3 Reasons I Want Long, Meaty Blog Posts

3 reasons I want long, meaty blog posts: 1) topic domination rocks; 2) more content = more value; 3) satisfaction!

1. I like to DOMINATE a topic.

When I put my mind to a certain topic, action, or goal, I don’t just read a few words and bail. I read EVERYTHING.

I like to completely dominate and master a topic, and walk away feeling like an expert.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Let me give you a few real examples.

That time I became obsessed with border collies.

Once I became OBSESSED with border collies and agility. I didn’t own a border collie (or even any kind of dog), but I was literally OBSESSED with them after watching one single video.

I then proceeded to binge watch YouTube videos and devour articles about:

  • How to train a dog.
  • Agility competitions.
  • Shaping (dog training).
  • Border collie behaviour and recommended environments.

Despite not owning a dog and having no intention of getting one (not due to lack of desire, believe me), I became an effing theoretical expert on training dogs and border collie intelligence. (Not really an expert, but hey, I learned a lot.)

Another example?

DSLR master!!

I’ve always enjoyed photography. At one point, I decided to finally take the next step and get a DSLR. But I knew nothing about DLSRs, how they worked, what to buy, what lenses mean, or what the hell an f-stop is.

So I learned.

I scoured the internet, read seemingly every topic on a photography forum, and devoured blog posts. In just a few days, I came away with:

  • Knowledge of f-stops, focal lengths, ISO, and more.
  • What Canon camera was best for me.
  • What lens to start with, and what lens to use for what purpose.
  • What macro photography is, what kind of lens you need, and the difference between ‘fake’ macro settings and true 1:1 macro.
  • How to use the different camera modes (and why auto sucks balls).

In just a short period of time, I went from being a total noob to being someone who could actually answer questions for other people.

What the hell does this have to do with blog posts?

I promise, this all has a point.

When I read a short blog post, I usually don’t walk away feeling like I’ve gained some epic knowledge.

But when I read a long, meaty, badass blog post, sometimes I can walk away feeling like an expert, or at least a newbie expert, if such a thing could exist.

One epic blog post can take you from noob to “hey, I actually have a solid understanding!” And that’s the material that will keep me on your blog and coming back for more.

2. The longer the blog post, the more value (usually). And people love value.

I know this isn’t always true so let’s not have my head. Yes, I know that you can have short posts that are valuable, and having a lengthy post doesn’t immediately make it valuable. I know all those things.

But typically, a long post means more information and more effort. And typically those two things combined, means more value.

I hate walking away from a blog post all like, “Cool story, bro.”

But I love reading line after line after line thinking, YES YES YES! SO MUCH TO LEARN!

Even if not every single sentence is valuable to me (like if I know something already), I like having it there. I like being able to pick and choose which pieces of the article feel relevant to me. The shorter the post, the less there is for me to choose from, and the more likely I’ll feel like I’m walking away with nothing.

…which brings me to…

3. Long posts make me feel satisfied.

My biggest pet peeve with short posts is that unless it’s a very specific quick tip that I’ve never heard of and is going to blow my mind, I often walk away feeling like I haven’t gained anything.

  • I feel like only the surface was scratched (“where’s the rest?”).
  • There wasn’t enough to excite me (“that’s it?”).
  • It isn’t memorable. I’ll forget about it in two minutes (“whatever”).

I like to walk away feeling inspired. I like my wheels to start turning. I like to be pumped up and ready to go, whether that’s for:

…or whatever.

I like to walk away screaming HELL TO THE YES! And be pumped to use my new knowledge to turn into a blogging badass.

  • Give me knowledge.
  • Give me inspiration.
  • Drown me in your epicness.

Those things take time, which is why you should spend more time writing fewer posts. Instead of whipping out 5 one-paragraph posts per week, write one epic post per week. It isn’t the number of posts you write that makes you memorable—it’s the quality of the posts themselves.

All that being said, don’t write long posts just for the sake of it.

Long posts have a time and place.

It’s true, some posts are better off being quick and short. Just because a post is long doesn’t immediately make it valuable. It has to actually have that ‘value’ element.

When writing a post, ask yourself:

  • “Is there more I could say on this topic?”
  • “Could I dig deeper?”
  • “Have I provided examples and/or demonstrations? Should I?”

