Many bloggers are, at their core, writers. I’m definitely in this group. I rarely write a 200-word posts – my posts tend to average around 750 words, with some going over 1000. What can I say? I have a lot to say and I like saying (or rather, writing) it.
But not every blogger is like me. In fact, I quite often see sites that I like to call cupcake blogs. I don’t mean that they blog about cupcakes, though there are certainly food bloggers out there covering this specific niche. What I mean by “cupcake blog” is that the posts are short and sweet, just like sugary treat. Occasionally, they may post something slightly longer, but their bite-sized cupcake posts are the norm. In my opinion, this type of blogging has both advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Cupcake Blogging
The most obvious advantage to cupcake blogging is that your busy readers can catch up on your posts really quickly. Depending on your niche, this might be a good thing. For example, if you blog about parenting, it’s unlikely that members of your target market have time to read 1000-word posts every few bloggers – and since you’re probably a parent yourself, it’s unlikely that you have time for that anyway.
Which brings me to my second point – time. Blogging takes an incredible amount of time if you’re posting long, thoughtful posts multiple times per day. Not only will your readers struggle to keep up with your posts, but you’ll likely burn out within a few months. I actually find it difficult some days to keep up with the posting I do here at BlogWorld, and I only post about once a day. Yet, some niches, like news sites, really require you to post several times per day – so cupcake blogging makes a lot more sense if that’s your niche.
And that brings me to my third point – niche. Some topic areas are perfect for cupcake bloggers. For example, a few weeks ago, I highlighted Tara Wright from Cheapskate Mama as part of our Meet the Blogger series, and for her, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to write many long, drawn-out posts. There’s only so much you can say about a good deal you come across. Longer posts would water down her message – to go check out the deal.
Cons of Cupcake Blogging
Cupcake blogging isn’t all icing and sprinkles. There are also some strong disadvantages to this style of blogging – if there weren’t, everyone would be posting short, pop-in-your-mouth blog posts, right?
To me, the biggest disadvantages of cupcake blogging is that you might be leaving your readers wanting more. There’s something to be said for building anticipation for your blog posts, but if you never truly leave your readers satisfied, they might stop coming back.
Let’s say, for example, that you are my absolute favorite blogger in the world. You have a site full of content that I devoured the day I found you. So, with no more archive to read, I patiently wait for a post. I wait. And wait. Finally, my RSS reader shows that you’ve finally posted something new. I head to your blog to excitedly read it…and it’s two paragraphs long. Don’t get me wrong, it was yummy. But I was hungry. It’s like when you’re expecting a slice of cake and someone gives you one of those miniature cupcakes. As tasty as it might be, you wanted to stuff your face with cake. What you got was disappointing.
Again, this relates to both post frequency and niche. If you’re posting once a week, I want some meat on the bones of your idea, not just a few sentences. On the other hand, if you post several times per day, I have no shortage of great stuff to read, so I don’t mind if your posts are cupcake sized. If short posts are what makes the most sense for you niche, make sure that you’re posting fairly frequently so that I’m not left with an empty stomach.
I’m not a cupcake blogger and probably never will be. Some call me long-winded, but I like to think of it as…vocal. Yeah, that’s it. Vocal. With the increase popularity of Tumblr and micro-blogging tools, however, I can definitely see the appeal of cupcake blogging for others.
In actuality, the best bloggers are typically the ones doing a little of each – cupcake blog posts some days, long meaty meals other days. When people ask me about post length, I often say “the best length is the number of words you need to make your point – no more, no less.” Depending on the topic of your post, that could be 100 words or it could be 1000 words. Neither is wrong.
What about you – what’s your approach to blog post length? Are you a cupcake blogger? Are you more prone to write long posts like I do? Do you vary length from day to day?