Nobody has ever finished reading the 1,200-plus pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and said, “Well, I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on that.” 

Likewise, nobody has ever read the six words of Hemingway’s* “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” and thought, “That’s lame.” 

The point is, the length of the story doesn’t matter. Regardless of the number of words and pages, there are two main reasons a person will read it: because it’s written well, and because it’s interesting. 

The same holds true for the articles, blog posts, and newsletters you write as part of your content strategy. The length of your writing pieces is not your top priority. Focus instead on making sure content is written well and is interesting to your target audience. 

A tip to help you not focus on length. 

If you’re doing content marketing correctly, you can pretty confidently assume that your audience will find your subject matter interesting. You know the keywords they’re using on search engines, you have a solid idea of what they want to know, and you have something of value to offer — all of which puts you in a strong position to start writing. So start writing. Get your ideas out of your head and onto the page; do not revise or correct as you go. 

Don’t edit your writing for length. 

Once you’ve said everything you believe you need to say, then you can refine your delivery. Edit for clarity and completeness, but not for length. You’ll find yourself making decisions that naturally tighten and streamline your writing. 

Don’t overly distill or sanitize your writing in the interest of making it shorter; you’ll wind up offering information that has no personality and is no longer interesting. 

And what good is a shorter piece if nobody’s interested in reading it? 

 

*Widely attributed to him, likely erroneously.