Refine Your Signal (or Fuck The Fluff)

You may have noticed my blog posts have recently gone from an average of over 1,000 words to a much shorter 300-500 words.

After reading You should feel the pain when unclear by Derek Sivers I decided to experiment with writing shorter blog posts.

Derek's article isn't about writing less, it's about being clear and concise.

For some reason, it's generally regarded by most successful bloggers that long blog posts are more important/valuable.

But that's not true. Most really useful verbose blog posts are actually full of lots of fluff and filler.

Why dance around in your content when you can get right to the point?

Here's an experiment for you:

Next time you read a really long blog post think about how much of what you're reading is necessary and how much can be edited out.

My articles still start as 1,000+ word tomes, but I edit, refine, edit, refine, until they're as short as possible while still broadcasting the same message.

There's an old saying in copywriting:

Write as many words as it takes, and not a single word more.

That's why some sales letters are 1 page and some sales letters are 50+ pages. No fluff. No filler. Just sell.

In my past life I've had a short sales letter pull in over $35,000 in sales in 1 day, and I've had a long sales letter (sent to the same market) pull in less than $1,000 for a whole month.

There are obviously other factors involved when selling online, but the point is that the long sales letter was probably too full of fluff to be effective.

The same advice is relevant for blogs.

Refine Your Signal, Cut The Fat

If you need 4,000 words to get your point across, no worries.

But if you don't need any more than 300, why write 3,000?