Why Long-Form Content Is Essential and How to Approach It
Long-form content, whether in an evergreen piece or a blog post, faces an uphill battle when it comes to grabbing the reader’s attention. And that’s no wonder — once you learn that there are nearly 2 billion websites, all constantly clamoring for your eyes, time, and energy.
This competition can be galvanizing, prompting content creators to craft the most compelling material they’re capable of and elevating their efforts to create articles that entertain, enlighten, and provide value for the reader.
But when it comes to written content, neither extreme brevity nor the digital equivalent of a tome is the solution to rising above your competitors.
Many bloggers feel that the 500- to 700-word range (or shorter, in some cases) hits the sweet spot between keeping readers informed and losing their attention. And a lot has been made of the short attention span of humans in the Digital Age.
However, anyone interested in reading your blog wants more meat than fluff, and it’s difficult to pen an intellectually stimulating communique, much less impart insightful and informative content, in less than a page of wordplay.
If you want readers to return, become loyal followers, and recommend you to others, you must focus on engaging targeted readers with quality long-form content instead of feeding the masses bite-size content that satisfies next to no one.
In short, you need to understand the opportunities that long-form content provides. Instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator, try serving up quality content to an audience hungry for cerebral engagement.
What Is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content refers to articles of at least 1,000 words. Some say long-form content should clock in at over 1,500 words, while others insist it can’t be shy of 2,000. But once you get into the four- to five-page range, you’re bordering on belaboring the point — you might as well make it a little longer and offer an e-book!
Let’s just agree that anything between 1,000 and 2,000 words fits the format. Long-form content serves a very specific purpose: It allows blogs to break free of the restrictions imposed by the 500-word rule that was once the be-all and end-all of blogging.
If your readership is tired of blogs that whet their appetites for knowledge and then disappoint them with short-form content that barely scratches the surface of a topic and offers no real, concrete, usable information, then long-form blog posts will allow you to deliver the value and complexity that content-hungry readers are seeking.
Is long-form content worth the extra time and effort?
You might assume that long-form content will take you much longer to create and that you will have to put in a lot more effort to keep the content informative and entertaining. Unfortunately, you are correct on both scores.
On the upside, you are presumably an expert in whatever niche your blog fits. Since you are a veritable warehouse of knowledge in your particular field, you likely have a lot to say. Long-form content gives you space to spread your wings and appeal to a well-informed readership base.
In addition, you’ll offer something that few other blogs provide: the opportunity for readers to delve into your subject matter and emerge with an in-depth knowledge of whatever topic is under discussion. Your readers will appreciate the added value and the nod to their intellects.
Gated Content vs. Ungated Content
Every blogger must decide whether gated content is appropriate for their brand, platform, and readership. Gated content is anything that can only be accessed after readers have provided you with certain personal information.
For example, you can require a name and email address before you allow readers to view your long-form posts. Or you might ask survey questions, such as, “What topics would you like us to address?” or “What can we do to improve our blog?”
It’s up to you what data is collected at the gate. Most readers will answer honestly, allowing you to increase your membership, bulk up your mailing list, and give your readers exactly what they want. Of course, gated content scares some readers away. You have to decide whether the rewards of this strategy are worth the risks.
Does Long-Form Content Rank Higher?
Indeed. It also promotes more backlinks.
Additional data support this. A chart produced by keyword research and analysis company SerpIQ shows that the top-ranked search results average well over 2,000 words, proving that long-form content manages to consistently nab the highest rankings.
Why does long-form content rank higher?
Readers want real information, not filler and fluff. They want to walk away knowing more than when they started reading your blog. And if they like your content, they might return more frequently, spend more time on your pages, and share it with friends as a trusted source.
Longer content could also offer more opportunities for the sensible use of keywords, as well as a bigger network of inbound links, both of which are useful when building up page rank.
Why Does Long-Form Content Work So Well for Both Google’s Algorithm and Users?
If you manage your own blog, you are likely passionate about your subject matter and well educated in your niche.
Long-form content plays into your hand on this score by allowing you to create riveting blog content and share with your readers the wealth of your expertise.
Is Long-Form Content Enough?
Long-form content is tricky in that quantity is not enough to make it worthwhile. Whether you hire a content writing service to create the in-depth articles your audience is jonesing for or take time out of your busy schedule to substantially increase the length of your articles, you have to prioritize the quality of your content over its length.
Readers know when you’re phoning it in and struggling to hit your word count. And they won’t be back for more of the same. You must use this format to its full advantage: Put your niche knowledge on display to inform, amaze, and delight. Anything less and you’ll not only lose your audience; you could also find yourself facing the wrath of Google and its crusade to crucify subpar posts.
Partner with Write Collective for Exceptional Long-Form Content
Gone are the days when extreme pithiness and keyword stuffing reigned in the blogging game. Consumers have become more discerning, and so have the world’s biggest search engines. You need to create long-form content that satisfies the user’s search intent and propels them into action.
Or you could enlist the help of a top B2B content writing service. Write Collective has garnered a reputation as one of the leading content marketing agencies in the country, with services that include press releases and incredible long-form content.
The best content writing service is one that adheres to the latest trends but never sacrifices quality. That’s us in a nutshell. Explore what we have to offer today, and delight in watching your business scale.