How can I shorten posts? Give me my life back.

54 replies
Hi Warriors

Need a bit of advice here please. My problem is verbage.
I always write original posts on my blogs, as I find rewriting PLR etc., if it's already well written, proves just as time consuming.

The problem I've got is that most of my posts are toooooooo long. I get caught up in the subject, and want to make them as useful as possible. The trouble is that while they may be useful, I think their length makes the reader fall asleep or leave the building. Most of them are in excess of 1000 words, which means I don't write enough new ones to feed the blogs.

Do you extremely talented beautiful sexy people have a technique for keeping things brief, while still keeping the content valuable?

Please. I'd like my life back to do other things!

Cheers

Alan

PS I write long posts in the Forum too.
Yawn
.
#back #give #life #posts #shorten
  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    After you write it, try breaking it into 2 or 3 posts instead of posting it at once.

    Also, make sure your posts are "skim-able". Have clear headings and maybe some bulleted lists. Having information broken up that way makes it easier for a reader to stay interested.
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    • Profile picture of the author chumpschimps
      Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

      After you write it, try breaking it into 2 or 3 posts instead of posting it at once.
      This is a great idea.

      You can simply say, 'continued tomorrow/next week/next time, etc'

      It should keep people coming back to your blog for the latest update, or installment.

      And you'll be adding fresh content more frequently, but still doing the same amount of work as you are at the minute
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      • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
        Alan, I hear you.

        Well... fellows gave great advices above.

        As regards the length of your article, remember that the only rule is that there are no rules. Your article need to be as long that cover the essentials in a given topic. And, it need to be short enough to be interested in the reader.

        You need to acknowledge that your readers aren't alike. People are with different interests, likes and dislikes. When you write an article, it will resonate with some people, while probably, boring others.

        Best thing you can make, is you write as you feel comfortable. There are people who'll enjoy your style if you provide great value.

        Of course, do not forget something. People have short attention spans, therefore, you need to ensure - by holding their attention - they are awake at the end of your article.

        And, the lenght of your article may depend on your niche and topics. Studies show that writing longer article makes more sense and adds more value to your readers.

        For me it has become to the fact that if it's a broad topic, then I breaking it up into article series, like Something1, Something2, Something3 and so on. This way I'm able to keep the reader's interest, and can explain all the relevant stuff out in its entirety.

        Try that.

        All the best,

        Sandor
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
        Part Five
        Originally Posted by chumpschimps View Post

        This is a great idea.
        You can simply say, 'continued tomorrow/next week/next time, etc'

        It should keep people coming back to your blog for the latest update, or installment. And you'll be adding fresh content more frequently, but still doing the same amount of work as you are at the minute
        Hmmm, not sure. I can see your point but don't you think that it might offend or frustrate visitors if they

        ... continued whenever.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Oh man, if you find a solution, let me know!

    Lately I have been simply breaking off posts when I realise they are too long, and saying "continued next time"..! That's better than going crazy, except when I really want to write an authoritative article, in which case, length is no object.
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  • Profile picture of the author vvsingh
    As suggested above break long posts in to two or three posts like tutorials or add few more words and images to it, explaining every thing explicitly and then relase it as a short guide or mini e book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    To make your posts more concise, I'd recommend three
    things...

    1. Decide on Your Objective

    What do you want the reader to do as a result of reading
    your post?


    Then make sure that anything that is included in your post
    moves the reader in that direction. Cut out anything that
    gets in the way.

    2. Edit Ruthlessly

    Write first and then EDIT ruthlessly later.

    During the editing process - ask yourself - is this word/
    sentence/paragraph really necessary?

    If not, then remove it immediately.

    3. Make Fewer But More Focused Points

    Rather than trying to cover the whole topic with the major
    and minor points, focus on the main essentials.

    I like to focus on making 3-5 key points as it has more
    impact and people remember them better.

    In writing effectively, less is usually more.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      2. Edit Ruthlessly

      Write first and then EDIT ruthlessly later.
      ^^ This!

