Have you noticed longer posts from people you follow on social lately? Instead of taking the time to craft a blog post and then link it to social, some bloggers are choosing to use every character available to them on Instagram or Facebook to communicate. There are some benefits to this style of communication including avoiding the step of having to set up a blog, but is this the best way to connect with your ideal reader and grow your audience? Short form blogging isn’t as new as many believe, but the trend is increasing. Not all trends are worth embracing, but I think this one might be worth considering.
The most commonly mentioned short form blogger is Seth Godin. Seth posts something every day on his blog, but many posts are two paragraphs or less. Some are a few sentences, but this isn’t the only platform Seth uses to communicate. He has written 18 bestseller books. There are many reasons people choose to embrace short form blogging. A quick Google search pulled up articles arguing that shorter blog posts are better for SEO, that they have more potential to be read all the way through, and that social is replacing the blogging platform.
Although I disagree with the rationalizations for short form blogging previously listed (read why here), I think Godin has mastered the key to succeeding with this strategy. When short blog posts are used to extend the communication between blogger and reader this blogging trend is an effective strategy to keep readers engaged without significantly increasing your time spent writing.
We’ve all heard our friends and co-workers complain about how busy they feel. You may have felt the time crunch with your own calendar. Couple this with ever-shrinking attention spans and all the noise on the internet and it makes sense that writers and business owners would question whether it’s worth the time and effort to prioritize blogging. If your goal is to build a platform of followers doesn’t it make sense to focus communication efforts on social media? Well, to some degree, the answer is yes. However, while social is a great place share a quick thought or a sweet memory, there are many restraints which could leave your reader frustrated.
I frequently come across short form blogging on Instagram. A beautiful picture catches my eye. It’s followed by a post that’s interesting or inspiring or makes me laugh. Although these posts are great, social media is set up set up for social engagement. More often than not a comment will draw the attention of your readers away from the original post. Whether it’s a snarky comment from a disgruntled follower or someone who misunderstands the original post’s intent, it’s easy for the comments to detract from your original short blog post. On the other hand, all posts with little engagement are less likely to show up in the feeds of social media followers according to Facebook’s algorithm explanations. By only posting on social you reduce the opportunities your readers have to interact with you.
A limit on characters increases the possibility you won’t fully convey your thoughts in one post. If you’ve ever tried to follow a thread on Twitter, you know what I’m talking about when I say incomplete ideas can frustrate readers. The more significant concern here though is the less space you have available to communicate your point the higher the risk there is of others misunderstanding you.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use social for short form blogging; you just shouldn’t use it exclusively. I think the better approach is to utilize social media platforms for reader engagement by being social, revealing more of your personality, and for repurposing long-form blog content.
The easiest way to keep fresh short form blog content in front of your readers is by utilizing repurposing strategies. By taking a longer blog post and pulling out the main ideas, you have the opportunity to catch the eye of new readers. At the same time, the post will catch the eye of those who have previously read the blog article and will remind them of the content and where they first read your insightful and well-crafted article. By pulling out a specific section to highlight, you also help your reader quickly find the main points you’ve made.
Ways to Repurpose a Long-Form Content:
It’s unlikely you will find it useful to implement all these strategies on the same long-form blog article, but by varying the type of short-form content you create you now have endless opportunities to repurpose your best content more than once.
Are you ready to give short-form blogging a try? We’ve updated our content calendar worksheet to include a space to develop your short-form blogging strategy. By taking the time to make a few notes about your blog articles as they post you will decrease the time spent hunting through your blog archives and deciding on the sections to highlight. Download our updated content calendar below.
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