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Can I get some feedback, please?  

Feedback on Organising Long Articles Please

 
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 04/29/2012

Hi all,

You may have got the hint by now that I'm passionate about human rights. Part of this is emerging in a series which I'm doing called 'Applications of the Death Penalty'. 

Currently there are eight methods of executing people on statute books somewhere in the world. I'm taking each of them individually, producing eight Wizzles, which focus on one method each.

The motivation is twofold :

  1. I get that information out there;
  2. I have a generic article on, say stoning, which I can link back to in the future, when I write about specific cases.

The thing is that each of these eight articles are turning out to be very long.  I've done three so far: Electric Chair, Stoning and Lethal Injection.  There was also an introductory Wizzle, which tackled Death Penalty issues in a broader context.

I've had feedback (on the Lethal Injection one) from a reader, who says that he thinks they're too long.  He thought that article alone could have been split up into five or six different pages.

I was wondering what you all thought; and if I was to split them up, how would I go about it?  To me the whole thing goes through sequentially. 

I'm much better at producing information than organising it!

Thanks in advance for any advice.

yours

Jo

xxxxxx


TerriRexson
Posts: 175
Message
on 04/29/2012

I'd say you've got it right. These aren't articles for casual scanners, they are to be read. And it's actually less convenient to keep loading new pages. 

I think these are the kind of articles that will gain authority over time and do well as longer pieces. 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/29/2012

I agree with Terri.  

This particular reader/commenter does not sound very coherent, at times. Don't let him distract you from your passionate work.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
samsara
Posts: 7
Message
on 04/29/2012

I thought the article was just the right length. When it comes to subjects such as this "pamphlet" does not cover it all IMO. I enjoyed (not exactly the word that fits but I hope you get the idea) reading through it. 

You could split it up but that IMO would not capture the whole "story".

I saw the comment saying the article is too general - that got me thinking, to someone who is familiar with the subject it might be, for me (as there are no death sentences anywhere near) there is more than enough information. If this is a good thing or a bad thing, I have no clue :) but it leads me to the conclusion if you were to split it up - I would "advise" not to touch the original article but to create new "sub articles" on the subject and link them together - like a "read more here" just in a more subtle way.

Don't know, I am still far from experienced in writing to give true words of wisdom :) 

 

humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/29/2012

My suggestion would be to leave well alone. If they get out there what you want to get out there, then you have completed your mission. Remember that it is your passion you are expounding.

Now to the real suggestions:

1. All articles generate information that cannot be fitted (concisely) into them. These snippets (or longer pieces) should be used either as intro's for backlinking (elsewhere preferably) or as separate standalone articles. Each adds to the subject and increases your authority for the subject.

And now the biggie:

2. If you receive comments like the one you describe, then this is your cue to supply that additional information to those that have a need for it. How? With an e-book that you charge for and link to from your established articles. There is NO reason NOT to reproduce the content you have in your articles, and to expand upon it (the content within a book is not duplicate content, as it is not available for search engine trawling). Your intro to it from your articles would read: this is a part chapter from my (Kindle e-book, e-book, or whatever) - you could even make it a physical print item .

Self-publishing is a means also to increase your authority it any subject niche, especially if you become a best seller on Kindle for instance (not THAT difficult).

I am putting together a strategy for myself (and others) to take advantage of, and increase the possibilities to become a, best seller in these genre. If anybody is interested in sharing in the possibilities, just let me know with a DM and I will add you to my list of people to keep informed.

 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/29/2012

Great ideas, Chaz!  

May I suggest that you start a new thread in our "Tips & Tricks" section?

"Self-publishing Tips & Resources" (or something similar)

That way, people will easily find all the pertinent information in one central place.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Marie
Posts: 245
Message
on 04/29/2012

Jo, I personally think you got the balance exactly right. It is a factual article therefore you expect some real meat or substance to it however it is very much to the point and there is no waffling or getting off topic as some very long articles have a habit of doing - and that is what turns me off with a long article.

You included a table of contents so people can easily jump to the specific area of interest and you've broken up the text with appropriate headings, visual and video content.

I see no need to change what you've done. But if you add to it with off-shoot articles, great.