      In my previous life I used to work at a daily newspaper as a journalist and, later, as an editor as well. Their slogan was: He, who writes long articles is capable of other crimes, too

      Since on a printed newspaper page the space is limited, we had to cut/delete mercilessly anything that wasn't moving the story ahead. Once a reporter went to the deputy editor in chief telling him enthusiastically about a piece he just finished. "How long?" - the boss asked. "3 pages..."
      "OK, cut the first one and show me the rest", was the answer.

      Think as if you were writing for a paper publication: you have space only for XXX amount of words/pages and be as concise as you can.
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      • Profile picture of the author packerfan
        Best writing advice I've ever received...

        Don't use 3 words when 2 will do.

        Learn to write like a journalist, it will solve this problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

        ^^ This!

        In my previous life I used to work at a daily newspaper as a journalist and, later, as an editor as well. Their slogan was: He, who writes long articles is capable of other crimes, too

        Since on a printed newspaper page the space is limited, we had to cut/delete mercilessly anything that wasn't moving the story ahead. Once a reporter went to the deputy editor in chief telling him enthusiastically about a piece he just finished. "How long?" - the boss asked. "3 pages..."
        "OK, cut the first one and show me the rest", was the answer.

        Think as if you were writing for a paper publication: you have space only for XXX amount of words/pages and be as concise as you can.

        I always tend to have the most problems starting the article.

        I have found that if I just put down what comes to mind, 90% of the time, I can cut the first 2-3 paragraphs from the article and my article will still be solid.
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        • Profile picture of the author TracyZ
          I share your challenge.

          My field is technical and I ran long when first writing articles. So now I make myself jot down an outline first (as others have suggested) along with 3-5 sub-points. In addition to keeping the article concise it helps build a headline and sub-headers that keep the article moving. Plus if you add keywords and the appropriate h1, h2, h3 tags to these elements it helps your SEO!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
      PART TWO

      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      To make your posts more concise, I'd recommend three things...

      1. Decide on Your Objective
      What do you want the reader to do as a result of reading your post?
      Then make sure that anything that is included in your post moves the reader in that direction. Cut out anything that gets in the way.
      I never thought of it that way Shaun.
      I want the reader to, a. Enjoy, and b. Get Value.


      2. Edit Ruthlessly
      Write first and then EDIT ruthlessly later.
      During the editing process - ask yourself - is this word/sentence/paragraph really necessary? If not, then remove it immediately.
      That is the way I do it. However I think when you're editing you own 'crafted' piece, it's hard to be objective.

      3. Make Fewer But More Focused Points
      Rather than trying to cover the whole topic with the major and minor points, focus on the main essentials.
      I like to focus on making 3-5 key points as it has more impact and people remember them better.
      I can't argue the logic shaun, but one of my frustrations is that very often, the info I receive has vital elements missing. Things like, 'why', 'how' and examples to support the sentence/paragraph. I don't want to leave my readers frustrated.

      We can all write; "Pick a Niche", "Learn SEO", "Use Keywords" etc. For the newbies, this means zilch.


      In writing effectively, less is usually more.
      Shaun
      Totally agree again. I used to write for newspapers, company monthlies, club magazines etc., with some success. I find Writing for People conflicts with writing for Search Engines. I need more traffic, so I have to use stoopid keywords. Very often it conflicts with my style (if I still have one).
      Alan


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  • Profile picture of the author mariebnichols
    Hi Alan Ashwood!


