*The 2018 Challenge is under development. Information will be forthcoming in the weeks to come.

This year's Challenge will open on Sunday April 1st. Be watching for details!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keep Posts Short and Easy to Read!

There are several ways to encourage comments, including making it easy for people to leave comments and by visiting other bloggers. Those are good practices anytime. There is one more thing you can do during the Challenge and it’s critical – keep your posts short.

There are over a thousand participants in the Challenge. We’re encouraging people to visit at least five new blogs a day (starting with the one immediately following one’s own) but many will visit far more. That means time is of the essence.

And short posts are a must!

What is a short post? Definitely under five hundred words. Probably under four hundred, and even shorter is better!

The purpose of the Challenge is to make new friends. If your posts are long, participants are far more likely to skip your blog and move to the next. You’ll miss so many opportunities for new friends. Plus writing long posts takes time! You could spend that time visiting new blogs instead.

In addition to keeping posts short, they need to be easy to read. Long blocks of text are hard on the eyes. Break text into smaller paragraphs. Add images. Highlight or bold some of the text. Pretend you are cooking and spice it up!

And since I want to set an example (and I just made myself hungry) I’m making this A to Z tips post short!

Ninja Captain Alex is one of the A to Z Challenge co hosts and can be found HERE


  1. I have one letter- E- that seems a little long. : ( Have been trying the last few days to shorten it a bit.

  2. Ha, yes. I tend towards longer posts so it's been challenging for me to keep trimming things down!

  3. Short it is... my theme will be very short, hopefully not lame... I will have prizes, wait no I won't.

  4. Short - check
    Funny - I hope so
    Images - heck yes
    All done - Nope! Ahhhh! 14/26 is not bad I think, but I'd feel better if I had another 6 done before the challenge. Time to start working...

    p.s. I'm tingling all over about this challenge :)

  5. Short just adds a new challenge to the Challenge!

  6. Short, yes! I stop going to blogs that have on and on and on posts.

    I'm up to the letter P as of this morning. Hope to get through T before the first.

  7. Your points are good and said in an exemplary manner.


  8. Four left to deal with...Q, X, Y, and Z. Are they short? Well....not too t6o many words I guess but lots of pictures. You can look at a picture fast right? lol.

  9. I wabt to participate but not sure I'm signed up because I didn't get any confirmation.Can I do it on my wordpress blog?

  10. I have used March as a practice and glad that I did as I'm sort of in the flow of the idea now.

  11. Oh yeah short short short. And I agree, not necessarily just for the challenge. Thanks, Ninja Captain, sir.

  12. I think keeping it short is the secret for a successful challenge as you say,


  13. Aye... aye Captain!
    Read you - loud & clear!

  14. Thank you, Lee!

    Delores, pictures are awesome.

    Pat, yes you can!

  15. I agree about short posts making it easier for people to visit more blogs during the challenge. I've tried to keep my A to Z challenge posts short but it looks like many of my posts will be of medium length, on an average of about 400 words, give or take.

    Some of these posts, however, include interactive game play for readers to participate in, so maybe that will help to compensate for the length.

    My maximum word count goal for the A to Z Challenge was initially no more than 350 words but as I started to write my went to 400 and up. So, I'm in between short and long there, I suppose.


    Blog: The Madlab Post
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

  16. Great advice, Alex...coming in at 248 words to boot!!

    You are right about the spacing - to me, even if a post does run long the KEY is breaks in the typing so I don't get lost in a sea of letters.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  17. Great advice, Alex...that was already in my plan. Thanks for confirming it!

  18. Short is fine as long as their is substance and interesting things to read. I like making new friends, discovering blogs and having mine discovered, but good content also is necessary.

    I love using pictures.


  19. My posts this year are even shorter than last year.

  20. Whereas I agree with you in theory, I have to disagree on a pesonal level. My blog still has to be -my- blog, which means I need to write it the way I write it. If that means that some people pass over me because my posts are too long, I'll just have to live with that. I'd rather not fake people out into thinking my blog is something that it's not.

  21. I really learned to appreciate short posts last year.

  22. Nicole, that's still a good length. And the interactive has me intrigued!

    Jenny, those giant blocks of text are hard to read.

    Sia, pictures are good!

    Andrew, be as brief as you can without compromising you. After three years with the Challenge, I just know people skip the long ones.

  23. I love how short this post was ;D
    I'm still playing with themes...where did March go?! lol

  24. Setting an example to others is a good way to teach! Nice job, Ninja Captain!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  25. You are so right in your tips today and I am so bad at following that advice. Some of the posts I have already finished are admittedly too long...although I have included visual filler so the reading hopefully wouldn't bog down. Anyway, I am looking for the rest of my unfinished posts to follow the "short but sweet" advice you have given.

  26. Great tip! I've a few posts that are a little longer - some teasers from my novels, but most of them are short and funny with a few pictures. :)

  27. One thing that I will definitely keep in mind this year!

  28. Sure thing Alex. I will remember this.

  29. If mine get any shorter they'll just be the letter in the middle of the page -- Hmmm

  30. Oh my, the number of times I have posted about folks who post blogs that are just too damned long. In fact, not just in regards to those doing this challenge, but I would say, as far as I'm concerned, keep them short and to the point, no matter what.
    It's a fast-paced world in blogland and one has only so much time to read a posting.
    Oops, my comment is starting to get rather long and thus, I shall end it now.

  31. Ella, I didn't want to be a hypocrite.

    Chuck, I would read your posts no matter what!

    Mary, that might work!

    Gary, I hear you!

  32. As this is my first A-Z Challenge I am hanging out to find out what people post! I am intrigued!

  33. Short, sweet and to the point. Will be working on my posts today, tomorrow and finishing them up by Saturday.

  34. Hi Alex .. good points thanks for reminding us .. see you on April 1st .. cheers Hilary

  35. Great tip Alex! I went over my posts from last year and yikes! They were way too long. This year my goal is 250 words or less, but I already have letter B at 261. Pushing for 250 or less means at least they'll be mostly short.

  36. I agree about short posts. I find long posts, even during non-AtoZ months rather overwhelming.

  37. Hello, Fellow Challenger, from #425-Rockin' Chair Reflections!
    Considering it takes me 250 words to say 'hello,' I think I've found the Challenge in the Challenge!


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