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 04/29/2012

Thank you all for taking the time to have a look and to share your thoughts on this.  The learning curve I'm on might not be quite as steep as in the first three months, but it's still very much there.

I know that I read somewhere in the Wizzley intro articles that long pages are better than short ones, which suits me very well.  I've always been better at novels than short stories!  LOL  So I have fallen into a tendency to go on and on in my Wizzles.

It's good to know when that's appropriate.  Of course, that leads to the polar opposite query - when are shorter 'pamphlet' type articles better?

Chaz, I love your eBook suggestion.  I would be interested in exploring that one more too.  There are a lot of generic books about the death penalty, but not so many on Amazon for these different methods of execution.

Samsara and Kinworm, writing more articles surrounding these topics is very much on my mind.  In some ways, these eight will be the foundation for them.  I'll be glad when they're all written, so that I can become more focused in future Wizzles.

For those familiar with the subject, these really are money for old rope (no dark and very dodgy pun intended there).  We all know this stuff.  They really are meant for those seeking to educate themselves on the basics; or to form an opinion with a broad outline of major issues associated with each one.

I am grateful for that reader's feedback, just as I am for that given in this thread too.  Learning curves all of the way!


humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/29/2012

 

chefkeem: 29. Apr 2012, 11:47

Great ideas, Chaz!  

May I suggest that you start a new thread in our "Tips & Tricks" section?

"Self-publishing Tips & Resources" (or something similar)

That way, people will easily find all the pertinent information in one central place.

Chef, shall do, or by the time you read this, have done - and as suggested the thread is "Self-publishing Tips & Resources" in the Tips and Tricks section.

 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/29/2012

 

JoHarrington: 29. Apr 2012, 12:48

  Of course, that leads to the polar opposite query - when are shorter 'pamphlet' type articles better?

 

There are no hard and fast rules, Jo.

If a short article provides all the answers to the readers' search queries - good!

If it takes 2,000 words (or more) to explore the topic sufficiently - good!

It's all about a great reader experience.

If I ramble on for the sole reason of producing a long article - not good!

With long articles, it might be good idea to initially give the readers a summary of the content, so that even those under time restraints leave your page with answers to their main questions. Then you can go into details.

Don't worry so much - you're doing an amazing job.  


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/29/2012

 

chefkeem: 29. Apr 2012, 13:22

 

With long articles, it might be good idea to initially give the readers a summary of the content, 

And it might not be a good idea!

My take on the recent Penguin update (and before it came about) is that new metrics are being used to a greater extent than the old backlink, SEO and the like metrics. Authority is now measured by G (I think) by reader feedback, rather than links from 'authority sites' that can be manipulated. The reader feedback metrics are 'time on page' and 'bounce rate' (and others), which are very difficult to manipulate, if at all possible.

If you give the game away too early both of these metrics are negatively impacted. Each page you write should give the answer at the appropriate time - and certainly not at the beginning, if you want good SERPs positioning.

It is only over a period of time that G can determine these metrics. If you find that you get good visitor numbers to begin with, due to good SERPs positions at the outset, but find that your visitor numbers drop significantly after 2 to 4 weeks (during which the visitor numbers stabilized), it is likely that your visitor time on page stats are not on a par with others that fall into the same SERPs category. To retrieve your position you will need to add content that causes new visitors to stay longer. The concensus of opinion I have seen on this metric is that 60 to 90 seconds AVERAGE time on page per visitor should keep your position - then it is over to links and SEO.

So beware of giving the game away too soon - this could cause you to lose authority and positioning.


katiem2
Posts: 1044
Message
on 04/29/2012

I must say, or add, you have both message and factual content to share, getting the point across.  You have a very eloquent balance about doing both and creating an interesting read. Remain true to yourself and the content as you must deliver the facts and the story in it's entirety. To do other wise would compromise the writer you are, one with great integrity.  You go girl! Proud of your work.

Plus it is always better to have some leave your article without completing it, getting what they came for or enough information to satisfy them, rather than read it to the end and be left without getting the full scope satisfying their inquiry to begin with .


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/29/2012

Good points, Chaz.

