Why I don’t believe in “Short Attention Spans” online

You’ll notice with a lot of articles today, mainly via online magazine sites, newspaper sites and similar online portals that when an article is posted, it is usually published with a “4 min read” comment next to it which will vary depending on the length of the article. This, I can only assume, is an attempt to attract the majority of readers who have short attention spans and spend a minute maximum taking in what the author has written. Any longer than this and nobody will read what you write. Isn’t that how it goes?

I am sure there is a survey written somewhere online that proves this theory but for me, using WordPress, it’s very much the opposite. This could just be a random thing, or it could be how it is for some writers. I have discovered in the time that I’ve been blogging that how much you write is almost as important as what you write. If I write shorter articles, they tend to get fewer eyeballs on them than posts where I have written more than 500 words. I don’t know why this is, I suspect it’s because when I write more than 500 words, I am either writing a personal blog post about my life or I am writing about the pursuit of writing and blogging in general. These are two topics I know are more popular than other content I have posted (WordPress stats can be helpful in that regard).

So from this experience, I can see the following trends with my writing (this is an entirely personal thing that I just decided to write about, and it does not take anything away from those writers who choose to write smaller updates or posts than I do).


This proves something, and that is that stats can be helpful if you use them casually and don’t get bogged down with the details. And it also shows (for me) that WordPress really is designed for writers, the art of writing and the written word just like Instagram is intended for imagery (although, Instagram has introduced different tools to try and shift very subtlely towards their users integrating text with their images).

That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t change trends with your content. I am a writer first and foremost, but I’m also a photoshop addict which is why, you may have noticed, that I’ve slowly started integrating my own graphics into my articles to combine the two things I love to do and to enhance the overall experience for my readers. This is a BIG deal for me. I want people to not only like what I write but to enjoy the experience. If I do this and stay true to myself in my writing, attention spans will matter very little.




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