Break It Down: Keeping your Blog Scope in Check

We all get a little excited when it’s blog-writing time. (Well, I know I do.)

You’re committed to providing fantastic value to your readers with every post, so it can be tempting to get carried away.

Maybe you’ve found yourself saying,

I know the title of this post is X, but everyone will be so happy if I give them X + Y + Z + The Kitchen Sink!

A client recently brought me a blog post draft that suffered from this very problem. This single, 2-page post contained the entire rationale for purchasing their product. It had about 6 headers, and every one of them could easily turn into a well-researched, 1,000+ word long read.

I got to break the good news to them — what they had was 6-8 nascent blog posts in disguise.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to hold your horses, cowpoke. Keeping the scope of your post under control has a couple of significant benefits.

You can bank that content for later!

If you’re on a regular publication schedule you probably spend time wracking your brain for content. But it’s possible that the problem isn’t lack of ideas — you might need more editorial restraint.

If you accidentally include too many disparate topics in a post, don’t sweat it. And don’t delete what you’ve done in frustration! Copy/paste it into a fresh document, and make a note on your calendar for later. Even if it doesn’t seem like enough content for a standalone post, you can figure it out later.

Future you will thank you.

You can go deeper.

When you force yourself to think deeply about a narrow topic, you’ll generally end up with better quality content. Fight the urge to speak in generalizations. Get readers on the same page. Include illustrative examples.

When you do, you’ll notice you don’t need a thousand ideas to fill out a single post. One good one will suffice.

Clear headlines make for easier searching.

As your site grows, it might become difficult to manage for both users and contributors. Your baby blog might survive a few too-long, sprawling posts, but if important knowledge gets buried beneath misleading titles as a habit, you’ll soon have an unsearchable mess on your hands.

So next time you feel yourself getting a little keyboard happy, ask yourself this question:

Would someone who knows the headline be surprised by this content?

If the answer is yes, grab your scissors. It’s time to make a cut.

kk-writes-scissors-cut

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