Review: First Impressions And Length Matters

November 20, 2007 at 5:56 am | Posted in Communication, General, Marketing, Meta, Online marketing, Usability | Leave a comment
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I am into the double digits in regards to number of posts (in one month no less!) and I have already realized I could be messing up two very important things: the headline and the length of content.

Here’s what I’ve done well re: headline:

  • Numbered/bulleted lists
  • Descriptive words good for headers (optimized search)

And here’s what I could improve re: headlines:

  • General/blasé headlines
  • Not enough hooks – numbers, question, etc
  • Most do not fulfill a promise
  • Do not think enough about the niche marketer reader AND the regular Joe
  • Focusing on my niche (regular people who have to be online marketers)

There are more for both categories, but these are the ones that seem most relevant to me this morning. I think I was in the middle in terms of having truly descriptive sentences. Check out Magnetic Headlines for great advice.

Secondly, how are the length of my posts? Throughout this process, I’ve been thinking that they were too long. This may or may not be the case. Jakob Neilsen has a great article on long vs. short articles as a content strategy.

Of my 13 posts, only 3 are longer than 600 words. Plus, my strategy is not necessarily to get the most traffic. I’m under no delusion that everyone in America will wake up interested in online marketing. Rather, I want a targeted audience and need to relax if my gross numbers are not through the roof. This strategy allows for longer articles since the audience is assumed to be more invested already in the content.

Plus, Neilsen mentions the benefit of having every third article longer than the others. This works out almost perfectly with the length of my articles. The basic truth is that I do not think in little blog posts – I think in fully formed articles. If I try to alter too much of what is my natural inclination, I think it will be detrimental to the blog.

What do you all think? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Are you getting what you want out of this blog? Would this blog help the every day guy who is trying to market his stuff online? What headlines drew you in and which didn’t? Are the articles too long or too short? In the end, this is all about what is good for the reader, so don’t be shy.


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