    Maybe your problem deals with your style of writing. Try other techniques like making a bullet list of the key points that is important and should be in your article. Or you could also try to write freely then have the editing after you are finish with your write-up. When you edit, try to delete the unnecessary details. If this won't work try letting somebody have the editing for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
      Part Three
      Originally Posted by mariebnichols View Post


      Maybe your problem deals with your style of writing. Try other techniques like making a bullet list of the key points that is important and should be in your article. Or you could also try to write freely then have the editing after you are finish with your write-up. When you edit, try to delete the unnecessary details. If this won't work try letting somebody have the editing for you.
      Because of my checkered past, including brochure design and direct mail, I usually use bullets and lists to break up paragraphs, and draw the eyeline to imortant facts. But I just HAVE TO explain the items in the list!!!?
      I ain't got nobody to edit it objectively (sad soul). I tried with my (soon to be ex) wife, and she said, "It's all cr*p! Get a job!".
      Now that's constructive, don't you think?
      Alan
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    write the way you normally do, and then break posts into parts 1-5, to be published M-F


    Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

    After you write it, try breaking it into 2 or 3 posts instead of posting it at once.

    Haha... You beat me to that idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author salikkhan
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    • Profile picture of the author WikiWarrior
      Turn your really long posts into a series and break them up into parts. People love following a series and it will keep them coming back to your site, especially if you either email them when the next part is out and/or let them know at the end of each post when to expect the next one.

      If it's more a case of you find yourself going off on a tangent then I like Shauns advice to be more ruthless editing, being concise and focusing on fewer points from the outset.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
        Part Six

        Originally Posted by YOUniversityLife View Post

        Turn your really long posts into a series and break them up into parts. People love following a series and it will keep them coming back to your site, especially if you either email them when the next part is out and/or let them know at the end of each post when to expect the next one.

        I'm currently writing a 12 part series. Trouble is, all the parts are still too long!

        If it's more a case of you find yourself going off on a tangent then I like Shauns advice to be more ruthless editing, being concise and focusing on fewer points from the outset.
        I have been aware of going off on tangents,and fight it all the time. My problem I think is that I keep finding ways to underline, or example/explain the point so it's idiot proof. Then, if I (confirmed idiot) can understand it, it's OK. Once I've substantiated myself, I find it hard to hack it back. Every sentence has become 'My Precious'.

        I know I must learn to be more conservative with my words, but it's tough.

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        • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
          Originally Posted by Alan Ashwood View Post

          I have been aware of going off on tangents,and fight it all the time. My problem I think is that I keep finding ways to underline, or example/explain the point so it's idiot proof. Then, if I (confirmed idiot) can understand it, it's OK. Once I've substantiated myself, I find it hard to hack it back. Every sentence has become 'My Precious'.

          I know I must learn to be more conservative with my words, but it's tough.
          Totally one of my biggest problems when writing, too.

          I'm hell-bent on anyone being able to read my stuff and immediately understand exactly what I'm talking about. So I have this habit of not so much putting things in "layman's terms" by way of restricting my vocabulary, but reiterating my point numerous times using different analogies.

          I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bad thing if it helps clarify your point, but one has to question when it's really necessary. Consider one's intended primary demographic and perhaps try to have a little more faith in others' ability to comprehend that which isn't written like an infant's early-learning book.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by salikkhan View Post

      If your words are around 1000, then surely readers will go on deep sleep. Try to be on the topic, don't give much example and facts. Try to focus on your thoughts.

      Maybe if "your words" are around 1000, "surely readers will go on deep sleep".

      I can keep readers on the edge of their seats for 1500 words. I guess that is why I have made a ton of money as an article marketer.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        Maybe if "your words" are around 1000, "surely readers will go on deep sleep".
        I can keep readers on the edge of their seats for 1500 words. I guess that is why I have made a ton of money as an article marketer.
        This ^^^^ exactly.

        The answer to the problem described in this thread is not necessarily to make anything shorter. Keeping the length the same but changing the style of the content can often be a better answer.

        The idea that "people don't want to read 1,000-word articles" is completely wrong. If they're really interested, they'll read articles much longer than that (and articles longer than that will lead to more sales, too). It's not the length itself that puts people off - it really isn't.
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        • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          The idea that "people don't want to read 1,000-word articles" is completely wrong. If they're really interested, they'll read articles much longer than that (and articles longer than that will lead to more sales, too). It's not the length itself that puts people off - it really isn't.
          Very true, but since OP wrote that "I get caught up in the subject, and want to make them as useful as possible.", which to me sounded like he might be better off with some structure, before he wrote, I recommended an outline.

