Friday, May 8, 2009

Do Short Blogs Attract More Readers?

I don't know about the rest of you blog readers, but when I'm blog-hopping from favorite to favorite, I tend to skip the long blogs so I can cover more ground, visit more bloggers, and leave more comments. My intentions are good. I always make a note of the longer blogs so I can go back and read them later. The trouble is, I do a lot of "stuff" and time has a way of shrinking faster than my To Do List. Sometimes I return to the blog, and sometimes I don't.

So why on earth did I make yesterday's blog so long? Isn't it safe to assume long blogs affect other readers the same way? The truth? I wrote about something I care about and the words tumbled out through my fingers to the keyboard. The next thing I knew, I had enough material for three blogs. Should have thought of that before I hit Publish. I could have been two days ahead on the Blog-a-Day Challenge for the blogbooktour online class.

Here's my question for today's readers: How do you feel about short blogs versus long blogs when you are reading for fun and information?


Galen Kindley said...

Great question. I’ve thought some about this question, but didn’t have the nerve to ask it.

I think a couple of things are at work here.
First, all of my blog visitors have been my Blog Tour friends—and that’s greatly appreciated. However, there have been no “strangers” whatsoever.

Why do the Blog Tour friends come? Much as I’d like to think it’s my high-impact content and scintillating writing skills, the truth is, they visit because it’s kinda required to surf to your classmate’s blog and leave some kind of meaningful comment. So, since we’ve so many blogs to visit, and yes, lots of other real life things to do, I, at least, tend to pay more attention to the shorter posts. Due to the nature of what we’re into, it’s a numbers game.

Having said that, under non-blog-tour situations, I’d not let the length of a blog scare me off too much…if the content was something in which I was interested, that’s why they invented skimming, right?

As for my posts, I've tried to shorten them. I’ve not noticed a real difference in comments, but, the sample size is pretty small.

Karen Walker said...

Hi Pat,
Great question. I agree with Galen. We are in a situation where our assignment is to read these other blogs. Personally, I don't mind reading longer blogs if the subject is of interest to me. If it isn't, I won't keep reading. I guess the true test will be when this class is over and we see how many new visitors arrive at our blog sites.


Elle Parker said...

I think Karen kind of nailed it. I don't mind a long blog post if it's of interest to me.

What I really often do is to save the blog post, and all its comments to a text file and read them later on my iPod.

Elle Parker

Anonymous said...

You will definitely get more visitors to stick around and actually read your post if at a quick glance they can see "the end in sight." :)

Now, if you're going to have a long post, it'd better have a mighty "hook" up top and right away, and it needs to be a well enough written and compelling read the entire post. Otherwise blog-hoppers will yawn and click away. Some will just jump to the end and leave a courteous but generic comment - so they don't have to feel guilty for not having read your entire epic saga. LOL

N A Sharpe said...

Probably the shorter blogs are appreciated from the time factor as we make our rounds blog to blog, but like a good book, I don't mind reading a long empassioned blog that is of interest to me. As with a good book I can really get into what they are writing about. Um, this would definitely NOT be the case with a technical blog. I think, like any other writing, there needs to be a balance. Too short and it may not evoke much feeling one way or another about the topic. Too long and you may lose your reader to time constraints.

Good question and thought provoking post.

NA Sharpe

Lynnette Labelle said...

I just read something about this the other day... Not sure where. Anyway, the author suggested short posts are best and that if you do have a long post in mind, you should split it up. Like you said, you'll have a couple of days worth of posts done that way.

Myself, I prefer short, but not too short. Something in the middle.

Lynnette Labelle

Jina Bacarr said...

I've found the right length for a blog is about 250-400 words. When I'm writing in "story mode" as I am for Lady Eve's Berlin Sex Diary, I tend to go longer because I'm telling a story and also imparting information.

On the flip side of too long blogs, I believe that if it's too short, you don't get your "reading's worth."


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I enjoyed your post yesterday, but I'll admit your topics are of interest to me. I like medium-sized posts, or long posts with bulletin-points in them.


Karen Brees said...

As I said on your twitter page: Think of Goldilocks - not too long, not too short, but just right. Say what you have to say and know when you've said it.

conarnold said...

That's a good question, Pat! If a blog post is too long and doesn't catch my attention right up front, I'm likely to move on to another because spending too much time reading at the computer gives me headaches. If I find an enjoyable long post, that just means I visit fewer others.