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A blog post for bloggers!

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Upon reading this excerpt from the book Blogger’s Boot Camp: Learning how to build, write, and run a successful blog by John Biggs, I’ve decided I would probably never build, write and run a successful blog. At least not using this advice.

The key suggestion this article prescribes? Write 1,000 words a day.

It’s not like that is some insanely high number. As a copywriter, I’m sure I write well over 1,000 words a day, on many different subjects, for many different clients, targeting many different audiences. But 1,000 words a day, for one blog? One reader? I just don’t know about that. Biggs writes:

“You can crank out, perhaps, three posts of a few hundred words each in the morning and three in the evening. Or you can write one big post. Either way, do the word count.”

While I’m not a regular blog writer, I am a regular blog reader, and I can’t think of one blog I check daily that follows this rule of thumb. If they did, I’d be reading blogs all day! I think a much better goal would be to make a post (or two) every day. Don’t worry so much about the word count; just make sure the content is something people actually are interested in. Some of my favorite blogs are just a photo with a one-sentence caption.

But if you’re dead set on it, here’s one way the book says you can achieve your 1,000-word goal:
“Consider using a speech recognition tool: you’ll be pounding out words without pounding on the keyboard. In fact, you’ll find that by speaking your posts you often write more than you originally intended.”

Again, this assumption that “longer is better” really bothers me. The light, conversational writing that works best for blogs doesn’t have to be fluff, does it? Sure, high word counts can have some impact on SEO, but your droning speech-to-text blog sounds like something I will immediately navigate away from, not bookmark. I’d say it’s better to respect your reader’s time and if you can say it in 200 words, only write 200 words. (If you’ve made it this far into my blog entry, keep in mind you’ve read about 350 words.)

Maybe the 1,000 word rule has something to do with the title of the book: Blogger’s Boot Camp. Since it’s “boot camp,” I guess you have to maintain an austere writing regiment, even if it’s based on an arbitrary word goal.

I hope what Mr. Biggs is trying to say is that building, writing and running a successful blog takes a lot of time. If the only way you can force yourself to dedicate the proper amount time to your blog is by writing a novella every day, then so be it. I just hope the later chapters advise that eventually, once you’re better at creating content people find interesting, it’s OK to drop the 1,000-word rule.

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