Friday, May 4, 2012

And Then the Blog Was Soooo Long: How Not to Blog

(image source
I'm no expert blogger I'll admit, but I am an expert at complaining and telling people what they're doing wrong. 

Like CAPTCHA. The little badge you see on my side bar is the only time I will take up alliance with robots. I don't care how many people think I'm paranoid, the robots will take over one day.

The point is, CAPTCHA inconveniences me so I will let the robots win that battle. 

The other point is, sometimes a bloggers posts are so long, even if they're the best bloggity blogger out there, a reader just can't get through the article. 

Most of us have busy lives. Even the so called, "cushy house wives" have it bad. No, I don't have kids of my own, but childcare is my profession and kids are effing distracting. I defy anyone who thinks being a stay at home mom is easy to try it. But that's another rant.

I'm going to assume that everyone has the same problem I do when it comes to tracking other's blogs. There a few minutes we can squeeze out of the week to pop in to a few of our favorite blogs (or blogs we feel morally obligated to visit for whatever reason). 

When a post gets to be too long, no matter how many pictures you throw in there to try and stimulate the reader (it's the "Oh, shiny" effect we're all going for to try and reel the audience back in), the reader is going to click away from you. 

If I'm using my awesome smart phone, which I adore, to check up on blogs during the ten minute walk I do four times a day between work and home, then I'm not going to take all ten minutes to read one blog and leave a comment. More over, I'm not going to use two ten minute sprints to try to finish reading a blog and leave a comment. 

But what if I just have that much to say? I hear you arguing. Well here are a couple of tips.
  • Consider breaking your article up into multiple posts: I've had to do this before and it doesn't turn out as bad as you'd think it would. 
    • If you're going to go with this method, it's usually a good idea to let the readers know that you'll be doing multiple posts on the issue and giving them specific dates as to when they can expect them.
  • Look for how many times you repeat yourself: I believe most of us Americans got trained into being very repetitive in our writing so we could meet ridiculous word counts for boring school papers. 
    • We're not going for a word count here. We blog because we have something to say. DON'T let your message get lost in fifty different metaphors describing the same thing. 
    • Make your point and move on.
  • Is saying everything you have to say really all that important?: I know you're really attached to that story about the time your cousin fell in the snow and how it impacted your life and as an adult you now realize the great lesson of not wearing boots that are too big for you really standing for not overreaching in life. (That sentence is purposefully a run on. I want you to feel how exasperating these stories are to me). 
    • If your true life story actually has bearing on what you are writing; if your anecdote or pithy quote really adds to what you're producing, then you can include it.
    • HOWEVER, if all you're doing is self important meandering to prove how deep and intelligent you are KNOCK IT OFF! 
    • Once again, make your point, and move on.
Hopefully now I've made my point, and I'm moving on.

How do you feel about overly long posts?

Have you ever fell into the trap of repeating yourself into a overly long post?
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