I see so many bloggers these days moving toward longer and longer blog posts that just ramble on for miles and if I’ve told you once I’ve told you a hundred times – you need to stop that and get to the point. But what IS the point, you ask? Let’s take a look…
Why You Need To Get To The Point – Fast!
According to ReadingSoft, the average person reads at a rate of 200 words per minute, and only comprehends about 60 percent of what he reads.
Now, combine that information with the fact that the average visitor will leave your site in under 10 seconds if you don’t immediately grab his attention.
That means they’ll be on your site long enough to read approximately 33 words. If you don’t let the reader know you can answer his question in the first 33 words or less, he’s going to go looking for someone who will.
There are situations where those long posts are beneficial. For example, a Top 100 List post is great if you’re trying to generate new direct traffic because people often bookmark those posts for later reference. Those long posts also make great viral content.
However, in most cases, organic traffic is coming to your blog looking for the answer to a question. If they have to wade through too much information to find it, they’re going to get discouraged and click away.
Remember – you only have 33 words or less to grab their attention and let them know you can solve the problem.
If you want to create a long post, here are three solutions to that 33-word limit:
Condense, Then Expand
Write a short, to-the-point introduction that gives all the basic information your reader will need.
If it’s well-written and informative they’ll be thankful and they may even be curious enough to read the rest of your post where you flesh out all the details.
It’s important to remember that a lot of the people who read that long post are going to be first-time visitors to your blog and you’ll want to make sure you give them all the information they’re looking for. But, in some cases, that can be too much.
If you’ve already explained a particular term or procedure somewhere else on your blog there’s no need to include all the details again – especially if it’s adding so much additional information that it becomes distracting.
Simply link to that definition or explanation and tell your new readers they can follow the link for more information.
Break It Down
If the average reader only retains 60 percent of what he reads that means the more information you include in that post the less useful it’s going to be. He’s only going to retain a little over half of whatever you write.
You’re wasting your time and your readers’ time and he could potentially be even more confused by the time he gets done reading.
Break your long posts down into multiple smaller posts where you make smaller points and tell your readers what you’re doing so they come back for the rest of the story.