Blog Posts Shouldn’t Exceed 500 Words

Yesterday I wrote about blogs, my favorite reading tool for them as well as a few of my favorite reads. Today: the best blog posts.

A blog post is a particular product that has advantages and constraints unique to it. It’s easy, easy, easy to publish, whether you’re using a free wordpress.com or blogspot.com site, Tumblr, Medium, or hosting it yourself. After your initial set up, you can literally publish anything you want in a matter of minutes. That’s the advantage.

The constraint  is that it’s online. That’s where people will read it, so it has to follow online reading rules, the first of which is Keep It Short. I can’t stick with posts that are longer than about 500 words, no matter who’s written them. You could do a lot worse than Murphy’s, for starters. Libby, too, does this really well. Jan is the best at it.

There’s a world of permission in 300-500 words.

I’ll add a second rule: don’t cross-post stuff. I want to read an insight or observation you have tailored for this medium, today, not the thing you wrote for some other occasion and are just pasting in the blog composer now. Link to that other thing (please!).

Other readers will have different criteria for a blog post they want to read. These are mine.

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