Short Content That Engages Readers

For the moment, I have your attention. For the moment. However you’ve stumbled upon this blog, I as the content writer have lucked into an audience. My precious words are finally ringing out in the ears of someone, somewhere, somehow. But how long do I have to communicate my message? And how can I make the most of my brief time in front of you?

When developing an SEO content strategy, it’s become trendy for creative content marketing professionals to suggest strictly long-form content. Statistics show that the average professional blog length is 1,142 words. Not only do these lengthy articles give writers a chance to pack in more SEO keywords, but they theoretically maximize the time with the reader by giving a ton of information. But look more deeply into web traffic, and the numbers tell a different story.  According to marketing research, the average visitor will spend less than a minute on your site in total, and as little as 10 seconds skimming a blog post. When compelling content goes long, how can we be sure our words aren’t falling on deaf ears?

The Art of Short Content as a Blog Best Practice

With time being of the essence, the goal of a short content piece is succinct and clear writing. There’s no space for long or poetic introductions, nor for unnecessary sections on tangential topics. Much like a haiku, a short content piece needs to get to quickly get to the main point. The blog needs to have an immediately understood thesis, powerful arguments or data points to back up its arguments, and a compelling call-to-action. Cut to black. Roll credits. That’s it.

However, this may seem easier said than done. Especially in the case of a complex subject or topic it’s a common instinct to go longer. A piece on AI technology, for example, may feel deserving of verbose diatribes covering the ins and outs of how machine learning works. But the article would be better served by addressing the pain points of an audience and connecting exactly how artificial intelligence can provide solutions. It’s more likely that a reader will have a stronger connection to the blog without having to wade through lengthy paragraphs.

In short, your writing should be useful to your audience, distinguish yourself from other voices, and stay concise. Anything else would be unnecessary. Okay, back to your day.

In 1922, Winston Churchill commissioned the world's first white paper. In 2019, Metonymy Media's Creative Director, Amber Peckham, created The Meta Paper in that first paper's image. The result? A white paper about white papers and how to make them. Download now for best practices and insights into how you can make your next white paper the absolute best it can be.