Almost two years ago, Darren Rowse posted an article “Frequent Short Posts – A Secret of A-List Bloggers Success” based on research into a handful of “A list” blogs. The conclusion drawn was that posts of 150 words or less are not only indexed better by search engines, but appeal to those with a shorter attention span, as well as allowing a much greater number of highly targeted entry points into a blog compared with longer posts.
Earlier in the week, Michael Gray wrote an article at Webpronews about Sound Bite Blogging in which he extended (or should that be contracted) the principle:
The one question that stood out was this one:
By limiting your posts to less 300 characters on average can you attract and retain a larger audience, I think so.
That’s around 40-50 words per post.
Though he acknowledges that search engines might not lap up your content because the design elements of your page on a single article will outweigh the unique article text, he believes that shorter ‘sound bite’ articles could have greater impact in the social networking / bookmarking / Digg culture.
if my suspicions about being able to retain a larger audience is true you have a greater chance of getting more links. Chances are that sound byte audience is also more technically advanced and social media friendly and would help you build a Digg culture and get you those sought after links. You authority problem would be short lived once you built up critical user mass.
It’s an interesting thought. My blogging style (both contractually, where applicable, and from choice) is to write at least 150 words per post, and usually anywhere from 200 to 400 words. However, I do write shorter posts as well.
I personally think a blog thrives on a variety of styles and lengths of post, and that most blogs can benefit from sound bites, features, and everything in between. Sure, don’t pad out brief news for the sake of it, nor attempt to trim down an article that needs more prose. A blog built entirely on sound bites may end up looking a little shallow after time.
What do you think?