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Frequent Short Articles: Should You Do Like Big Bloggers?

Steven 3 responses Blogging
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I’ve talked before about posting frequency and post length but it’s always been in generalities.

You know, like “You should post frequently” and “You should get to the point.

This time, I’d like to be a little more specific because I think when people see actual numbers it helps drive the point home.

So let’s define “frequent” and “short” and talk about how they relate to A-list bloggers.

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What Makes Someone An A-List Blogger?

It’s not posting frequency or post length that makes someone an A-list blogger.

It has nothing to do with what social networks they belong to or how well they’ve optimized their blog or how large their list is or how many other bloggers they network with.

And the quality of their writing doesn’t really have anything to do with it, either.

The secret to their success is that A-list bloggers are able to clearly convey their message.

You learn something or take something away every time you read one of their posts.

And because they’re able to clearly convey their message they appeal to a very broad audience.

How do they do it?

They publish short posts – frequently.

Why Short Posts Are So Important

The average online reader will spend 97 seconds on your blog.

During that time he will read approximately 300-400 words.

He will only absorb and comprehend 60 percent of what he reads, or about 240 words out of a 400-word blog post.

That information is important for a couple reasons:

Your visitor is looking for an answer to a question and you have approximately 97 seconds and 400 words to give it to him.

If you do, you look like a star and you’re on your way to becoming an A-list blogger.

If you don’t, he’s going to leave your blog and may never come back.

First-time visitors especially are only going to stay on your blog for 97 seconds, regardless of how long you make your blog post.

The idea that you can keep them on your blog longer by cranking out a 2,000 word post is just wrong.

Repeat visitors may stick around, but only if that post is of exceptional quality and worth the extra time it takes to read it.

A-list bloggers understand that, as a blogger, you have to work within the parameters set by your readers – it’s not the other way around.

You can not force your readers to bend to your will.

And the only way to make your readers happy is to give them exactly what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

The Definition Of “Short Posts

The ideal length is 400-500 words:

It’s short enough for your visitor to read and absorb your key points and it’s long enough to satisfy the search engines.

It provides one answer for one question:

While you’re writing your post if you’re tempted to say, “Yes, but what if they want to know THIS, too…

then you need to start another post.

Use one keyword and provide the best answer for one question.

If you have multiple answers then rephrase the question using another keyword, write another post, and link to it.

If your reader wants that information he’ll follow your link.

The Benefits of Short Posts

  • Your reader can quickly scan your post and get the answer to his question.
  • You look like a Rock Star.
  • The search engines can also quickly scan your post and see what you’re talking about.
  • You improve your page rank.

How Frequently Should You Post?

Visit the archives of your favorite A-list bloggers.

Go all the way back to the day they started your blog.

You might be surprised to see that many of them started out posting five, six, or even eight times a day.

That’s right – eight blog posts a day.

But there’s a method to their madness…

If you’re knowledgeable about your niche it only takes a few minutes to write a 400-word blog post that provides one answer to one question.

In the time it takes to write a 2,000 word post full of links and quotes and all that crap most bloggers include, you can crank out five or six short, focused posts – easily.

And when you do, you have five or six new keywords and URLs in the search engine index.

All those extra URLs mean more people will be able to find your blog – faster.

Now, if you publish one 2,000-word blog post every day, at the end of the year you’ll have 365 URLs on the index.

And chances are, many of your readers are going to leave without an answer because there’s just too much to absorb.

If you publish five 400- or 500-word posts every day, at the end of the year you’ll have 1,825 URLs.

And because your posts are short and direct, everyone who reads them learns something.

That’s the secret to those A-list bloggers’ success.

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3 Comments

  1. Joshua

    I am not a fan of the term A list bloggers. It is sort of a nonsensical term that isn’t well defined.

    Without that definition how do we apply a label.

  2. I never thought of the benefit of having 1,800+ URLs in a year’s time. Looks like I need to be a little more prolific! Thanks for always providing great ideas!

  3. Anyl

    short content pages are not better in the eye of google. You might be punished for that.