If your long post is 10 paragraphs of wishy washy bullshit (like those English papers I used to write), nobody is going to enjoy reading them.

But if your 10 paragraphs are action-packed punches of value, it’s going to be amazeballs.

Further reading…

How Long Should Each Blog Post Be? A Data Driven Answer

“Longer posts usually perform better on every level.”

“Longer content gets shared more”

The SEO And User Science Behind Long-Form Content

“The results showed that the average content length of each of the top 10 results was more than 2,000 words.”

“If you want your articles to rank well, consider using long-form content.”

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

“blog posts are all about quality and not filler. This has never been truer than it is today, in an age of SEO where low value, purposeless content is useless at best and detrimental at worst.”

Let’s chat! How many words is your average blog post?

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Yeah it’s definitely important that every word you write actually provides value. Length is great if it’s packed with important epicness. If it’s all rambling, repetitive waffle… not so much.

  1. That’s exactly how I feel! I especially hate reading 300-word “discussion” posts that contain a very general statement that hardly even constitutes an opinion and then asks readers for theirs. It feels so pointless to me, not to mention lazy. I like reading details to see what sets one person’s thoughts apart from someone else’s.

    And of course, tutorials with in-depth explanations are so much more useful than brief overview when I want to learn something.

    At the same time, yes, no repetition, please. If something profound can be said in 200 words, great! Then there’s no need to add another 1000 words just to make it look beefier.

    JosΓ©phine recently posted: Retrospect #101: December 6
    1. I HATE THOSE! I hate it when a discussion post has an EPIC title, but then the blogger basically says nothing. It’s such a let down. I always leave so sad at the wasted potential.

  2. I couldn’t agree more, I love myself a longer, meaty post. I love getting into the details, I love that it’s helpful and enjoyable to read and that I learn something, and isn’t that what we do, teach people, help people, to help others achieve what we have? I love this post, a) because I agree, and b) because it’s so true!

    1. Yes!! There’s no point in blogging just for the sake of it. If you’re going to do it, why not give it your all? That’s when you’ll feel super proud of what you’ve done and really be contributing something great.

  3. Hmmm, this is good news for me. I struggle to be concise. Usually when I get to writing, I’ve thought about the post long and hard and it ends up easily over 1,000 words. I do try to break it up with images and tweet cards so it’s not too overwhelming. Btw, what kind of DSLR did you get? I want one. I have a Canon Powershot which does well for outdoor pictures but the auto white balance for indoor pictures is off, everything comes out yellowish. The professional photographer I took a class from couldn’t figure out how to fix it. It makes me gun shy to get another Canon but have had my eye on the Rebels and now the Sony mirrorless so can connect to wifi directly which is pretty sweet.

    Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories recently posted: Small Victories Sunday Linkup {79}
    1. As long as everything you say is important and providing value, I don’t think you need to be concise. πŸ™‚ Length only becomes an issue if it’s all waffle or you’re constantly repeating yourself.

      I started with a Canon Rebel XSi (450D) and loved it for a very long time. About two-ish years ago I upgraded to a 6D, which completely blew me away!! I adore it. πŸ™‚

  4. I couldn’t agree more with this!!! I hate it when I see Follow for Follow/blog hop type memes, where all somebody does is paste a list of guidelines, 20 other links to different blogs and then a ONE SENTENCE answer to a slightly tacky question.

    Surely if you want to gain followers, writing ONE sentence isn’t way to do it? I mean, if you want me to follow you, then copying and pasting a ton of links to other blogs isn’t going to make me want to read more. Posting less often but writing longer, quality posts is the best way to go.

    I apologise, I seem to have gone off on mini-rant there… πŸ™‚

    I agree writing longer, more indepth posts is the best way forward. If a post takes me through almost every aspect of a tutorial or discussion, then I definitely feel more satisfied and come away with something that I didn’t know before/something new to consider.

    Great post!

