The long and the short of it..
Not sure if this question has been posed before. How long should a blog be? Does it really matter if the writer of the blog has an art for writing and the blog is long? Doyou want a quick, informative or interesting read or do you enjoy reading a lenthy equally interesting blog, really getting lost in the experience of the blogger. Should a lengthy blog be broken up into a 'series'? Would love to hear other TBloggers opinions on this.
Great question! I tend to prefer medium - long blogs. Short blogs (~400words) have a tendancy to end right as they're getting me interested! And certainly for long blogs, the writers ability to write well is imperative. If I have to struggle to interpret a blog, I'll more likely just scan the pictures and move on. Too many great bloggers (and new ones everyday!) here on Travelblog to slog through one that frustrates me.
I find my blogs hover between 1000-1500 words. Any longer than that and I realize a) more than one or two significant events must have occured, so I can do muliple blogs to hightlight each or b) I'm just rambling and being wordy, so should omit it from the blog anyway. I find that when I have a lot of words to say, I always have a lot of pictures too, and breaking it up into multiple blogs always allows me to highlight more photos.
[Edited: 2013 Jan 14 17:43 - Stephanie and Andras:35953 ]
Agree with the above, 1000-1500 is a good length. I've seen really good blogs go as few as 800 words but it is rarer. There are some mighty fine blogs that head towards the 3000 mark but the reader is likely to already be a follower or fan of the blogger rather than just a casual reader.
Also concur that longer blogs tends to lend itself to more photos (or vice versa), so it is best split the blog into two entries.
The length for me entirely depends on the amount of things to cover and how well the writer conveys it. I'll happily read a 3000 word blog on a fascinating festival, while a 100 word blog on what someone had for breakfast will make me hit the back button.
Short blogs in general make me feel I'm missing something important about the writer's experience, so I prefer medium to long ones. One type of long blog does drive me crazy, the one with multiple days worth of writing crammed into a single entry. Unless its all related to a single event (like the aforementioned festival writeups) they should be broken up.
How many people have posted multiple entries for a single day? I treat every day as a single entry, like a diary.
For me, the deal breaker is whether it is paragraphed and headed. A short blog that is all one big block of text puts me off immediately. Break it up with line breaks and headings so it's easier to follow.
Otherwise, I'm with the others. Medium length blogs are best. Enough to entertain and provide information, but to keep me reading until the end.
Photos do become a deciding factor, because I know that I don't look past the first two pages of someones photos myself.
However, tend to blog once from each place. Not like a diary, but about the significant things we have to say about staying there, the memorable and funny events. I personally find the 'today got up and I did this, and then this and then this, and then I went to bed' a bit dry.
Great topic; I agree with many of the preferences expressed.
• 1500 words is a sweet spot
• white space and formatting is more important for legibility than length
I generally won't start reading a blog that is just a dense block of text.
Once I've started reading, then it's about the story and writing style.
[Edited: 2013 Jan 18 21:35 - Ali:1 - added white space and formatting]
Great getting the feedback, everyone! My sentiments are the same, 800 to 1500 words is a good length. Anything longer than that can also be great if it is well written and interesting, but then it is even more important to break it up. One single block of words, no matter how interesting can be difficult to read.
However, I have been told (by someone of the younger generation!) that in this day and age, short blogs are also great to read, especially when you don't have time to spend reading lengthy blogs. Anyone agree with that one, or do we just become so engrossed in a topic that we all enjoy?
Another thought: sometimes you have more pictures than words, so all you need to write is a short blog and let the pictures tell the story.
I read an article recently that the best blogs are only a few paragraphs in length. I don't agree with that necessarily - though I know that there is an audience for that style, and they do tend to be younger. To me a travel blog of 200-300 words lacks the depth I prefer. Many great photos can compensate for lack of photos, but I do favour a balance between the two.
In response to: Msg #165720
I'm with the Travel Camel on this one; short blogs leave out too many interesting details. Certain parts of the experience just can't be captured in photographs, no matter how well done. Imagine a National Geographic article with no words, and that's what a short blog feels like to me. Having said that, I didn't grow up in a world of social media updates, Twitter feeds, and SMS messages as major forms of communication.
I think 1500-2000 is an optimum!!! I found myself really bored with blogs of 4000+ words that really got my interest at the beginning. It really comes to a style of writing as well - if it is funny and the author uses spaces between paragraphs it can be great as well:-) B.
Finding the balance is tough. There have been times that we could easily have written several thousand words about a trip or location. We stop ourselves and try to find a few interesting facts or stories.
There are a couple of my favorite bloggers and when they write a long one we find ourselves following along....I guess that is why we consider them our favorites.
Andrew and I tend to write long blogs
We never set out to do so, we merely tell the story we wish to tell, and the blog length is whatever it ends up being (which is usually much longer than the ~1500 words mentioned here). We also prefer to only write one blog per place.
I think things like blog length are influenced by why people decided to blog in the first place. We like to record a full account of our travels. Plus our ‘two points of view’ style of blog increases the word count too.
In terms of reading other blogs - personally, I prefer to read a full picture of someone’s travels rather than a >500 word snippet of it. I usually read blogs when planning our trips or when seeking some escapism between our travels, so the more information given, the better I can live vicariously through the blog
Having up to 1500 hundred words is a good readable amount, it's the first line that tends to capture me and makes me want to read more plus the photos. Interested to read Rat on the Road's comment on photo's as I do the same myself and then realise I have blogged way to many pictures - so difficult to decide which ones to use!