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Too Long Article Create Bad User Experience1327

Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I arrived early and found myself waiting for the other party to show up for a meeting.

Checking my email, I received an alert about a topic I am interested in.

Great title - A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an ... in Your Industry.

I have some time to kill, I think I'll give it a read while I wait.

So, I read, and read, and read, and read, and read ... seriously. It got silly at one point.

Finally, I decided to scroll down to see how much longer it was going to take...and reached the conclusion, "This is far, far too much to read on my cell phone."

When I got back home, I grabbed the article and did a word count. 4,422, count 'em! words.

4422 words! Are you kidding me?

It was NOT a good user experience. No way. It was just plain too long.

Have you ever abandoned content because it went on and on and on and on and ... ?
Post 1 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
IMHO, long-form content is the new spam.

Just because I can write/use more words and get better search results...it doesn't mean the long-form makes for a good user experience.

Length is not/should not/ought not EVER be a criteria for good.

Does the reader get what the reader was looking for? Yes or no.

That's the criteria.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew

I came across one of those articles today as well and I found myself scanning for the point or the steps needed. Couldn't find them so ended up hitting DELETE - I guess, like everyone else, our time spaces are not sufficient enough to take in long expletives. Get to the point with the prose so I can move on or take the necessary action.
Post 3 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@bdaoust

Agreed.

Tell me the steps up front. Then ramble on below and encourage me to go there to read more in depth.

Long-form is the new spam.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
When it comes to content marketing, time is the new currency. Oh, wait... it always was!
Post 5 • IP   flag post
Member Genn133 private msg quote post Address this user
Yap, agree.
Unless I am super interested to know the end of the story - I will bail out after 400-500 words.
Post 6 • IP   flag post
Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
Isn't the secret to mix it up and have all forms of content ... short, medium and long... repurposed in as many forms as possible...

Some people swear by long articles, I love medium articles... and @Belew I know likes short articles... different strokes for different folks... but the secret is knowing your audience and giving them what they want.
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Member Genn133 private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks Steve. You are correct.
Post 8 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Steve

Yup. It's all about the reader.
Post 9 • IP   flag post
Member MLHarris private msg quote post Address this user
There is a social media guy who tells Bloggers to write a very long blog post 1x a month don't write frequently. Many people do this. I don't see how long or often u can promote a long post over and over again. People usually like to read new content. Depends on the reader.
Post 10 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@MLHarris

Different strokes, I suppose.

The real test is:

1. Is the phone ringing?
2. Is the email box filling up?
3. Are real and relevant people engaging with you?
4. Are your efforts sustainable?

If so, keep doing what you are doing.
Post 11 • IP   flag post
Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
In business its often the hardest path that people are afraid to travel. Blogging often and to me that is everyday is hard work... blogging multiple times a week is hard work ... blogging once a month is easy ... and in my opinion is simply a solution people are willing to accept and pay money for because they say... yes I can do that.... when in reality you cannot gain maximium results with just one post per month.

Take Neil Patel of kissmetrics, he loves long blog posts, yet his posting schedule would shame many ... I'm not quite sure what it is, but it's likely daily or multiple times per week... so no easy path.

Just an opinion ... oh and I'm also a firm believer in looking to do things different to everyone else.
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Member KitK private msg quote post Address this user
Writing long form multiple times daily is unsustainable - very exhausting and it takes time, to the point that you do not have any more time to do other things.
Post 13 • IP   flag post
Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
@KitK that all depends on your team size ... however I'm more of the medium blog post... carried out daily... with the odd long one thrown in.

@Belew likes lots of short blog posts ...

It all comes down to making whatever you want, work for you and knowing your numbers.
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Member KitK private msg quote post Address this user
@steve Yea, if you have a team, that can be sustainable... but then again, they can do tons of short to medium size posts.

I would like to add: I did a series of 50 DIY Christmas gifts, which entails a lot of research on my part. It was exhausting. Putting it together was another story... it was too long for me.

So I decided to chop it into three posts (the last one still WIP) and the visitors who got to part 1 and part 2 were jumping to the other part, which is, in my research, good for reducing bounce rate.

My takeaway for this is that if you have a very long article, you can turn it into a multi post topic.
Post 15 • IP   flag post
Member KitK private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belew
@bdaoust

Tell me the steps up front. Then ramble on below and encourage me to go there to read more in depth.


Oooh! Good one. You can do a TL;DR paragraph before the long article. you might satisfy both man and machine.

However, what if the content they needed was in the ramble? XD
Post 16 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@KitK

If it's in the ramble they will keep reading.
Post 17 • IP   flag post
Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
</sarcasm start> @KitK guess I have no idea at all about this ... you'll have to share you experience more </sarcasm over>

Wondering who said you had to do multiple long form posts?
Post 18 • IP   flag post
Member KitK private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
</sarcasm start> @KitK guess I have no idea at all about this ... you'll have to share you experience more </sarcasm over>

Wondering who said you had to do multiple long form posts?


Woah, slow down! I am just sharing my recent experience, not looking down on you, or questioning your experience or your methods.

Also, who says I cannot share my newb experience here?

As far as I know, the topic is all about long form content being bad. If you do not want any person discussing things with you, just say so.
Post 19 • IP   flag post
Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
I see long posts as being 1000 to 1500 words or more. "More" tends to become fodder for a report or ebook.

Sort posts would generally be in the 300 to 500 word range. Less than 300 words happens but it is more often forum chat.

If you accept those numbers, and not everyone will (or has to) then we could put 3 short posts against 1 long post (word count). There may be a little more research in the three short posts but if the information is related, or if they are parts 1, 2, and 3, then not so much.

In my experience the 3 short posts will out-perform the 1 long post nearly every time -- with both machines and people.

I don't have a case study on this and I am working with empirical data and my own memory (read: experience) but, given the extend of that and the success it generally gives me, I am quite confident in the claim.

There will always be exceptions and outliers but writing more posts works for me.
Post 20 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev

I have several case studies on this. They are published here somewhere.

Multiple short-form will far outperform one long-form over time.

No contest.
Post 21 • IP   flag post
Member MLHarris private msg quote post Address this user
HI Bill,
It's not something I write long posts all the time. Too many words. It's just a different perspective in how one can or will write blog posts.
Post 22 • IP   flag post
Member dono2081 private msg quote post Address this user
Hubspot has done some research on this, which you can find on their blog at hubspot.com.

D
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