The second-hardest part of writing is cutting your own work, says Don Fry in Writer’s Digest “Novel Writing. (What’s the hardest? Deciding what to say and how.)
Cutting your own work is no easy task, Fry admits – it’s less like cutting your fingernails and more like cutting off fingers. Still, editing and revising are essential steps in writing. (Fry’s next sentence might have been addressed to us business blog content writers:) “Ask yourself what the piece is about, and then examine each section. Does it contribute to the point of the whole thing? If not, cut it. Then read through where it used to be, and you’ll probably find you didn’t need it”.
In blogging for business, I teach, a good principle to keep in your mind’s eye is The Power of One. Blog posts have a distinct advantage over the more static website copy, because you can have a razor-sharp focus on just one story, one idea, one aspect of your business in today’s post, saving other topics for later posts. As a natural result, posts will be shorter and have greater impact.
I especially loved this part of the Fry article: “You’re reading along and say to yourself, ‘What a gorgeous sentence! Man, I’m good.’ Cut that part. It’s probably self-indulgent, written for yourself and not for your readers.”
In answer to the specific question “How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?”, Susan Guenlius has this to say: “A range between 400-600 words is commonly used as the length that most readers will stick to from start to finish and most writers can communicate a focused message with supporting details.”
At least in theory, editing blogs should be much easier than editing a novel or even editing brochures ads for the company. Since blog content writing should be conversational and informal, are second drafts even needed when it comes to blogs?
Ummm…….yes, I’d say to bloggers: More important than the SpellCheck and GrammarCheck go-around is checking to make sure you’ve visualized your target readers, the customers that are right for your business and that every line of this blog post is addressed to them.
What do you think? Is that really the second-hardest part or the hardest?