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Get to the Point

The average person reading speed is 200 words per minuteWhat’s Yours? (The speed reading record is 1347 wpm)

In 96 seconds they will read 320 words.

So keep things short and to the point. I know this sounds crazy coming from me – but the stats show my longer posts are often largely are ignored.

EXTENDED ENTRY – If you’re going to write a long post – consider writing a punchy introduction that makes your main points so that when your reader gets the ‘itch to click’ they’ve grasped your message. After the introduction refer your readers via a ‘read more’ link to another page for the rest of your post if they want to know the details. (MT’s Extended Entry feature is handy way to do this automatically).

MULTIPLE POSTS – consider breaking your long post down into multiple entries to be posted over a period of time – be sure to link them to one another.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. In Zeiten von massenhaft Websitenmüll im Internet eine sehr gut aufgebaute Website, nicht überdimensioniertes Design und sehr gut recher-schierte Hintergrundinformationen.

  2. Matt says:

    This may be my downfall. I tend to ramble. I will work to stop that.

  3. Matt says:

    Hey, that was pretty good! Look! Only three, really really short sentences! Maybe I’ll be able to do it after all.

    Hey, wait. I’m rambling now, aren’t I? Doh! Shutting up now.

    Hehe

  4. Troy Worman says:

    Darren,
    Excellent advice. Thank you.

  5. BBD says:

    I agree, short and to the point is the way to go when doing some kind of intro on a blog site. Most readers know what they’re looking for, or have some kind of assumption as to what they’re about to read. If they land at your site, begin reading, and feel that after the first paragraph or two that the content is not meeting their expectations, or not driving the point they thought it would, then they will most likely leave the site.

    Keeping attention is a must.

  6. There is a “read more” wordpress plugin that I frequently use, very SEO friendly avoding dupe blog content.

  7. I clocked in at 300/400 wpm and (thank you for twitchy-finger) 91% comprehension. This is WAY down from what I read in HS.

    But since HS was almost 40 years ago and there are LOTS of things I don’t do as well as then, I really can’t complain.

    I give my readers both a teaser paragraph (WP tag) and start any but the shortest posts with a word count. I tell my readers, both of them :-( , what to expect before they click on the story. I am thinking of even one more refinement … to do the lead-off with an actual summary such as would be used to sell a white-paper or executive summary.

    If I keep it to around 50 words, even the average reader could scan 4 topics a minute to find one they were interested in investing more time into. In that 96 seconds they could scan 6 summaries and still have time to decide if they wanted to click on Oprah’s Book of the Month Club featured selection. ;-)

    (I actually read “The Measure of a Man” by Sidney Poitier … it’s well worth the time and money to read and own.)

  8. I almost never write short posts, but I always make sure they are scannable.

    I feel like this way my posts appeal to both the short attention span reader and the reader who likes long and in-depth posts.

  9. Darren’s first PB.Com Post. Came a long way since then haven’t you Darren?

    Congratulations are in order mate, so here I am, giving my congrats on a very exciting and fun journey. God bless ya Darren

  10. You’ve done a wonderful job of getting to the point for more than three and a half years now, Darren. Keep up the excellent work.

  11. Darren,

    I’m starting over. This time I’ll start at the beginning and listen to your advice. You always give us everything you’ve got.

  12. Sheamus says:

    Finally I tracked down the first post… or is it? ;)

    As for the speed reading link, I managed 647/words minute, although I’m not sure how well I’d do if any kind of written test followed!

  13. Terry A Hull says:

    Darren: Thanks for the encouragement you have been to me over the years regarding blogging. I really admire all that you have accomplished. You are the proof that talent + perseverence + the Lord’s blessing is the formula for success. I have been reading you off-and-on ever since the Living Room blog, when I first went searching for Christian bloggers. Like you, I am both a minister and a blogger. Recently I have decided to kick my blogging up to a new level. That’s what I’m doing back at this first post. I’m going to try to go back through all four years of ProBlogger. In that way, I’ll earn a genuine four-year degree in blogging. Thanks, brother, for all that you do…Terry

  14. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I’ve finally decided to track down your first post. I’ll start reading from the bottom up, and follow you rise along the way. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you!

  15. WPCult says:

    How come people always go looking for the first post? Did we find it?

  16. alexis says:

    Hey, your site looks really good, you know what? I’m going to try to applicate your advice from A to Z…
    Take a look at my website if you have time (sorry but it’s in french) and leave commentaries if you have more time. I’m hesitating about leaving a link leading to your site because all my readers are french…
    How many visitors do you have per month?

Trackbacks

  1. Blog Tip 1 – Get to the Point
    The average person reads 200 words per minute – What’s Yours? (The speed reading record is 1347 wpm) In 96 seconds they will read 320 words. So keep things short and to the point. I know this sounds crazy…