          It's not the number of words that is important, but the quality. If you can say the same thing with 1000 or 500 words, I usually prefer the short version. But if you lack information with 500 words, oh, yes, I would be happy to read 1000.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
          Part Eight
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          This ^^^^ exactly.

          The answer to the problem described in this thread is not necessarily to make anything shorter. Keeping the length the same but changing the style of the content can often be a better answer.

          The idea that "people don't want to read 1,000-word articles" is completely wrong. If they're really interested, they'll read articles much longer than that (and articles longer than that will lead to more sales, too). It's not the length itself that puts people off - it really isn't.

          Careful what you write. I'd love to freestyle my writing, but surely, if you write for peoples, you'll never be found by Mr G etc? :confused:

          PS Like your new Avatar. Could make a happy man very old. LOL


          Off to scoff now. (Deep voice, Austrian accent) I'll be back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Britt Malka
    Lazyness works for me

    Try to start with an outline, before you write your blog post. That way, you know what is absolutely necessary to say and you might end up with shorter, more focused posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Write the way you normally do and then go back and read and edit. Cut or rewrite anything that is redundant or could be said more concisely in fewer words. Once you learn how to say the same thing in fewer words, it will become second nature and you won't have to do as much editing.

    It will be easier for your readers if you do this. Breaking it down doesn't really solve the problem. You probably don't really have 1,000 words full of information. Edited, you may have only 400 words of real information, and the rest just redundant or rambling.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
      Part Seven
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Write the way you normally do and then go back and read and edit. Cut or rewrite anything that is redundant or could be said more concisely in fewer words. Once you learn how to say the same thing in fewer words, it will become second nature and you won't have to do as much editing.

      It will be easier for your readers if you do this. Breaking it down doesn't really solve the problem. You probably don't really have 1,000 words full of information. Edited, you may have only 400 words of real information, and the rest just redundant or rambling.
      You're right, I probably don't.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
      Part Nine
      Originally Posted by ncmedia View Post

      "There is no such thing as too long, only too boring".
      I find that throwing in formatting on your proof read,
      and spacing things out properly has a big effect on
      how the audience absorbs the content.
      One to one reads are still my fav's (to both read through or to write).

      Take me on a journey!

      Do it creatively and make sure that while I'm reading,
      if I get bored and decide to start skimming - you have
      stoppers wherever possible.

      BAM!!!

      Slap me in the face a few times.haha?
      Make me laugh, or cry, or get mad at your marketing
      ass for pointing out a truth that I suffer from, you
      bugger how did you know?!
      Oooo that's greasy baby!
      Make sure your reads always have that greased slide
      approach so the more your reader absorbs the deeeeeper
      they get into that long winded train of thought you're
      going through/describing.
      Just
      make
      it
      fun
      and you won't suffer from writing long copy,
      it will be your strong point instead .
      )
      Huh? wha'? I must've dropped off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    Write something that is direct to the point. Sometimes, when you read a long article seems boring. Especially when it is not well written.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bjarne Eldhuset
      When you know "everything" about a topic, but don't want to write "everything" in one article, it may be usefull to set some boundaries for your blog post/article before you start writing.

      You have a 1000+ word post on your blog titled "Why Many People Fail At Internet Marketing". I see you have 6 main reasons in the blog post.

      If you titled it "The 3 Main Reasons Why Many People Fail At Internet Marketing", you would have to stop at 3 reasons, which would probably make the article shorter.

      Nothing stops you from making anoter post with 3 more reasons, or chop a long post into parts, like mentioned before in this thread.

      Another thing you can do is to think of each paragraph of your text as the answer to a question.

      What is the question?

      What is the shortest answer to that question? Cut out everything that does not answer the question.

