A few years ago, when someone asked the ideal length of a blog post, the common answer would sound like “between 400 to 600 words.” Now, when you ask someone the same question, the reply would fall between 200 to 300 words. This seems to be the case of “The Shrinking Blog Post.”
Now, why is this seemingly happening? I have a few theories:
- The Micro-blogging Effect – Twitter introduced a new level of brevity when it comes to writing interesting content. My guess is that since people want instant gratification in content, readers are now slowly expecting the same about blogs– say what you want to say in the least amount of words possible.
- “Sharability” over Stickiness – Slightly related to the first theory, my general observation is that people are more into sharing content. And I think sharing is really a “volume” activity in the sense that you gain credibility by sharing often, even if the quality is passable at best.
- Economics – For professional bloggers and writers, there are schemes where the author is paid based on the number of words in the article. Perhaps this is a response to the financial crisis that started a couple of years ago.
- The Public’s Trust in Experts – While I believe social media does open the gates for new experts, there are a few experts whom the general public trusts and these experts often have “The Word” on certain topics. This credibility gives them the privilege to post long, but rare articles. This situation leaves people to be often have to rely on high frequency of posting to elevate their reputation.
There may be other reasons, but the case of “The Shrinking Blog Post” may not be cracked soon.