Want To Write Long Content For The Web?
A lot of writers who come from print are surprised by the short-form articles normally required on the web. That’s because in print, a short article normally runs around 1,500 words. On the web, that’s considered a pretty long piece.
Why do we have shorter articles on the web? According to most usability studies, people just don’t read very well on a computer screen. The backlighting, the upright angles and the limited resolution all contribute to a difficult time consuming text, compared to reading from a print magazine.
Additionally, the web is a mecca of distractions. Every few minutes, you’ll have alerts popping: an IM from a friend, a new message on Facebook, a new mail on your inbox and so on. Imagine someone reading a 1,500-word article — how many of those alerts do you think will pop up before they’re finished?
That doesn’t mean there’s no place in the web for long content. With a lot of people now reading from e-book readers, dedicated smartphone applications and other mobile platforms, consuming material from the web is getting easier than it used to be. The use of tools like Readability and Instapaper on a computer can also make extended reading a whole lot more palatable. Because of these things, people’s tolerance for longer content is also changing.
If you want to write long content for the web, now may be a good time to do so. Not only are readers starting to be more recipient to it, longer content is also getting valued more by search engines for ranking.