Writing in his latest Alertbox column, Jakob Nielsen says:
"Blog postings will always be commodity content: there’s a limit to the value you can provide with a short comment on somebody else’s comments. Such postings are good for generating controversy and short-term traffic, and they’re definitely easy to write. But they don’t build sustainable value." – Jakob Nielsen (July 9, 2007)
I was alerted to this information by Debbie Weil on her BlogWrite for CEOs blog. Debbie adds, "The best blogging strategy (the one that reaps the most rewards as far as establishing yourself as a thought leader) is to mix up your blog posts. Some should be short and reference another article / site / blog."
I am rethinking many things about this particular blog. It’s my intention to write a couple of stand alone pages where I can put the most important blog posts that will help readers learn what they need to know about publishing content on the web: blog posts, articles, press releases, sales copy, and email marketing messages.
And I struggle with the whole long vs. short copy issues. Yes, people are in a hurry and many only scan. Yes, people want value and information they can use.
Sometimes a quick link and a reference to a good tip works. Other times, I can see it short changes the readers who may have come to your blog site in search of relevant information.
According to usability expert Jakob Nielsen, when writing your blog posts you are faced with these choices:
- in-depth vs. superficial
- original/primary vs. derivative/secondary
- driven by the author’s expertise vs. being reflectively driven by other sites or outside events
Where do the majority of your blog posts fall? So far, I see this blog in the latter realm in each point. And that, to me, isn’t good enough. But then again, maybe I’m just being a little too self critical and judgmental this morning.
At least it’s given me fodder to ponder, and I will strive to write more in-depth, original, expertise posts!