  5. Awesome and super intriguing post, Ashley!
    Post length has been a long-time struggle for me, especially with reviews, which is funny because most of my writing experience comes from writing newspaper stories. I’m an incredibly wordy person, which directly contradicts the journalistic “conciseness is key” approach to writing. It’s an unfortunate truth that many journalists have to deal with: people often feel intimidated by large amounts of text. I love the way you break down your posts into short segments with bullet points. You’re great at striking a balance between readability and information. I’ve done bullet format posts before, but I’m too in love with long-form writing to use bullets often, so I have to find a medium: long-form writing written concisely. Doesn’t that sound paradoxical? Lol.

    Dana @ Unprinted Protagonist recently posted: Discussion | Pros & cons of caring about appearance
    1. I think long-form ONLY works when the writing is concise. If you’re making a bunch of different points in your post, and you’re also taking the roundabout and wordy way to read each one, I know I would peace out pretty quickly.

      Your happy medium sounds perfect to me, and I know that’s what I aim for. πŸ™‚

    2. Long-form written concisely totally makes sense! I think the idea is to cover the whole topic, include a lot of information, but don’t say more than you HAVE to say to get it all out there. If you’re over-explaining or repeating yourself, that’s not a good sign.

  6. Lol so far this week, the posts I’ve written have clocked in at 700 words and almost 3000, respectively. No range here! I have a really bitter diatribe about word count and the time I edited an employee’s blog post down from 1500 words to 600 without removing any important information, but I won’t bore everyone with that here. πŸ˜›

    I’ve noticed my posts have been getting shorter lately, but that’s because the topics are getting more specific.

    I actually really love reading posts that are about insanely specific topics, so the ideal scenario for me is that they’re both short and meaty. πŸ™‚

    Brittany recently posted: Organize Your Book Reviews in 2016
    1. You’re totally right Brittany. If the post is just full of waffle or BS or over-explaining or unnecessary rambling then it’s not going to be interesting.

      Pack a lot of punch.
      Make it clear to read and easy to skim.
      Cover the whole topic.
      Don’t say more than you have to.

  7. First of all, I usually obsess over a topic when I want to learn something as well and hate those wishy washy posts. If I leave feeling like “okay, that was great but I learned nothing new”, I probably won’t go back.

    I definitely agree with this post. Longer, in depth posts are better, but only if they have substance and examples. I don’t mind spending 10 mins reading and learning something, but 2 mins and leave without anything new? It irritates me.

    Also, if you ever want to borrow one of my BCs you totally can! Whenever, just ask..I’ll even deliver..just take one, please. I kid (sort of, depending on the day).

    1. You’re so right Debbie—the posts need substance. Long posts rock, but only if you actually walk away with tons of information. We don’t need that filler BS I used to put in my school essays to meet length requirements, haha.

      Aww, I wish I could take one, but alas, I’m not allowed. πŸ™ Stupid apartment rules!

  8. Yes Ashley, Long posts are always best in all prospective. I usually write 1500+ words. How can you leave a blog post incomplete, and I feel that short posts are incomplete. If you could write in-depth articles, the reader has to search the same topic in google for more details. It also reduces your bounce rate, because you will have number of internal links. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  9. :O Are you a fellow autistic?! I only ask because of your wanting to become an expert on new [potentially special] interests. (For example, your blog has become my new special interest, because I keep finding posts I agree with so much, which basically means I’m reading through your archives. :x)

    Anyways, I’ve considered posting my self-hosting guide into several blog posts—several, because while I could probably get away with the first section being 5,000 words, I’m not sure I could get away with a blog post nearing 10,000 words—and the links about longer, meaty content actually being appreciated has made me reconsider it, if only because trying to package it up into a course/ebook is difficult, because…it’s just not my style. I’m all about teaching people to DIY when and where possible and have always wanted the guide available to everyone.

    Thanks for another helpful post! <3

    1. I’m not autistic, but very cool have that desire in common. πŸ™‚

      You should definitely consider splitting your guide into multiple blog posts. Around 2k-3k per post might be a good goal. πŸ™‚

  10. Ashley,

    Thanks for the 3 points! Valid… I like to write long posts too but at times I consider my readers and how short/little their time could be to learn something so I keep my stuff under 3000 words but not less than 1500 words on the topic.

    I find that to be a sweet spot.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  11. Totally agree with your all points Ashley, and yes long post always has a greater impact on the audience.
    Appreciate your efforts for sharing such a worthy content.

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