Are you wondering whether short form or long form content is better for your blog or business?
Writing long form content blog articles is time consuming and requires a great deal of effort. Does all your content need to be long format or can it be short form content sometimes? And when is it okay to use short form content on your blog?
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of both short form and long format content.
Table of Contents
- Short form content vs long form content
- Advantages of short form content
- When to use short form content
- When to use long form content
- Final Thoughts
Short form content vs long form content
If you’re a blogger or business owner, you’ve probably asked yourself at some point which type of content is best for your audience: short form or long form?
First, let’s define what we mean by short form and long form content.
Short form content
Short form content is short content, such as social media posts or blog articles less than 1000 words long.
You can define “short” to be any number you want, say 500 words. I use a 1000 words as the cutoff point between short and long form content.
So, which is better? Both forms of content have their own benefits and drawbacks. Which form you use depends on the topic you are writing about.
Short form content is great for social media, where attention spans are short and people are scrolling through their feeds quickly. However, short form content may not be as effective at ranking in search engines or driving traffic to your website.
On the other hand, long form content is more comprehensive and in-depth, which can be great for establishing your expertise and credibility in a particular topic. It’s also more effective at ranking in search engines and driving traffic to your website.
So, which is better for your blog or business? It really depends on your goals and audience. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website and establish your expertise, long form content may be the way to go. If you’re looking to engage a wider audience on social media, short form content may be more effective.
Advantages of short form content
Why use short form content? Well there are several advantages to this type of content.
Easy to consume
Short form content is easy to consume. The less friction you create with the consumer the more likely they are to engage with your content.
A large blog article is a big investment of time for a reader. Your readership is likely to be much lower than with a social media post.
Easy to create
It’s easier to create short form content. For a social media post writing one or two sentences can be enough. This means you can create more content in a given amount of time. More content means potentially more engagement and more interactions.
Generate content quickly
Time is money. Creating content quickly benefits you by giving you more time for other tasks. You may only have a limited amount of time to create content so you can use this time to create short form content.
Build a community
Frequent posting of short form content can help you build a community of people who like the content you produce.
Short form content, such as Twitter threads and tweets, Instagram posts or TikTok videos are highly shareable. Most people have a daily routine of consuming this kind of content, if they like your content they will share it with their network.
Long form content, on the other hand, takes longer to read and is less likely to be shared.
When to use short form content
Using short form content makes sense when you can easily answer the question or explain a topic in a 1000 words or less.
You don’t want to pad out your content with filler just to increase your word count.
Decide whether the topic you are writing can be answered in a 1000 words or less. Don’t forget you need to answer any questions or concerns a reader may have.
The more niche the topic the more likely it can be answered with short form content. More general or broad topics will require more in-depth analysis and explanation so short form content is not a good idea.
Tailor your content for the platform
Short form is better on social media accounts. You can break your long form content into smaller blocks of content for your social media accounts.
For instance, convert a long blog article into a Twitter thread with the last tweet being a link to your blog article.
When to use long form content
If your goal is to drive traffic to your website then long form content is the best way. Long form content requires more time and effort to create, and may not be as effective at engaging readers on social media.
Long format content works well for:
- listicles (e.g. “10 ways to …”)
- in-depth articles
Write guides, tutorials and how-to’s about topics that are relevant for your niche. If you are not sure what niche to target check out this article: The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect SEO Niches for Your Business or Blog
Long form content performs better in search engines
Search engines prefer longer articles as they convey more information and are more likely to answer questions a searcher will have. Most queries that can be answered quickly are likely to be directly answered by Google.
For instance, here are the search results for the query “calories in coconut oil”:
It’s better to write content for queries that don’t obviously have a simple answer. These kinds of queries will require you to write 100’s and more than likely 1000’s of words to answer well.
Longer articles will have more keywords that you can rank for.
You are not limited to one keyword phrase per article. You can target multiple related keywords per article so longer articles will likely give you more impressions and views. Read more about how many keywords to target per article: For SEO how many keywords should I use?
Check the top ranking content for your topic
Look at the top performing content for your keyword. What is the word count for those articles? If the top performing articles are short form content then you can use that too. Researching your competitor’s content is always a good idea, read more about it here: Dominate Your Niche with Comprehensive Competitive Content Analysis
If all the top content is long form content you will find it difficult to rank higher with a lower word count.
It could be for a low competition keyword the topic ranking content is poor, full of filler so a more tightly focused and short article could rank higher. You will need to read the top performing articles to understand how to right a better performing article.
The best approach for your blog or website is to use a mix of both short form and long form content to reach your audience in different ways and achieve your goals.
As always, it’s important to test and see what works for your specific audience and goals.
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