The mavens of blogging have no shortages of rules about the form. Yet, I see the rules broken all the time, sometimes delivering results that make one never want to read – or write–a blog again.
The thousand-word mark has been a flexible gold standard for blogging for some time. But what happens if the matter at hand really only merits a solid 100, 200, or 300 words?
It means that all those other words amount “stuffing.”
And we are not talking about the savory kind, but rather empty hurdles for the reader to face, dead air.
When I was an English professor, the inevitable question I experienced all too often was “How many words do you want?”
Of course, my answer was always the same, “As many words as it takes to communicate your message.”
I have seen blog requests that demand 5,000 words. It is hard for me to fit that word requirement under the umbrella of a blog. That, my friends, is an article, with a word-load we might find easily in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, if indeed it met the quality requirements.
Some professors of blogging urge us to write and communicate every day! Others warn against such saturation. Product quality is really the only thing that makes readers read on. Yes, pity the reader.
I often told my students to pity me.
I would be the one up through the night reading the words generated to fill a hole rather than a need. Instead, their verbiage ended up devouring the spare hours of my life.
I was the audience, and honestly, they didn’t give a rat’s whisker about how this writing would affect me. Instead, the just kept shoveling words into an abyss.
I love writing blogs, but more often than not, the micro-blog suits my needs, and I hope those of my readers.
I am not talking about tweets, or haiku. Just spare your readers the meaningless stuffing.
And break the rules, mindfully!
Copyright 2016 by Maria Jacketti