Instead of taking the time to craft a lengthy blog post and then link it to social media, some bloggers are choosing to use every character available to them on Instagram or Facebook to communicate their thoughts or tell a story.
It’s not uncommon for these 200 word posts to go viral on social media and other online platforms.
There are some benefits to this style of writing including avoiding the step of having to set up a blog, but is this the best way to connect with and grow your audience? Short form blogging isn’t as new as many believe, but the trend is gaining momentum.
Not all trends are worth embracing, but writing short form content is one to seriously consider.
Online Platforms That Love Short Form Content
- Twitter updates and Twitter Tweetstorms
- Quora (questions or answers)
- LinkedIn text-only posts
- Instagram captions
- Facebook captions
Why Is Less Than 200 Words So Powerful?
People love short content because it’s concise, it can be read quickly and is easily digestible. Telling a story in only 200 words though is a learned skill.
The editing process is where you have to ruthlessly edit the content down to 200 words or less.
A decision has to be made about every word. If a sentence can be shorter, it must. If a point isn’t relevant to the story, it must be cut. If the content contains twenty perfect sentences and the story is too long, then you need to eliminate sentences.
Writing Short Form Content Is Fun
Being able to take a break from longer form content is refreshing. It helps to ward off writer’s block and burnout. It should take no more than 15 minutes to write and publish a 200 word post.
Writing full-length blog posts can feel overwhelming when you’re writing them every single day. Writing short 200 word content is the answer. Start small and see if you can get longer. Or perhaps you will find out that you don’t have to write longer content at all. You can stick to 200 words or less for the rest of your life if you choose. You just need to land the right contracts or jobs.
Quality of content has nothing to do with length. Simple and helpful content will always outperform longer form content if written correctly.
Short Form Content Can Become Long Form Content Down The Road
Think of 200 word content as a proving ground. If people engage with your thought or story, that’s a good indication that you should expand on that thought.
Make the sentences of your 200 word post into subheadings of a blog post and expand on each one. Make the first sentence or the last sentence of your post the headline.
A Simple Process For Writing Short Form
- Write a thought/tip/story into a social media platform that restricts the number of characters. (Instagram and LinkedIn both restrict text length)
- Treat the social media platform you write on like an editor only. You can take the text from where you type it and paste it elsewhere, later.
- Set your phone’s timer for 15 minutes. The time limit helps you focus and get to the point. Anything over 15 minutes means you’re overthinking it. You want a stream of consciousness, not a bad hangover of writer’s block.
- Edit your text right after you write it.
- Add two hashtags. Hashtags force you to say to yourself “what two topics does this writing fit into?”
- Copy and paste your text into your favorite notes app so you can publish your work when you’re ready. Apple notes is my preferred app for storing short form writing and topic ideas.
- Reply to the comments on your finished piece of work to gain feedback, learn, and show you care using social engagement.
- Repeat this process multiple times a week. If you don’t want to be doing this every single day, you can batch your content.
Bonus Tip: Batching up similar tasks to work on is much faster. You can spend 1 to 2 hours per week writing 200 word posts. Keep them stored in a notes app and publish them twice a day at 8 AM and 6 PM.
You can also use 200 word posts as your warm-up for longer form content. I write long-form blog posts twice a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes I’ll use this process as a warm-up to get my brain into a flow state and to get my fingers moving. You can write emails, post comments online, or text a friend as a warm-up too.
Wrapping It Up
If I can do it, why not? The drain on your time and soul to produce quality long-form content consistently can be exhausting. You don’t have to succumb to being a burned out writer if you don’t want to.
Starting small is underrated. Staying small is even more underrated. If you want to be a writer, or become a better writer, start by writing 200 word content and see where it takes you. You might be surprised by what short content can do for you and your career.
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