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Don’t let pride make things hard for yourself

One of the things that puts off many of us from writing good new stuff for our websites is the effort and expertise required to create something of genuine quality.

But instead of that, we should be looking to add material that might be of usefulness, or value, to the reader. This is a different thing, and it might take less of that effort and expertise.

I’ve been writing this blog since 2008, and this is number 3,290. It seems I’ve written just over a million words, which is not something I ever realised I was letting myself in for.

Being a data nerd, I’ve created a chart of the article word counts, and there’s a clear trend; in the first five years, the annual moving average worked its way up to 400 words, before gradually spending the next eight years working its way down to 250.

This hasn’t been because I’ve got lazy (I hope). It’s because you’re busy people, and making a (fairly) concise point gets more feedback, fewer unsubscribes, and almost any other measure of affirmative response.

The message? Be useful, rather than epic. It’s easier to do, and will get better results.

(That said, sometimes if a job’s worth doing, it needs to be comprehensive. There have been articles here on engineering data sheets and GDPR which were around the 2000-word mark! Interestingly, I didn’t write one of those…)