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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Controlling Your Individual Post Lengths - Pt 5 of Avoiding a Downturn in Blog Traffic, Ad Clicks and Revenue

(If you have not read the intro to this mini-series of entries, please do so.)

Factor 5: Length of posts.

The jury is still out as to whether blog posts should be short or long. Informational bloggers like myself tend to write fairly lengthy posts, even series, about a topic. For people that really want to learn details, that is a good thing; satsify them and you'll eventually have them as loyal readers. But as far as search engines go, not all of them index the full content of each of your posts. In which case, shorter is better.

However, if your blogging platform is set up so that the home page displays an excerpt of each entry posted, as well as a "Read More" type of link, then longer posts are generally fine. This latter situation also gives you the green light to go display more entries at a time on the home page.

Moral of the story: Try to choose a blogging platform that either has the "excerpting/read more" feature configured, or can be configured as such. MovableType already is configured this way. WordPress is supposedly preconfigured to do this as well, although I used a plugin so I wouldn't have to remember to apply the code for each post. Blogger.com, despite popular belief, can be set up to do this as well. (There's an explanation on the Blogger.com help pages, but it requires a small bit of effort with CSS stylesheet code. I'll try to disseminate this information in a future post.)

Note: Zoundry.com's BlogWriter client, at the time of this writing, has a glitch that mangles hard line breaks. So if I'm using BlogWriter to post to MovableType or WordPress, I have to manually edit the entry in the native interface afterwards, if I want these blogging platforms to generate the excerpt properly. At worst, though, the full text of a post appears. It just looks odd if one full post sticks out compared to a bunch of excerpts.

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(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.countwordula.com/

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Blogspinner V2.0
 
This site is intended as a how-to guide to blogging for new/recent bloggers. Topics covered include writing, blogging platforms and client software, generating ad revenue, analyzing blog statistics +managing multi-blogs.

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I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ photographer/ web programmer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. The need to write runs through my veins and this blog documents my experiences with my other blogs.

 
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(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.countwordula.com/