      Also, you may want to make your points in descending order of importance. That way, it's easy to cut text from the bottom of your article/post.
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      • Originally Posted by Bjarne Eldhuset View Post

        If you titled it "The 3 Main Reasons Why Many People Fail At Internet Marketing", you would have to stop at 3 reasons, which would probably make the article shorter.
        3 Big Reasons Why People Fail At Internet Marketing

        If you want me to read your stuff, don't use equivocation words like "many" or "some." "Main" is boring, use an attention-grabbing word instead.

        I have the opposite problem from Alan: I usually say everything I need to in fewer than 200 words. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but I'm not sure it's good for SEO.

        fLufF
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        • Profile picture of the author Bjarne Eldhuset
          fluffythewondercat: You're right, that was a dull example. I only used it to show that you could structure your article that way, but a better title wouldn't hurt.

          I thought about writing that in the post, but decided not to, as I wanted to shorten my post
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          • Originally Posted by Bjarne Eldhuset View Post

            fluffythewondercat: You're right, that was a dull example. I only used it to show that you could structure your article that way, but a better title wouldn't hurt.

            I thought about writing that in the post, but decided not to, as I wanted to shorten my post
            I don't mean to beat up on you, Bjarne; I was actually thinking about the many young writers who are so afraid of offending that everything they write is equivocal. I see it frequently with guest post submissions to Best of Fiverr, and I'm guilty of letting one or two slip through.

            fLufF
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

              I don't mean to beat up on you, Bjarne; I was actually thinking about the many young writers who are so afraid of offending that everything they write is equivocal. I see it frequently with guest post submissions to Best of Fiverr, and I'm guilty of letting some of them slip through.

              fLufF
              --

              Indeed.

              I love the quote, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

              But, I like carrying that idea one step further...

              The difference between a SEO-article writer and a real writer is that the former will beat around the bush for 500 words and never say anything at all, while the latter will say with an unshakeable confidence what the reader needs to hear.
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              • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
                Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                The difference between a SEO-article writer and a real writer is that the former will beat around the bush for 500 words and never say anything at all, while the latter will say with an unshakeable confidence what the reader needs to hear.
                I LOVE IT!

                Can I use this as a "guideline" when hiring ghostwriters?
                I don't, actually, believe in 'seo-writing'... and I always get shocked when half of the forum tells newbies to start with writing gigs.
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                • Profile picture of the author tpw
                  Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

                  Can I use this as a "guideline" when hiring ghostwriters?

                  I do.


                  Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

                  I don't, actually, believe in 'seo-writing'... and I always get shocked when half of the forum tells newbies to start with writing gigs.

                  I don't believe in "seo-writing" either.

                  I have always stood behind the idea that if you are going to write, write for your readers first and foremost.

                  Write for the human first, and then touch up your copy on the final edit, to give the search engines what it needs to truly understand the context of what you have written.

                  I am also shocked when people advise new people to take up writing to make money, especially when the Original Post is lavishly decorated with misspellings and poor grammar.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                    Banned
                    No indeed; I don't believe much in "seo-writing" either, and it was when I stopped thinking in terms of "keyword density" that my articles started producing steady and growing income for me. Maybe because people were actually reading them.

                    It seems canonical that no new member will be allowed to start a "How Can I Make Money Online?" thread here without a handful (sometimes even a substantial "handful") of Warriors advising them to provide an article-writing service, regardless of their standard of literacy. And then people wonder why there are more people wanting to write $5 articles for marketers than there are marketers wanting to buy them. :rolleyes:
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                    • Profile picture of the author tpw
                      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                      It seems canonical that no new member will be allowed to start a "How Can I Make Money Online?" thread here without a handful (sometimes even a substantial "handful") of Warriors advising them to provide an article-writing service, regardless of their standard of literacy. And then people wonder why there are more people wanting to write $5 articles for marketers than there are marketers wanting to buy them. :rolleyes:

                      More often, $5 article writers are confused as to how anyone can make a decent living as an article writer.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
                      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                      No indeed; I don't believe much in "seo-writing" either, and it was when I stopped thinking in terms of "keyword density" that my articles started producing steady and growing income for me. Maybe because people were actually reading them.

