When you arrive at many restaurants, you are given the option to order appetizers, main courses, and deserts. Some people will enjoy all three, but others will go straight for the main course. I tend to follow the latter way of doing things as I want to get straight to the point. This is just as true with most people scouring the web for content, but many bloggers make the mistake of wasting the reader’s time with unnecessary content.
It doesn’t matter if you take a single paragraph or ten paragraphs to get you point across—each word, sentence, and paragraph should be clearly and concisely written. When people read a magazine, they generally expect lengthy, in-depth articles, but when people read a blog, they expect to get the information fast. If the reader wanted all the information, they would go right to the source.
Too Much Data!
The internet is a place where a single chunk of information can be massively spread within hours, and the bloggers that can get right to the point are the ones that will usually come out the winners. It is pretty much similar to how real newspapers work–all publications want the big scoop. Obviously, most normal bloggers are not getting the scoop, they are just sharing their thoughts about existing news, and this is part of the reason as to why blogs are so popular.
Think about it—bloggers are essentially competing (for a lack of a better word) against thousands of other bloggers, and many people subscribe to numerous blogs. People just don’t have the time to dedicate several minutes to reading a single blog entry, and this is made more true if you are posting several times a day. If it took an average of three minutes to read 20 blog posts on various blogs, that would add up to at least an hour of reading time!
After a quick glance through the Technorati Top 100 Blogs, I noticed that most blogs had entries that didn’t even fill up my entire screen. That is appealing to a lot of people. It should come as no shock that studies performed in the past have revealed that users tend to like shorter posts. Regardless of whether or not you prefer to write short and concise posts, it can’t hurt to appeal to the masses.
So, Eliminate Unnecessary Content
All bloggers should try to cut out the unnecessary content within their content. Each paragraph should act as a building block to the entire post. Regardless of the number of paragraphs it takes, each should be useful to the reader. The less words you can do this in, the more concise the post is.
If you could have the first sentence represent the entire paragraph, you have already done well. The introductory sentence is what the focus of the paragraph should be. Each following sentence should add only necessary information—otherwise, move on to the next idea.
Also, stick to small and simple words. In fact, there are scarcely any grounds for adding such ambiguity to any piece of work. While complex words might make you appear like a genius to a few friends, it will mostly give the impression that people are reading from a college textbook—my brain is already hurting from the thought.
In the end, you want to give your readers the meat, and chop out as much fat as possible. Do this, and you are well on your way to impressing your readers. Less is more.