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Six Quick Tips for Writing Short Blog Posts

Six Quick Tips for Writing Short Blog Posts

Some people give me a hard time about how long my blog posts are (you know who you are). They tell me I should break my posts into smaller posts, or suggest I consider a 500-word post for a change. I deserve the razzing, particularly when I publish a couple of 3,000-word posts back-to-back.

In the absence of column inch or word limit restrictions, I’ll use as many words as I need to get my point across. It’s not that I don’t know how to write short posts, it’s just not my preferred style. If I’m limited to 140 characters (for now at least), I’ll use 140 characters. If I decide to write a 500-word post about how to write shorter blog posts, I can do it.Writing

To prove my point, you’re actually reading that 500-word post I mentioned. Here are six of the most helpful tips I’ve come across for writing shorter blog posts:

  • Bite-Sized Content – when planning posts, pick topics that can be addressed in 500 words or less.
  • Get to the Point – focus on one point for your topic. If you have more than one point to cover, consider writing a separate post.
  • Blueprints Before Building – before you start writing, create a quick outline for your post. Focus on your opening, your main point, and your conclusion as the key ingredients.
  • Omit Words – review your post at least once and cut half your copy. Follow the “omit needless words” rule from “The Elements of Style.
  • Worth 1,000 Words – What image or graphic can literally take the place of 1,000 words in your post? Or provide your readers with 700 ideas for headlines without writing a single one?
  • Supporting Info – don’t repeat or rewrite things that exist elsewhere – instead of saying it, link to it.
  • Revise and Tighten – if you’re not on deadline, keep revising until your copy is tight and you’re completely satisfied.

As a bonus tip, I suggest you find a blogger who has mastered the art and science of writing short posts. Me, I enjoy reading and learning about startups from “David Cummings on Startups.” Cummings uses a consistent formula for his posts, which is part of the reason he’s been able to publish a new blog post EVERY DAY without fail for several years now. His posts typically flow like this:Blog

  • A short, descriptive headline – what topic today’s post is about
  • An introductory paragraph – introduces the main point around a topic
  • A bullet list of supporting points – backup for the main point – often linked to helpful resources
  • A summary paragraph – to reinforce the main topic
  • A consistent request for feedback – always end with the CTA (call-to-action)

I’m often surprised by how much I learn from two paragraphs and a couple of bullets. I think his blog is a great example of how you can deliver both quantity and quality from your blog.

And in case you were wondering, this post is 500 words. 🙂

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