Strephon Questions Article Density

In our Dense Writing Does Not Get Read thread, EzineArticles Expert Author Strephon had a series of questions that I thought would be better answered in a new blog entry:

Have you done a comparison of ezine article writing and distribution versus podcasting?

Chris Knight Answers: No, I have not.

Or, do you have stats that show at least a word-count comparison for what size and density article gets distributed the most?

Chris Knight Answers: Yes. Ready my Word Count Data-Mining Study entry where the data shows that more research will be needed to prove which word count size contributes the most to increased distribution… In other words, in my study, some statistically insignificant results were obtained, but none that have made me want to publish a more scientific report about the results.

Should we all write 250-word articles because that size gets distributed and read the most?

Chris Knight Answers: I recommend that you write articles in the 400-750 word range because that’s the range I believe the human brain can absorb easily on a few second scan of an article. Anything beyond 800+ words and the reader is now in a different mode than ‘eye scanning’…

My articles so far are around 2000 words almost, like my podcasts. I do this because this amount of words, well-written or said as well, is what it takes for me to cover a subject.

Chris Knight Answers: I can guarantee you’d get better traffic attraction results if you created (4) separate 500 word articles out of your 2,000 word article. Be sure to read Why We Are Not Article “Parts” Friendly. :-)

Maybe Dr. Wallin’s statement is considered extreme because some of us who tend to write long believe that if we get the ‘long reader’ to our site that will be the reader who is most likely to buy our books.

Chris Knight Answers: Interesting theory, and I’m sure I could make an argument that agrees with your position (a more engaged reader of an article could make for a more qualified visitor)… but your theory doesn’t work because you can only produce a small quantity of articles because of how long they are, word count wise. Go read my Page View Logic Theory article to see why article quantity is a critical component to the article writing & marketing strategy.

Is there evidence that the ‘short reader’ buys books? Why would anyone who likes to read only short articles that have a single point want to even read book-length works anymore?

Chris Knight Answers: Because your book answers their problem, COMPREHENSIVELY…whereas your article is only a teaser… a sliver of your expertise. Think hard on this: If you give your reader a 2,000 word article that answers 90% of their problem; you’ve just eliminated their need for your comprehensive solution in the form of your book or ebook.

Does she mean that dense is not just poor, hard-to-grasp, writing style, but also long or thorough writing style?

Chris Knight Answers: I think she means ‘long and thorough’ = dense.

Should I not be publishing to the Internet long books? My only down-load book, The Writer’s Interface, now starting to sell, is 92,000 words long, but it is interactive as part of the WriteItNow software platform. So it’s not a regular style paper book.

Chris Knight Answers: I’m not an ebook or book coach, but YES, I think you should be publishing LONG books online. Use short less than 800 word articles for your marketing strategy and long books that people can purchase as your comprehensive total solution strategy.

If readers to ezine articles of mostly less than 700 words are the largest body of article readers, is this the wrong group for me and other book writers?

Chris Knight Answers: Depends on what your end-outcome is. If you want to attract more traffic to your website and you want that traffic to be pre-qualified, then you found the right vehicle here.

Should we now divide our long books into six or eight shorter Reports to sell on the Internet?

Chris Knight Answers: Interesting idea… I have no idea, but in the end, the market will decide how much they will value or not value various report lengths…so, test my friend… and keep on testing until you find the right length/value proposition for your ideal client base.

Dr. Wallin’s ‘density’ statement is dramatic but it is negative. Are you both tackling the positive also: what does work, and not just what doesn’t work?

Chris Knight Answers: Yes, we tackle the positive strategies that help solve the problem that so many highly educated and highly skilled people fall into when writing articles for the web. On December 27th, I’ll share the live interview audio MP3 and PDF report that Dr. Wallin and I created. It was sent to my Article Production Strategies clients last Friday so they could have the first access to the data.

1 Comment »


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Ed Howes writes:

Strephon,

I have addressed this previously but repeat here. I have broken down longer articles into 2 and 3 part series and have found the view counts for each to be within ten percent. I am ready to assume the smallest view count were readers who read all parts and the extra counts were people who were merely curious or liked that particular introduction. It might help to see it this way. You need a good title to be noticed in the first place. You need an intro with a strong hook to get the reader to open the article. If the article will be multi part, you must make part one so compelling the reader will go to part two, etc..

I do not see an advantage to splitting an Ebook into many parts, but see a great advantage in giving away the first one or two chapters. A friend of mine publishes short excerpts of his book on his web site but I have not asked him if he has any evidence that sells any books. I think I would offer some incentive to every buyer to find out why s/he bought. Something special only those who respond receive, and I would likely do it with every Ebook I marketed.

I would want to know at least: 1. How did you learn about this book? 2. What caused you to buy it? 3. When you find it to be a good value would you write a testimonial for othersd to read? This will qualify your source of sale, tell you what the purchase trigger was and get you testimonials to help you sell more of them.

Comment provided December 18, 2006 at 5:10 PM

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