Long-form content is a type of content that is longer than average. It can be in the form of an article, a video, or even a podcast. Long-form content is important because it allows you to go into depth on a topic and provide your readers with valuable information. When done correctly, long-form content can engage and convert readers into customers.
What is long-form content?
Long-form content generally ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 words. However, the word count for this type of content can vary depending on what you are writing about. For example, a blog post that provides an in-depth review will have a higher word count than one that briefly mentions products or services. A post on your company’s history could have a longer word count compared to one outlining your product features and benefits.
Why is it effective?
There are three main reasons why long-form content is important:
1.) It keeps readers engaged – When people write more words on a topic they know about, they automatically become more credible in their field. This is because they can provide information that is more detailed and accurate.
2.) It’s shareable – Long-form content is worth sharing. This allows you to build your brand’s reputation by getting your name out there. Whether it’s through link building, social media posts, or guest blogging, you want people to see who you (and your business) are and what you offer.
3.) It has a longer shelf life – Information on long-form content can easily be repurposed and updated for future use while still providing value to your audience. For example, an ebook containing research data on best practices could easily become an infographic three years later when updated with new information. This helps add freshness to your content and keeps it relevant.
How to write long-form content:
Here are a few things you can do to successfully create long-form content:
1.) Create an editorial calendar – You must have a plan when creating any type of content. An editorial calendar will help keep you organized and allows you to see what topics should be covered in your blog posts at least two months in advance.
2.) Outline your article – The best way to make sure you include all the information related to your topic is to start with an outline. This ensures that nothing gets left out when writing the full post. Use this guide for creating outlines if needed .
3.) Make it actionable – Give your readers strategies to take away from your content. For example, if you were writing about the best practices of email marketing, include actionable steps that they can use to improve their results.
4.) Use subheadings – This will help break up large chunks of text which makes it easier for readers to digest the information quickly. Subheadings are also useful when repurposing long-form content as they allow users to easily navigate through the post without having to read every detail.
5.) Create a media kit – A media kit is an essential tool used by bloggers and journalists alike. It helps build trust with your audience by showing them who you are and what you do on a professional level. Why does this matter? Because if you can show that you know what you’re talking about, then you are less likely to be seen as an unreliable source.
6.) Utilize visuals – Though long-form content shouldn’t be filled with images, it’s a good idea to add one or two into the post to break up the text. This will also help improve your SEO by giving search engines more opportunities to crawl your site . Use this guide for choosing the right images for your posts .
7.) Promote yourself – The main goal of a blog is to drive traffic and get people reading. Once a piece of long-form content is published, let the world know through social media, guest blogging on other sites, and improving your search engine rankings by linking back to your site.
8.) Promote others – The best way to be seen by more people is through social sharing. One of the easiest ways to do this is by promoting other bloggers and industry experts in your long-form content. Here’s how you can link out when writing a post .
9.) Use tools like Yoast – Tools such as Yoast make it easier for visitors to navigate through your blog posts quickly. Yoast also provides SEO insight into each article which helps determine if readers will actually want to stay on the page and read everything written, or click away immediately because the information that was given wasn’t helpful (or even possible).
10.) Create a lead magnet – lead magnet is an incentive that compels readers to take the next step in the sales process. Some bloggers give away free ebooks or reports in exchange for an email address or name and website URL. For example, if you were writing about how to write blog posts that get shared , you could offer an ebook called ” The Ultimate Guide To Writing Blog Posts That Get Shared “.
11.) Make it long-lasting – Start with the end in mind when creating your content. Your goal should be to provide something of value that will continue to impress, engage, and educate your audience well after they’ve read through all of your material.
12.) Report on it – Keeping track of statistics related to each post makes it easier to see what works and what doesn’t work as well. This way, you’ll have a record of what has been successful in the past and can continue to produce similar results by using your current long-form content strategies for future posts .
