It’s been a great year for Jim’s Marketing Blog. The site is now ranked the number 1 marketing blog in the UK by Cision. In the USA, Search Engine Journal, picked their top UK marketing blogs and said:
“There may be another blog in the UK that could top Jim Connolly’s impressive resume – but we weren’t able to find one!”
— Search Engine Journal
Now I’d like to share what I believe to be a key factor, which has given me a massive advantage over other blogs.
My secret sauce!
The single most common feedback I get about Jim’s Marketing Blog, is from readers who appreciate the brevity of my work. They value me using as few words as possible when I share ideas. It means they can read every word, rather than skim read.
However, although readers love short, information-rich posts and articles, they are very rare. I believe this has given me a huge advantage over the years.
Here are the 3 main reasons why so many blog posts are way too long.
1. Lots of bloggers write for SEO first
Google’s extremely limited algorithm isn’t smart enough to work with short blog posts. So, if you’re all about getting traffic rather than engaging readers, you need between 500 and 2000 words in your posts. This number depends on which SEO expert you listen to. It also depends on what Google is rewarding currently. A key challenge of writing for Google is that they change things all the time. What works today could hurt you tomorrow.
I’ve already written about the danger of writing primarily for search engines. I recommend you read this: Stop writing for Google. Really. Stop it!
SEO is a valuable part of building a blog or website, especially in the early days when few people are sharing your work. But get the balance right. Write for people first. Otherwise, search engine traffic will arrive on your site, find a wordy, keyword-stuffed piece of crap and leave again!
2. It takes more skill to write with brevity
It takes longer to condense an idea into fewer words. It’s a skill you need to develop. I learned it back in the mid 1980’s, studying the legendary David Ogilvy.
Ogilvy famously said: “Don’t say it in 10 words if you can say it in 5.”
In broad terms, it’s twice as easy to write a 1000 word post on a topic, as it is to write a 500 word post. When you have fewer words to work with, there’s no room for waffle. No space for fluff. This means you end up with information rich content, which is far more valuable to the reader.
It’s important to remember that your readers are busy people. They’ve never had so many things calling for their attention. They want the key information and quickly. If you can provide them with what they need, without the waffle words, they will come back for more… and more.
3. It takes courage
It takes more courage to write short articles and posts than it does to write long ones.
Because with shorter content, you can’t possibly cover every angle. You can’t make every point. You can’t answer every question that every reader may have. As a result, you leave yourself open to criticism like “what you totally failed to mention is…”.
Having written thousands of blog posts and articles, I’ve found that no matter how many words you use, some people just won’t get it. If you try and write for those people, you will end up writing child-like junk. Don’t even try! Write instead for your target readership.
I hope you found this useful. More importantly, I hope you borrow some of the ideas for your own blog or website.
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