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Blogging is easy

I wrote this post in 15 seconds. 

Just to make this point: 

Don’t over-complicate your blog writing.  No one wants an essay. 

Just share one good idea.

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Comments

  1. Scott Allen March 14, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Jakob Nielsen would disagree. I don’t agree with him entirely, but I think he makes an excellent point when he says (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/articles-not-blogs.html):
    “Blog postings will always be commodity content: there’s a limit to the value you can provide with a short comment on somebody else’s work. Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they’re definitely easy to write. But they don’t build sustainable value. Think of how disappointing it feels when you’re searching for something and get directed to short postings in the middle of a debate that occurred years before, and is thus irrelevant.”
    I’ve certainly had that experience as a user. He goes on to talk about how this affects your brand as an expert:
    “It might take you only an hour to write a blog posting on some current controversy, but a thousand other people can do that as well (in fact, they’ll sometimes do it better, as shown above). And customers don’t want to pay for such a tiny increment of knowledge. Sure, sometimes a single paragraph holds the idea that can increase a site’s conversion rate so much that a reader should have paid a million dollars to read it. But they don’t know that in advance, so they won’t pay.
    In contrast, in-depth content that takes much longer to create is beyond the abilities of the lesser experts. A thousand monkeys writing for 1,000 hours doesn’t add up to Shakespeare. They’ll actually create a thousand low-to-medium-quality postings that aren’t integrated and that don’t give readers a comprehensive understanding of the topic — even if those readers suffer through all 1,000 blogs.
    Thorough content’s added value can rise above the threshold where customers become willing to be separated from their money. This is the true measure of a sustainable business.”
    I try to strike a balance. I’m not convinced that no one wants an essay — in my experience, the essays are usually the most highly-linked posts and certainly the ones that generate the most long-term traffic. And I can’t help but agree with Nielsen that they’re the ones that do the most to build my credibility as an expert with potential consulting clients.

  2. Jake McKee March 14, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    I totally agree with your point generally, but I’ll also say that you need to pay attention to your audience. Some of my best trafficked posts are the longer ones, while the most commented are the shorter ones.
    I do thing there is such a thing as too long, but short alone is not a default good.
    I won’t belabor the point, in order to keep with the short = good mantra :)

  3. Allan Webb March 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    Of course, a good writer will always use the minimum number of words necessary to tell the story. On the other hand, the story must be told in such a way that it has value. Sometimes that means a short story, sometimes longer. Write to the need of the audience — not to an arbitrarily fixed minimum or maximum number of words.

  4. Bob Roth March 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    I agree that both length and breadth do matter. What matters more, of course, is how you use them.
    In my opinion, blog content, whether created of your own merit or commenting on someone else’s, should simply incite conversation amongst your readers… often easier said than done.
    4 comments on an irrelevant post? A few more and your point may be substantiated, Andy!

  5. Paul Chaney March 17, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    I think there is certainly room for both quick hits and longer essay style posts. In fact, Amy Gahran suggested that there were seven posting “styles,” which I’ve outlined here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/75352/Project-Blogger-Seven-Blog

  6. Chris Posey March 17, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Hm. It depends. I can read lengthy posts by certain people: Danielle Blumenthall, Ed Roach, Laura Ries, Jennifer Rice (when she was blogging). Don’t get me wrong-I like my quick-posters too, but sometimes, the art of the essay writers makes it worth the time investment, even on a blog.

  7. Josef Katz March 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Interesting point and definitely eye catching topic. Would a 15 second post be better suited for the world of micro blogging?

  8. SoftwareSweatshop March 18, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    Word up… point taken.
    Raza Imam
    http://SoftwareSweatshop.com

  9. Jen Knoedl March 25, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    whatever the opinions… it obviously works.
    thanks for the push!

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