13.) Repurpose it – Once a post is published, it should be seen as a living piece of content rather than something that expires after it’s been read. The best way to get more out of your work is to see how you can provide continued value over time through repurposing your content to make different versions of it. For example, if you wrote about how to write blog posts that get shared , you could create additional versions such as ” How To Promote Your Blog Post After Publishing “, which can then be used on other sites dedicated to content promotion.
14.) Measure it – It’s important to track the number of page views, visitors, time spent reading each post, and any other data that helps you put your best work forward. This will help inform you on what topics are interesting to your audience while also showing you how well they engage with each written piece.
“Infographics are one of the most popular forms of visual content marketing because they are easy to share on social media networks, have a high likelihood of engagement (i.e., users spend more time viewing them than plain text), and can help improve SEO through keyword usage,” says Amanda Bond in her article over at Canva .
15.) Make it fun – Nobody wants to read dry or boring content. By keeping your long-form blog posts fun and engaging, readers will enjoy reading them much more, which also makes it more likely for you to gain the attention of new visitors.
16.) Adapt quickly – Trends change over time and what might work today for one particular topic might not work tomorrow or next month. It’s important that when something hits the web related to your topic, you’re able to quickly change gears and put out something that is more up-to-date than the original.
17.) Offer your expertise – People are attracted to experts. This is why it’s important that when writing long-form content you give readers every reason to believe you are an authority on the topic at hand. As an expert, people will be interested in what you have to say and pay attention because they know there is a good chance they’ll get value from it.
18.) Include visuals – Many of the most popular blogs on the internet use visuals along with their written content (some use them exclusively). Writing alone can be powerful but adding some type of graphic helps break up text which makes for easier reading while also helping to portray your subject matter more comprehensively.
19.) Know your audience – The better you know what your readers want, the easier it will be for you to create content they are likely to enjoy and share with others . Keep an eye on their needs, desires, preferences, interests , age group, etc., so that you can keep them engaged long-term.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of long-form content, let’s take a look at some specific examples.
One great example of long-form content is an article called “The Rise and Fall of Google Plus: A Timeline.” This article is over 11,000 words long, and it provides a detailed history of Google Plus. The author goes into depth on topics such as why Google Plus was created, how it grew in popularity, and why it failed. This article provides valuable information to readers, and it’s well-written and well-organized.
Another great example of long-form content is a video called “How to Write an Essay.” This video is over 20 minutes long, but it provides valuable information on how to write an essay. The author discusses topics such as brainstorming ideas, organizing your thoughts, and writing a conclusion. This video is helpful for students who want to learn how to write an essay, and it’s well-produced and visually appealing.
“Good blog posts take time,” states Amber Shapero over at Hubspot . “They aren’t just thought up overnight and then published automatically via WordPress. To do them right means creating something useful, unique, insightful — something worth reading.” And this is why long-form content works so well… because it goes beyond simple blog posts which usually consist of a few hundred words and offers real value (even if it’s just a list).
This is why the long-form content strategy continues to be one of the best ways to generate more traffic, engagement, social media shares, and qualified leads for your business.
“A well-researched post can show customers that you know your stuff (and maybe even teach them something new),” says Shapero. “It may also inspire readers to check out other posts on your site.” The more visitors you have coming back again and again, the better chance you’ll have of gaining their trust and becoming an authority in their eyes. And this will continue to benefit you for years down the road when they actively searching for information related to your topics and visit your site first because of their familiarity with you.
“Length matters,” according to C.J. Hayden over at Unbounce . “The more valuable the content, the longer people will read it.” Keep in mind that just because some long-form blog posts get a ton of traffic doesn’t mean they always get shared extensively on social media networks or get many comments. While this can happen every once in awhile, the best kinds of pieces are ones which provide real value to readers and solve their problems without expecting anything in return (like an upsell or cross-promotion).
There is no perfect length when it comes to writing a piece like this and you should not worry about having your ideas cut short by thinking you cannot go over a certain word count. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are providing value with your content and explaining everything to the reader’s satisfaction.
Long-form content can take many different forms, but all of them should provide value to the reader. By following these tips, you can create content that engages and converts readers into customers. Thanks for reading!