Readership Rates & Long Articles?

EpicGlobalWeb

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Who knows or has experience with the effectiveness of long vs short articles?

I know that long articles are good for Google because it likes to index content. That's great.

But in America we live in a society where the average person reads 1 book per year. Do you feel there is any reason to believe that long articles are getting higher readership than short ones?

There are "tricks" to force readership. I stole my tricks from the newspaper by incorporating images and video in all of my posts, with those big "block quotes" in the middle of a paragraph here and there to spike interest sporadically. But I'd love to hear an expert opinion on readership of long articles.

And since I know some will ask, I define "long" as > 1200 words.
 

Ron Killian

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That can be a debate, every one with a different answer.

No expert here...

The buzz lately, least among bloggers is LONG articles. A friend of mine who blogs alot and has relationships with bloggers says 2500+ is "suppose" to be the way to go these days. Mainly for the search engines. Guess some might call it epic content. What ever.

Personally I don't know if I buy it. Like you said, society as a whole doesn't read as much. And I know for myself, I get tired of really long articles. I usually end up scrolling after a while. But that is just me.

I think the biggest thing is the formating and the content. Of course content.

A 2,000 word article on the web that is huge blocks of text is work to read, and will probably lose many people. People don't like reading that. Surprisingly many bloggers still do that.

I like to write short sentences, some times real short. Again, no expert. I like to make it like a real conversation. Not that I am a pro at it, but I try.

And it's not that difficult to spruce up the content, with block quotes, bold sparingly, italics, highlight, ect. There are many short cut plugins that make formatting pretty easy these days. Related images also.

And of course the content needs to be written in an interesting way, that is enjoyable, funny, or just fun to read. Far to many blog posts go on like a technical manual or are just boring as hell. Sure they can get comments because many bloggers kiss each others butt, doesn't alway mean it was enjoyable to read.

Once again, no expert, just my opinions. :)
 

trustdnb

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But it is completely opposite in Europe. Here long articles works better.
Could you show more details on this? whY?
A 2,000 word article on the web that is huge blocks of text is work to read, and will probably lose many people. People don't like reading that. Surprisingly many bloggers still do that.
Because A 2,000 word article will help them insert more keywords into their article and it is more SEO benefits for search engines over readers.
And of course the content needs to be written in an interesting way, that is enjoyable, funny, or just fun to read. Far to many blog posts go on like a technical manual or are just boring as hell. Sure they can get comments because many bloggers kiss each others butt, doesn't alway mean it was enjoyable to read.
I have to agree with this, I really like reading articles that including somethings "fUn fUn" in them, it makes you not bored when reading long articles.
 

Rob Whisonant

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I'll come at this question using a different angle. Here is what I do as a reader.

If the article is short, I read it while on the site.

If the article is long and has headlines and bullet points I skim it and decide if I want to read it or not.

If the article is just one long text article, I clip it to Evernote and read it later if at all.

Not sure if I am the typical surfer or not but I have heard others do the same as I do. Or similar.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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That can be a debate, every one with a different answer.

No expert here...

The buzz lately, least among bloggers is LONG articles. A friend of mine who blogs alot and has relationships with bloggers says 2500+ is "suppose" to be the way to go these days. Mainly for the search engines. Guess some might call it epic content. What ever.

Personally I don't know if I buy it. Like you said, society as a whole doesn't read as much. And I know for myself, I get tired of really long articles. I usually end up scrolling after a while. But that is just me.

I think the biggest thing is the formating and the content. Of course content.

A 2,000 word article on the web that is huge blocks of text is work to read, and will probably lose many people. People don't like reading that. Surprisingly many bloggers still do that.

I like to write short sentences, some times real short. Again, no expert. I like to make it like a real conversation. Not that I am a pro at it, but I try.

And it's not that difficult to spruce up the content, with block quotes, bold sparingly, italics, highlight, ect. There are many short cut plugins that make formatting pretty easy these days. Related images also.

And of course the content needs to be written in an interesting way, that is enjoyable, funny, or just fun to read. Far to many blog posts go on like a technical manual or are just boring as hell. Sure they can get comments because many bloggers kiss each others butt, doesn't alway mean it was enjoyable to read.

Once again, no expert, just my opinions. :)
No, actually that makes sense to me. I really don't believe people are reading. But perhaps the people that actually do read are the ones you want as buyers? Readers are leaders after all.

I'll come at this question using a different angle. Here is what I do as a reader.

If the article is short, I read it while on the site.

If the article is long and has headlines and bullet points I skim it and decide if I want to read it or not.

If the article is just one long text article, I clip it to Evernote and read it later if at all.

Not sure if I am the typical surfer or not but I have heard others do the same as I do. Or similar.
Yes, personally I do this all the time. Granted, I have about 40 books on my waiting list as a result. But I presumed making it "easy to share" would be a good improvement for this reason like you said too.

Thanks for all the thoughtful inputs everyone.



Quick question though - it's about the service called Outbrain. It's a content-sharing network, basically PPC for bloggers. Have any of you used it?

If not, I'm going to be buying a ton of ad space from them next week. Reason why I bring this up is because my "theory" is that written text copy promoted on other text-based news networks will attract intelligent readers to content I want to promote. I'll report on how it works after about a month or so.
 
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