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How to Make Successful Short Blog Posts. | Net Writing

How to Make Successful Short Blog Posts.

Short posts have many advantages, see: advantages of short posts. But, what makes a successful short post? These are some ideas for quick but meaningful short blog posts.

Invite Comments.

If you have a readership base, who are willing to leave comments, this can be a great technique. For example, in this post on Best RSS Feeds, it is the comments that make the post. Another advantage, of this kind of post, is that it makes the readers feel like they are participating in the blog.

  • The problem is that you can’t do this too often. Also, it is essential that you have a large readership, who are willing to leave comments; otherwise it’s a bit of a non-starter.

Tip of the Day

Never underestimate people’s desire for short pithy quotes. Quotes of the day are always popular. For example, once a week you could give a “top writing tip of the week”. Don’t feel obliged to always have to give a top 10 or top 5.

Link Round up.

Each week you can collect your favourite sites and pages you have visited. It makes a relatively easy post. It is also very useful, for both yourself and your readers. Quite often I regret not bookmarking my favourite links, and then waste time trying to find them again. My favourite posts at Problogger are often the speedlinking.

  • (An additional benefit, is of course, other webmasters will love the linkage)


Post a Video.

Flash videos are a great way of adding quality content, with minimum of effort. It can also help break up the monotony of writing based blogs. For example, I have to admit my “Economics Essay blog” is pretty boring, but I once managed to find a funny video about Economics – no really Economics can be quite funny!

Post a picture

Quite often the most popular pages at Social bookmaking sites like Reddit and Digg are single pictures. This suggestion may depend on the theme of your blog; e.g. a blog on SEO and writing does not lend itself to pictures, but there’s no reason why it can’t have the odd picture.

Link to Your Best posts.

It may be that when you started your blog, you wrote very long and careful blog posts that nobody ever read, because your blog was new. When you have more readers, post a link and short introduction to these old posts. Even if people have read it several months ago, they will not mind the odd reminder.

For example, When to use the Comma – This post was actually the motivation for starting this new blog.

Don’t Just Rely on Short Posts

Short posts have many advantages, but if you rely only on short posts, your blog will lack any real substance. Short posts will be most effective when you can combine them with longer, substantial posts (often called pillar posts)
If you have written many of these longer posts, you will definitely be able to benefit from taking the odd rest and fitting in a few shorter posts.

If you have any other ideas for making successful short posts please leave a comment.

6 comments ↓

#1 John on 05.16.07 at 6:16 am

Informative and concise as usual Richard.

One further tip to add to the cheater’s guide to writing blog posts when you don’t feel like writing is to quote or write up another blog or article.

Many of my own shorter posts are simply references to something I found interesting, and then a further point or connection I was led to by that thing:

ie “I was just reading an excellent new blog, netwriting.co.uk, and strongly disagreed with the implication that I have been using the humble comma, incorrectly…”

#2 Priyadarshan on 05.17.07 at 7:41 am

Nice.

Regarding “Link Round up”, with this extension:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3615

del.icio.us use becomes really usable.

#3 Priyadarshan on 05.17.07 at 7:43 am

Dear old boy,

I am agog! (-;

May I suggest the comments are numbered, as you can do with WordPress? Very useful to refer to others’ comments, and built up comments.

See or example http://www.justchromatography.com/general/world-without-wires

#4 Priyadarshan on 05.17.07 at 7:46 am

I do not know if it is possible, but I also wish I could edit my comments. If comments are a welcome feature, should not the commenters be more empowered?

#5 Richard on 05.17.07 at 8:14 am

Thanks John,

I’m sure you know how to use the comma better than me :)

#6 Richard on 05.17.07 at 8:15 am

Hi Priyadarshan,

good to hear from you

I think it would be good to be able to edit comments. ( – I quite often wish to edit my own comments)
At the moment it would be easiest for me to delete a comment and then re-add it.

Thanks for the plugin tips. I’ve seen some comments that are better than the blog post.