Doctor Digital, is it true that people want to read long form blogging from my business?
Doctor Digital Says
Everything old is new again, except for all of those things that are still new or yet to be invented. The blog was once the domain of a short, snappy morsel of easily read and digested information. 300 – 500 words max, and was usually in violent competition with the 140 character tweet, or simply #a #string #of #hashtags #under #a #filtered #image #on @instagram. Consumers have, it appears, grown tired of brevity, and like the love of farmers markets and home made craft, are now looking to have an ‘experience’ online with their favourite topics and businesses which is deeper and more meaningful.
Where blogs were often used to promote the writer and the brand, long form blogging is all about the writing and getting the reader hooked on your personal skills of text based expression. This is a good thing for businesses that have more to say about their products or services than can be neatly crammed into a few paragraphs. It is great for building a relationship through narrative with your customers, and will definitely appeal to those fans who enjoy really getting an in depth feel for a business, sector, service provider and/or personality. For people who don’t have a passion for word craft, the long form blog is probably going to be more challenging.
Ironically one of the newest long form blogging platforms Medium was founded by one of the founders of Twitter. It joins other platforms like Svtble and Kinja in offering a format for bloggers to create a magazine like experience for their readers, with ‘articles’ rather than blogs, many of which are curated by the platform so readers get a fresh sample of writing. The format is very text driven, and unlike many blogs that catered to a lot of visual diversity and the capacity to customise the format of the page, like a magazine, there is pretty much just text in columns with a few choices of fonts – but very text based fonts.
The other point of note about using these new long form blogging platforms is that while they curate your work and expose you to new audiences, they also own your content and copy once you publish it, which means in theory the platform could use it for their own ends, not yours. The good news is of course that while these platforms are new and are changing the paradigm of what a blog is, you can keep blogging on your existing website or platform and change up your style by trying out some longer posts.
As with any blog, the key thing to ask yourself is how is your content driving customers to purchase your product or service? Beautiful well written prose is definitely going to give your customers a better insight into your work. Ultimately, you create long-form content because it drives online visibility (social shares, links), validates your authority and industry expertise to your customers, and allows you to deliver more material for altruistic community building and engagement. Long form blogging makes you helpful, and all those words keep people on your site for much longer, which is excellent for your SEO as explained in this helpful factsheet.