: most of the time, long doesn’t equal good unless there’s a significant investment made by the author on the post: some research on previous posts on the topic, data gathering, analysis, interviews of experts, etc…
3. Content curation is a great way to create short posts that have impact: by adding the one or two most important things you have to say on existing content, you can efficiently turn it into curated blog posts that help your audience a lot by focusing their attention on what’s important and bringing them your own context. As Demers puts it in this post, “link liberally to meatier resources and let your readers chose their own adventure.”
Don’t take me wrong: long form is not dead to me at all, by far. For instance, this piece on the Atlantic by Graeme Wood on ISIS that I read over the weekend is not just long: it’s very long. But it’s by far the best articles I’ve read on that subject and I don’t regret for a second the time invested in reading it.
So as a content marketer, should you produce long blog posts?
Yes but only when and if you can be serious about it. When you have the time and resources to create epic content, definitely do it. However, if you’re not ready to make the investment into a longer blog post, it’s perfectly ok to keep it short and simple building on Tom Demers’ recommendations. You’ll save both your time and – more importantly – your audience’s.
On a related subject, we recently published a detailed analysis that you might be interested in on how long form content formats such as eBooks and white papers compared with shorter formats such as blogs and content curation when it came to lead generation.
And if you’d like to see how content curation can help you improve SEO, you should read this eBook!