Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
I’ve seen quite some posts and comments about what’s the right length for things, everything from tweets to facebook posts to blog posts etc. One day when seeing a post about the topic of long blogs posts on Nosegraze her blog it made me wonder if there even is such a thing as the right length for blog posts. I can see how from a research point of view there always is a right length and there will be an average length for every type of content, but at the same time I don’t think it’s really about the length of posts, but more about the content.
Why I think there is no set right length
I believe there is no set ideal length for things like blog posts and reviews. I think that as long as your review or post is as long as to tell everything you want to it’s the right length. Sometimes that might mean a post or review is pretty short or other times it means it’s really long and that’s okay. Write whatever you want to tell on the topic or book and keep it at that. If you need to fill it up with too many examples or mentioning things mutliple times, if you have to artificially make it longer for the sake of making a longer post of review, I think then it’s probably too long and you should just stop at the point before you add that. I can’t remember I ever read a lot of blog posts or reviews that got too long in my opinion, but I do remember from my university days that some teachers or study books had trouble getting to the point and I felt like those books or lectures got way too long, simply because they tried to add more or explain it more, while sometimes less is more. I think a blog post needs to have enough information on the topic or your opinion to get a feel for the poster their opinion and understand their point of view or get enough information about the topic. With a review I think it needs to include everything you want to tell or share about the book, how it made you feel etc. If there are topics you go into more depth about that’s okay too. A post should be as long as necessary, not as long as a certain length. I think the content is more important than the actual length.
What is too long and how to handle it
Having said that I do believe that if a post is too long there will be people who might not read the whole posts. I have broken up blog posts because I thought else no one would read them all completely, because I thought if a post was too long people would skim and I wanted to prevent that. I do wonder if’s more about the length or that if certain people are more inclined to skim or not read the whole post, no matter what the length.
When I think of that I do realize I changed that blog post under the assumption that there is such a thing as too long. So while I might think it’s more about the content than the length, I also think that sometimes it’s better to make a blog post shorter. I only cut up posts when I felt like I could do that. Sometimes I noticed my blog posts was about multiple topics at once and there was a nice way to break it up and other times it was such a long list that I just made a part 1 and part 2, so I do think that’s a good solution if you’re afraid a blog post is too long. The added benefit of this is that you have an extra post scheduled as well. With reviews that isn’t as easy, so I would just go with the long review if necessary. Don’t remove parts because you’re afraid it’s too long as there migth be people who want to read that part and those who don’t can skim or skip it. I personally love both short and long reviews.
The length of blog posts
Personally if I read a post and find the topic interesting it doesn’t matter how long the post is, I will read it all. I do skim now and then, but that’s more about if I am busy and don’t have time to read it all or feel a bit rushed. And I even skim shorter posts, it’s more about me in those cases than the actual post. If I feel like the post is too long winded or I might not be as invested in the topic I also skim parts now and then. I usually try to read the most important parts to still get a feel for the post. So again I feel like my willingnes to read the whole posts is either more about how busy I am and how much time I have or more about the content than length. Although ofcourse if a post is really short you can’t really skim, but you won’t be able to convey a lot about the topic either. I do think I prefer slightly longer posts compared to short posts. And from my own blog posts I think this tendency is obvious as well. And when visiting other blogs I often find that the longer posts contain more information and makes it easier to comment as there is more content to respond to.
The Length of Reviews
For reviews I am okay with any length, I’ve seen short reviews, long reviews, different styles of reviews and so far I think they all work. It’s more a matter of personal preference of the reviewer and I think if as a reviewer you pick the style or length you’re most comfortable with, it shows in your review. I rarely ever skim reviews, with the exception of when I am busy or feel rushed or when I am afraid of spoilers I might skim, but that doesn’t happen often. I don’t think I ever encountered a review that I thought was too long. I’ve seen quite some long reviews, but usually don’t mind as it was obvious the reviewer had a lot to say and usually find them informative. In my own reviews I do add a sumamry alinea especially for the people who don’t have time or don’t want to read the whole review, that way they can still get the general feel of my review.