The Crime of Long-Winded Blogging

I recently attended a Christian Writer's meeting and heard some great advice about blogging. Over the weekend I read a few comment from Christian publisher Michael Hyatt. Here is an excerpt from his post titled: Focus on Blog Content before Traffic:

  1. Commit to a specific number of posts per week. Frequency is more important than you think. In fact, it is second only to the quality of your content. If you are writing good stuff, most people want to hear from you. My goal is five posts per week.
  2. Determine when you will write. Everyone’s schedule is different. You might be in a season of life when you can only commit to an hour a week. Perhaps you can commit to more. But, if possible, schedule your writing time just like any other appointment. I try to write for an hour every morning before work.
  3. Keep your posts short and to the point. Blogs are not a long-form medium. Brevity is a virtue. I shoot for 400–500 words. I often go over this, but I am working to whittle my posts down. I can tell you from experience that readers will bail out or scan if your posts get too long.
  4. Make it easy to get through your posts. Lists—both bulleted and enumerated—are magic. Why? Because reading is hard work. Lists, subheads, and even quotes make your content more accessible and help people get through it. It creates a sense of forward progress.
  5. Invite reader engagement. Make it easy for them to comment. This is why I do not require people to register to comment or fill-in some silly CAPTCHA test to prove they are human. All of this just adds friction and discourages people from commenting. Yet, I rarely have a problem with spam or inappropriate comments.
I agree with these points. Concerning point #3: I especially enjoy short and to the point posts (although I have been known to ramble a bit) and often skim very long ones.. not that it is a crime or anything to write long dossiers about the evils of governments political and institutionally religious.. I am just not that interested in spending 30 minutes reading about it.. and yes.. I am a slow reader with a short attention span.

And about #5 - many of you know what I think about that torturous CAPTCHA stuff

I have learned so much from your blogs. What advice would you give to a new blogger?


  1. I have a blog that I read, but I find it difficult to do so. She limits herself to 400-500 words, as was suggested, but it is always one long paragraph. My eyes are getting too old for that. I do increase the size of the font which helps, but when I first look at it, I'm tempted to just go away without reading.

  2. I'm WAY guilty of the long-winded thing. Dangit!

  3. Bob, my blog must be torture. I do need to keep my shorter. I exceed the word count by more than double quite often. And I could use more bullet points.

  4. I have to admit to scanning long posts that seem to go on and on. Even the most interesting are hard to read on the computer. that said, I tend to be too wordy myself.
    I do feel I have to use the spam id thingy. When I went off of it I got some really nasty stuff so its back on again.

  5. When I first started blogging, I was advised to keep paragraphs fairly short. I think this makes things more readable. I've also tried to be conscious of my choice of template. Some of them are difficult to read, so I try to choose one where the font will have enough contrast with the background to make it legible.

    That said, I've got a LONG way to go before I'll consistently put out material that makes people go ga-ga.



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