The Long & Short of It

If you’re a marketer, chances are you’re aware of the “more than 3,000 or less than 500 words” rant. The gurus may even have you convinced you to have at least 3,000 words (more the better) to create an “impact” or to add value.
And you wonder how Seth Godin can get away with his sub-300/500 word posts. Well, “he’s Seth Godin. And you’re not!” is the favorite comeback — which makes sense but not exactly the truth.
Here’s the thing — it doesn’t matter! The gurus have overrated the notion of putting something of “high value.” Your blog is about you. You make it unique. Your thoughts. Your opinions. Your rants. All that is valuable to your readers. (Trust me when I say this, most online readers are bored with the sameness of the content that’s out there.)
Don’t be a slave to the word limit. Focus on showing up and posting something when you can. It can be random thoughts (don’t talk or post pictures of your cat alright? We have Facebook for that) or something related to your domain expertise.
People don’t have the time to read your epic posts. Your best bet is that readers will save these posts to some “read-it-later” app. (With no guarantee that they’ll read it someday.) Worst case, they’ll roll their eyes and close the tab.
If you want to write an epic post, go ahead! I’m not stopping you. I may have a bright idea. It sure is better than putting out an epic post and hoping that someone will read it. (You and I know, hope isn’t a strategy for anything. Let alone getting traffic.)
Here’s what I propose — instead of 3,000 words aim 600-word posts. Create an outline as you would for the epic posts. Organize content into five modules, which you can later develop into posts. You now have five “meaty” posts instead of one “epic” post.
The above concept is akin to the modern-day side-swipe email sales letters. Except that, you’re not selling anything.
It’s the best to publish these posts as a series. You can later package them together as a definitive guide at the top of your funnel. (And build a list!) It’s a smart way to create, publish and repackage content as part of your core marketing strategy.
Next time you hear someone rant about 3,000-word posts. Tell them that Seth Godin says it’s important to show up more than do things of “epic” proportions.

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