Blog on Blogging

A recent blog by Brett Mifsud suggested that the optimal length for a blogpost should be approximately 200-500words.  Problogger suggested that the average time spent reading blogs was 96 seconds, which tends to indicate that the optimal length is 1/2 of what Brett suggested.  Which guides us to the point of this blog… more important than word count, from my perspective is that

  • Writing for the web is crucial to a successful blog
  • the length of the blogpost is relevant for the potential audience
  • the content is targeted to your potential audience
  • content contains facts, and is credible
  • the content is sticky (i.e. interesting, evokes emotional connections, has images or video)
  • is scannable and browsable – Jacob Neilson in early studies found that 79% of users scan a page, and 16% read a page word by word

I few key points on writing for the web

  • Highlight or link key words in the page
  • Use recognisable sub headings (in the language of the user)
  • show numbers as numerals and use digits rather than letters (e.g. % & $ rather than percent and dollar)
  • use bullet points
  • Place important general information early in the article ( similar to an executive summary), then expand with details later if necessary
  • word count should be 1/3 to a 1/2 of conventional print, or an assignment
  • cut out “Happy Talk” or large blocks of text
  • talking head video is boring
  • “F” shape scanning is common, and a reason the above writing styles should be used

If some of these attributes are used in your blogging, then understanding the content, speed of reading and impact of message were all found to have increased values.

From here, how do you develop a successful blog?

And the final suggestion…don’t be shy, especially if you’re a bloggabeewannabee

5 Comments

  1. Posted September 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Pete,

    I totally aggree with you that a word counter wouldn’t ensure a good blog post. Many blogs describe some do’s and don’ts, see one example http://visionarymarketing.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/dos-and-donts/ which I have described in a short blog post as well: http://birgithapfelmeier.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/golden-rules-for-corporate-blogging/

  2. pete
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Birgit
    thanks for your response – there are some good basic tips in the visionary marketing article
    but from my perspective she has failed in writing for the web, with too much extra information and the content is not scannable
    this is an example “if you have blogs in multiple languages, and if some of the content on either of these languages bears relation to the other blogs in other languages in terms of context, then I would recommend that you use translation services in order to make your teams benefit from the content that other teams have written”
    but if you have the time and the patience I am sure there is some relevant facts to find
    cheers Peter

  3. Posted October 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Definately some great points pete, I think a lot of these points tie in with the SLATES paradigm we disscussed early in the semester. great to see your point of view!

    ~Jamie

  4. pete
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Yeh, that is where this site is hosted -good value and reliable

  5. Posted March 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

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