That’s partly why I like Nicola Brown’s article on the role of a content marketer so much. Best of all, she makes this argument in 1,400 words. It only works if your blog post is the tip of an iceberg. So how do you know if your idea is worth an e-book or a blog post? When to write a blog post Blog posts can be op-eds, news analysis, listicles, reportage, case studies, Q&As, profiles, or trend pieces. Let’s say you have an idea and you’re not sure where it belongs. To download an e-book, your audience needs to hand over contact information, and if a customer gets partway into your e-book and regrets giving you their email address, then you’ve effectively put a lot of time and energy into damaging your relationship with your audience. The general consensus is that an optimal e-book starts around 2,500 words, but some go all the way up to 15,000 words. Imagine your e-book’s readership the way you might plan for a house party. If the potential readership is waiting for your e-book, conduct some research on how you’ll prepare for the launch.
We all like to feel affirmed, right? I certainly do. That’s partly why I like Nicola Brown’s article on the role of a content marketer so much. Her description of my job elevates it beyond copy-editing Powerpoint decks. Her piece for the Content Standard argues, “Proofreading’s important, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg,” which is music to my ears.
Her article describes how an editorial background can infuse useful values into a content marketing strategy, pointing out that most writers who’ve worked at independent publications are trained to produce content that’s free of cliches, narratively engaging, and universally readable. Best of all, she makes this argument in 1,400 words. Though I appreciate her argument, if it were expanded into a different format with more words, she might start to lose her audience.
That’s the thing about additive content—piecing together small bits of content like articles into something more substantial, like an e-book. It only works if your blog post is the tip of an iceberg. In Brown’s case, her argument is just a really well-shaped piece of ice, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Content marketers are often on the hunt for ways to adjust and repurpose their most successful projects. So how do you know if your idea is worth an e-book or a blog post?
When to write a blog post
Blog posts can be op-eds, news analysis, listicles, reportage, case studies, Q&As, profiles, or trend pieces. There are a million ways to fill that space, though an ideal range probably spans 400 words to 1,500 words. There are some cases, depending on the complexity of a topic, when 2,000 words makes sense. Anything longer than 2,000 words has become its own category of “longreads” (excuse the Orwellian term). Those pieces of content tend to be feature stories that require diligent reporting and research that could belong in a print magazine.
Let’s say you have an idea and you’re not sure where it belongs. Is your idea just a hot take on Facebook’s latest algorithm changes? Is it timely news analysis on a new report about emoji usage? Not every e-book has to be perfectly evergreen, but you shouldn’t stall your team to put together a long-term project that will feel dated…