                      It seems canonical that no new member will be allowed to start a "How Can I Make Money Online?" thread here without a handful (sometimes even a substantial "handful") of Warriors advising them to provide an article-writing service, regardless of their standard of literacy. And then people wonder why there are more people wanting to write $5 articles for marketers than there are marketers wanting to buy them. :rolleyes:
                      I actually really like it when this happens. It means more people are able to see how substandard a $5 article is and that's when my orders start to really kick into overdrive.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
                        Part One

                        You have once again proved what extremely talented beautiful sexy people you are.

                        This is a general Thanks to everybody who has contributed so far. Believe me, this input is sorely needed. The more the merrier.

                        As there were a lot of different points of view, I'd like to reply almost individually, so there'll be several posts from me to avoid MAKING THIS POST TOO LONG.

                        Hugs

                        Alan
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                        • Profile picture of the author tpw
                          Originally Posted by Alan Ashwood View Post

                          You have once again proved what extremely talented beautiful sexy people you are.

                          Ha!!!

                          I am going to tell my wife that Alan thinks I am "beautiful and sexy"... Then ask her why she doesn't anymore... :p
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                          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
                          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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                          • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
                            Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                            Ha!!!

                            I am going to tell my wife that Alan thinks I am "beautiful and sexy"... Then ask her why she doesn't anymore... :p
                            Better eyesight?

                            ~M~
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                            "Ich bin en fuego!"
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

          I have the opposite problem from Alan: I usually say everything I need to in fewer than 200 words. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but I'm not sure it's good for SEO.

          SEO is the only refuge for people who cannot influence others with their words.

          If brevity moves your readers to take action, then you will likely find more eyeballs AND more click-through traffic to your offer.
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          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author turryrunner
    After you write it leave it alone for a day. When you come back set a timer for 30 seconds and skim your article. You'll be able to see what needs cut.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I'm with fluff...

    When I write my blog posts for our weight loss blog, I rarely hit more than 300 words. My problem isn't writing too much, it's being too laconic. However, I think therein lies a potential solution:

    Make sure you are sticking to one topic, and that all of your points are relevant to your take on the topic. If you do that, you should naturally write as many words as you need...whether it's 1,000 or 200 won't matter.

    That being said, it's always a good idea to go back through your article and trim out any bloated phrases and excess fat.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Alan,

    If I may, I went to your blog and chose a short selection from it.

    Because these are downloadable, you can pace yourself as you learn. You can return to any tutorial to check anything you’re not sure of, and you have permanent reference library to refer back to at any time.
    I personally saw some "fat" there, and thought it may help if you saw an example of how I would edit it if I had it as a proofreading job. What follows is personal preference, and based on my style.

    Because these are downloadable, you can set your own pace and refer to them as needed.
    I'm not saying it's better, but it's an example (hopefully a helpful one) of my fat-trimming style. It works out to 37 words vs. 16.

    Also, with all due respect, I didn't find the design of your blog to be welcoming. Again, that's a personal preference thing, but it didn't say "read this" to me.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by Alan Ashwood View Post

    Hi Warriors

    Need a bit of advice here please. My problem is verbage.
    I always write original posts on my blogs, as I find rewriting PLR etc., if it's already well written, proves just as time consuming.

    The problem I've got is that most of my posts are toooooooo long. I get caught up in the subject, and want to make them as useful as possible. The trouble is that while they may be useful, I think their length makes the reader fall asleep or leave the building. Most of them are in excess of 1000 words, which means I don't write enough new ones to feed the blogs.

    Do you extremely talented beautiful sexy people have a technique for keeping things brief, while still keeping the content valuable?

    Please. I'd like my life back to do other things!

