Are you in a hurry? How much time you would like to spend reading this post?
This post is about the following concept – what if we make every blog post customizable in length so the reader will have the option to pick the version he/she likes the most.
Every now and then I bump into a very attractive article (or at least title) shared by friends and people I follow on social sites.
But what is my disappointment when I open that article and I see it is 1 mile long and I don’t have 3 hours to read it.
What I do then is skimming through the article and maybe reading just the subheadings if there are such.
When I have nothing else to do (very rarely) I would go and read the entire article but then here comes another disappointment – the valuable meaningful content is so little that it could be easily expressed in few sentences. Which in result will help me save time and energy.
Most of the authors are following some writing guidelines and they include an intro, a story, an outro, other peoples opinions, quotes and whatever they may find rich in keywords and somehow relevant to be included just for the sake to make the article longer and more SEO-friendly.
But let’s suppose this particular reader is feeling pretty fine to read for 5 minutes. Can we make a shorter more condensed version of the article for him and keep him on the page to read the entire article and getting to the point where we would like every visitor to go to (generally a call to action at the end of the article).
My guess is that the visitors will consume more content this way. It is yet to be proven and I’m going to do some experiments (actually I already started with this post).
To make this experiment possible I wrote a WordPress plugin that makes these links on the top of this post available and that takes care to switch between the different versions of the post and of course to track which versions people are reading most and how much time they spend reading.
I believe it’s not a big problem. After I write the full long version then it is a matter of quick cropping to produce the shorter versions.
I will gladly do that if I know that I will keep more readers this way.
There’s another question that comes to my mind too – how it will work for search engines. We should always keep in mind that we’re writing the content for both – the visitors and the search engines.
But by default it’s always the full article which is loaded.
How this idea sounds to you?
Which version of this post did you read? Please comment below.
I will publish few other posts like this and after I get a good amount of visitors I will share the results in a separate post.