Megan Berry recently discussed the notion that online content and communication is progressively getting shallower. She admits to only reading the first page of an article and skimming the rest. I’ve been guilty of skimming articles that have a high word count as well, but this often has more to do with the quality than my attention span. Please allow me to continue the discussion Megan started.
Just because an article is long doesn’t mean there’s more value. Just because an article is short doesn’t mean that it’s shallow. Sometimes long articles are long merely for the sake of it. Sometimes short articles are jam packed with great information and resources. Seth Godin writes short riffs, yet his content makes me think more than any other marketer. Perhaps it is a gift for some, but for the rest of us here are three ways to spice up your shallow content.
1.) Take a similar approach to Valeria Maltoni of Conversation Agent and start your conversation on Sunday/Monday and let it progress throughout the week, adding something different each time. You may have some shorter posts, but they build off each other, explain one big idea, and culminate at the end of the week.
Along these same lines, break large posts into a couple of segments just because sometimes long posts, even those with phenomenal content, can be a bit daunting.
2.) Mix in feature length posts. If the majority of your posts are short (and perhaps a
bit shallow), but then periodically when you have a really long feature-length post your readers will probably realize that it is longer for a reason, and that is has additional depth.
3.) Add valuable linkbait and resources to your post. Some bloggers are scared that if they send their readers elsewhere, that they won’t come back. In my experience I’ve found that they realize you valued their time to send them to somewhere that could further enhance their experience. This helps gain their trust (which is invaluable) and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Bonus: One thing I’m trying to teach myself is that you don’t have to cram everything you’ve researched and brainstormed into the post. Sometimes being a bit vague enables your readers to draw their own conclusions or extend the conversation in the comments section.
For example, I have a few more additions I could add to this post, but then you wouldn’t have to think for yourselves. You would not have to really engage the content. (Not that you have to anyway.) Humor me though, and leave your comments.
What are other ways you can spice up shallow content on your blog? What about you, do you think most blog content is too shallow? Do you even read long posts? What kind of posts do you typically do on your own blog?