    Cheers

    Alan

    PS I write long posts in the Forum too.
    Yawn
    .
    Simple... type fewer words.
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      I LOVE IT!

      Can I use this as a "guideline" when hiring ghostwriters?
      I don't, actually, believe in 'seo-writing'... and I always get shocked when half of the forum tells newbies to start with writing gigs.
      I'm not shocked at all.

      I actively avoid reading 'seo writing' because I always feel like I leave a few IQ points behind.

      On the other hand, there is a market for it and it's much easier to either learn or fake than actual writing. I'd just like to see it called something besides "writing", perhaps "text coding" or something.

      Alan, based on your statement that 'sometimes you just get caught up in a subject', I'm inclined to believe that length is not the problem. When I slip into that state, I tend to ramble, go down side trails, etc. I'm guessing you do the same. A combination of starting with at least a bare-bones outline and some ruthless editing should leave you with more efficient posts.

      Just be careful not to edit the flavor out of your prose...
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Better eyesight?

        ~M~

        Haha!! Maybe...


        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Just be careful not to edit the flavor out of your prose...

        Great advice.
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author Bjarne Eldhuset
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'd just like to see it called something besides "writing", perhaps "text coding" or something.
        Data entry?
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Bjarne Eldhuset View Post

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          I'd just like to see it called something besides "writing", perhaps "text coding" or something.

          Data entry?

          I was thinking of something more like this:
          • Rubbish Bin
          • Stinky Fish
          • Cheap with no appreciation for value
          • OMG, did he even go to grade school
          • Really? WTF?
          • Must be one of my neighbors
          • Everlasting Drivel
          • Worse than dishonest
          • Dazzle them with brilliance, or baffle them with bullsh1t
          • My hick cousin taught you how to write?
          • Inbred linguistic skills
          • Saved from the trash bin
          • You can't recycle that
          • I could keep going for hours about the garbage that some are trying to pass off as writing :p
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          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
        Part Ten
        Originally Posted by Bjarne Eldhuset View Post

        When you know "everything" about a topic, but don't want to write "everything" in one article, it may be usefull to set some boundaries for your blog post/article before you start writing.
        You have a 1000+ word post on your blog titled "Why Many People Fail At Internet Marketing". I see you have 6 main reasons in the blog post.

        If you titled it "The 3 Main Reasons Why Many People Fail At Internet Marketing", you would have to stop at 3 reasons, which would probably make the article shorter.
        Nothing stops you from making anoter post with 3 more reasons, or chop a long post into parts, like mentioned before in this thread.

        Another thing you can do is to think of each paragraph of your text as the answer to a question.
        What is the question?
        What is the shortest answer to that question? Cut out everything that does not answer the question.
        Also, you may want to make your points in descending order of importance. That way, it's easy to cut text from the bottom of your article/post.
        Interesting way of looking at it.

        Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

        ^^ This!

        In my previous life I used to work at a daily newspaper as a journalist and, later, as an editor as well. Their slogan was: He, who writes long articles is capable of other crimes, too

        Since on a printed newspaper page the space is limited, we had to cut/delete mercilessly anything that wasn't moving the story ahead. Once a reporter went to the deputy editor in chief telling him enthusiastically about a piece he just finished. "How long?" - the boss asked. "3 pages..."
        "OK, cut the first one and show me the rest", was the answer.

        Think as if you were writing for a paper publication: you have space only for XXX amount of words/pages and be as concise as you can.
        Good rationale. I'll keep that thought in mind.

        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        3 Big Reasons Why People Fail At Internet Marketing

        If you want me to read your stuff, don't use equivocation words like "many" or "some." "Main" is boring, use an attention-grabbing word instead.
        I have the opposite problem from Alan: I usually say everything I need to in fewer than 200 words. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but I'm not sure it's good for SEO.

        fLufF
        I hadn't thought of it that way. I do tend to steer away from extreme statements, which I guess just leaves the weak ones.
        I wish my wife would say everything she needs in 200 words or less.


