Posted on Fri 05 September 2014

The merit of short blog posts

I used to think short blog posts weren't worth reading. I thought a post of 500 words or less would necessarily be low quality, because the author probably didn't put much time into it.

Recently I visited the blog of someone I respect and noticed many of his posts are shorter than 500 words. In fact, some were just 2-300 words. Seeing such short-form content from someone I respect made me rethink my avoidance of short blog posts. I see now that there are benefits to writing high-quality short-form content.

It's highly focused

I don't let word counts dictate what I write—I'm a firm believer that content should dictate the length. But I can't avoid the fact that 500 words or less is not long enough to explore a topic in-depth, especially when I'm backing it up with research.

However, in a short blog post you do have the advantage of staying highly focused. You can touch on a topic and explain your opinion, one particular facet of it, or your way of thinking about an idea, without going off on tangents.

It becomes a resource

When you have an archive of highly focused content, you're left with content to point people to. If you've already answered a question or waxed poetic on your philosophy about something, you can point people to that in the future, rather than repeating yourself over and over.

With longer, in-depth content, this doesn't work as well, because your reader will often get lost in the depth of the content before they find the reason you pointed them to it.

I've realised that short blog posts are like any other type of content: if it suits your message and you're providing value, there's room for it somewhere.

P.S. I make some stuff you might like: Exist, a personal analytics app to help you understand your life, and Larder, a bookmarking app for developers.

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