However, for a better bounce rate it's important what the visitors do, while on your article. If they hit the back button after reading for 30 minutes, it won't do you any good (high bounce rate!).

Reading for a reasonable amount of time, and then clicking on another article of yours - that seems to be the Holy Grail of improving your bounce rate. Then, Google knows that they've been reading (and not just falling asleep), and that they want to read more by this author, which also increases the author's authority. And then the time spent on the initial article counts for a low bounce rate.

So, the name of the game is visitor engagement. Click-outs, comments, bookmarks, etc.

Only you can determine what your reader might want from you: a quick overview, a lengthy report, or a combination thereof.

Whatever you do, your reader should be happy about having found you and curious about your other articles. (Or go shopping-crazy on your product ads.)

Time spent reading + on-page action = low bounce rate.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/30/2012

Good analysis Chef 

Perhaps a new thread in Tips and Tricks is called for:

'How to stop your visitors from bouncing'

perhaps!?!


DavidPaulWagner
Posts: 11
Message
on 04/30/2012

Jo, just my 2 cents worth, as they say:

Your articles *are* long but, for me, they are easy to scan and to navigate because you always include a Contents Module.

You also use all sorts of different elements to break up the presentation. 

On topics like yours, I prefer your approach: a long page which thoroughly explores all the issues and which includes a number of illustrative case studies.


humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/30/2012

Jo, as you have indicated interest, here is the link to join the conversation:

http://wizzley.com/forum/tips-tricks-and-suggestions/self-publishing-tips-resources/


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 04/30/2012

Chef - Awww! Thanks for the advice and the compliment.

Humagaia - Interesting insight on SERPs ranking then.  I tend to write like I'm opening a novel.  The first line makes you want to read the second line; which makes  you want to read the paragraph; which makes you want to read the page.  So on until the whole book has been read.  it sounds like that is a great strategy here.

I'm also learning a lot from the back and forth debate between you two. Thanks! <3  As for a Wizzle on reducing bounce rate, do you mean like this one? http://wizzley.com/reduce-blog-bounce-rate/ :p

Katie - That's really kind of you, thank you.  <3  And yes, what you say makes perfect sense.

David - Thank you very much.  All feedback is gratefully received, especially when it's telling me that I'm doing it right! <3

Chaz - Thanks for the link.  I'm half out of the door now, but I will check it out later on.

 


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/30/2012

And here's another great article by Jo:  http://wizzley.com/bloggers-watch-bounce-rate/

I'll start a new thread for this topic.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Tolovaj
Posts: 156
Message
on 05/03/2012

Hi, there. Interesting debate going on. Just have to add my two cents...

I started my life on the Web with long articles (6-12 thousand characters) and without even knowing what word SEO means. I noticed people who by any chance found my articles didn't stay long because they were mainly just looking for very precise information (e. g. "how to kill a zombie").

They were simply too lazy too read everything. I added some shorter articles (around 3 thousand characters) and they performed much better.

Then I found Squidoo which is all about SEO. There my long articles with a lot of clickouts perform much better than shorter ones.

So my advice would be: do both and experiment a little with linking. Long article e.g. "All about zombies") can be complete coverage of the subject, shorter articles just some interesting tidbits (all linking to your main article). If somebody clicks from your short article to your long article, he will do that because he wants to read the whole story. No need to worry he will escape after 30 secs.

There comes very important part: external linking. You don't want your long article have better SERP than short ones for 'wrong' keywords (e.g. "how to kill a zombie") despite the fact you provide this info in long and short article (not with the same words and not from the same point of view of course).

So you need third layer of supporting articles/pages/sites/blog/posts to take care of that.

And one more thing: bouncing rate can be manipulated (easier than external linking really) and I don't think it can become main factor in SERP calculation in near future.

Although it is good in general to have low bouncing rate (or visitors who stay on your page longer than on the page of your competitor) there are too many real life induced reasons for that to conclude you article is more relevant than competitor's.

As I said, just my two cents.


We love Fairy Tales
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 05/08/2012

Thank you very much, Tolovaj.  I'm going to have to see how I can incorporate all of that. :D


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