        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

        I always tend to have the most problems starting the article.

        I have found that if I just put down what comes to mind, 90% of the time, I can cut the first 2-3 paragraphs from the article and my article will still be solid.
        I have trouble starting. Then again in the middle. And as for the end - it just evades me.

        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        I'm with fluff...

        When I write my blog posts for our weight loss blog, I rarely hit more than 300 words. My problem isn't writing too much, it's being too laconic. However, I think therein lies a potential solution:
        Make sure you are sticking to one topic, and that all of your points are relevant to your take on the topic. If you do that, you should naturally write as many words as you need...whether it's 1,000 or 200 won't matter.
        That being said, it's always a good idea to go back through your article and trim out any bloated phrases and excess fat.

        All the best,
        Michael
        I liked the idea of trimming the fat off a weight loss article. :p

        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Hi Alan,

        If I may, I went to your blog and chose a short selection from it.
        I personally saw some "fat" there, and thought it may help if you saw an example of how I would edit it if I had it as a proofreading job. What follows is personal preference, and based on my style.

        I'm not saying it's better, but it's an example (hopefully a helpful one) of my fat-trimming style. It works out to 37 words vs. 16.

        Also, with all due respect, I didn't find the design of your blog to be welcoming. Again, that's a personal preference thing, but it didn't say "read this" to me.

        All the best,
        Michael
        Thanks for going to the trouble - much appreciated,and I agree with you on the design. I've been hunting for a replacement free theme which would be cleaner and fresher, but to no avail so far. Has to be a free one as my wife's taken the house, the cat and nigh on all my money, so it's a bit of a squeeze at the mo' (understatement).

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I'm not shocked at all.

        I actively avoid reading 'seo writing' because I always feel like I leave a few IQ points behind. On the other hand, there is a market for it and it's much easier to either learn or fake than actual writing. I'd just like to see it called something besides "writing", perhaps "text coding" or something.

        Alan, based on your statement that 'sometimes you just get caught up in a subject', I'm inclined to believe that length is not the problem. When I slip into that state, I tend to ramble, go down side trails, etc. I'm guessing you do the same. A combination of starting with at least a bare-bones outline and some ruthless editing should leave you with more efficient posts.

        Just be careful not to edit the flavor out of your prose...
        Me too.

        .
        Signature
        Now where did I put that pencil?

        Time for a cuppa.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
          Part Eleven

          Have you noticed how long this thread is now?

          Maybe what I've got is contageous?

          Thanks everybody, I am writing copious notes - long ones of course.

          Cheers

          Alan

          PS. If you ever need a very long article or guest blog, which wanders and rambles, and takes ages to get it's destination- I'M YOUR MAN!
          .
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          Now where did I put that pencil?

          Time for a cuppa.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
      Part Four
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      Simple... type fewer words.
      Never thought of .......
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      Now where did I put that pencil?

      Time for a cuppa.
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  • Profile picture of the author absolutelee
    Do you really want to shorten your posts? Why not write fewer posts per week? If you've got really good in depth content, then at some point, your audience will reward you for it. If, on the other hand, your 1000 post could have been just as easily written in 250 words, then, yeah, you need to shorten it.
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  • Profile picture of the author MacS09
    Fascinating thread. Love it. My favourite maxim:
    "What doesn't need to be said, needs not to be said."

    It's hard to edit out stuff from your own masterpiece. But asking "is this really, utterly and absolutely necessary?" will help.

    Try reading your post/article from the end, section by section or paragraph by paragraph. Read it aloud. If it stands up on its own, it's probably OK. Mostly, though, I found that I can cut and improve at the same time.

    I guess it's just a matter of finding a method that suits your temperament.

    Regarding length, if something is well written, I am usually hugely relieved and read it. What's unbearable are the ramblings of inarticulate self styled gurus whose inarticulateness (inarticulation :confused is generally only exceeded by their illiteracy.

    Does this sound elitist? So be it.

    Max
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