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The Long & The Short Of It

Updated on July 27, 2011

Brevity Is The Heart Of Wit

Unequivocally, short HUBs are better. I am just not comfortable reading long documents on the internet. I am an avid reader. I sit in my comfy chair reading actual books for hours and devour hundreds of pages. I simply cannot do it with a computer screen. Not even a laptop. I doubt I'd enjoy Kindle, either.

Good Journalism!

I like HUBs that exhibit good reporting qualities. I want who, what, where, when, why, and how (or something similar) in that many paragraphs. To my mind, a good HUB should be 350 - 400 words - 500 maximum! It should cover one subject well, not necessarily thoroughly. That’s what links and follow up articles are for. It should have one or a few really good pictures and maybe one video. More than that takes too long for my computer to load, and I won't watch videos. My computer doesn’t handle video well. And I’m sure I’m not the only reader who has this problem.

Searchable Titles!

If your HUB is 1500 to 2000 words and covers several topics, understand that I am highly likely to read the first sentence of each paragraph and scan the rest! Break it down! Make it three or four nice concise specific HUBs that I can read as a series and that each address a single topic or single aspect of a topic. That makes it a lot easier to do your Amazon products. It gives your page a clean, streamlined look. It also seems less like a big commercial if you want to add product that ties with every aspect of your subject. By having several short HUBs that address specific topics or aspects of a topic, you can have very specific, searchable titles. That means you will get read more by people who are looking for your topic.  

The Element Of Suspense!

Same thing with stories. If your story is 3000+ words, break it down into installments. That way you can include more pictures with a less cluttered look. Your readers will develop the habit of checking your HUBs every day to see if you have come out with the latest installment. And you will have the opportunity to increase your readership by having more searchable titles out there. You can pick an aspect of each installment to highlight with your Amazon product.

I've Learned My Lesson!

Now you may be saying, “But wait a minute! You have at least one really long HUB with bunches of pictures!” Well, you know what? You’re right! I do! And it has two comments and almost no one has looked at it, and I worked hard on that HUB, and it is a topic that is important to me. Believe me, that’s the last time I do that! By far, my HUBs that do the best, generate the most Amazon income, and get the most comments are the ones that are short and sweet and deliver a simple message.

I rest my case.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:January 29, 2009


Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! Yes, now they are saying that longer articles are better for SEO, but I'm not seeing that in my own ratings. My more concise HUBS are more read.

  • swb64 profile image

    swb64 6 years ago from Addingham, UK.

    Just found this hub, interesting and yes I would say most folks do participate in 'scan' reading if a Hub is too long, good advice thanks.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, I think lots of people feel that way. I don't because I just don't like reading online! :)

  • PaperNotes profile image

    PaperNotes 7 years ago

    When the topic is very interesting, it sure is great to read a long hub and it might even be frustrating to read a short hub with the same topic. It feels like you are hungry for more details.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    Thanks aj and Shalini!

    I think for me is is something as simple as the angle at which I have to hold my head to read online. If it is short stuff then I can move around more and not lose my place, but if it is something long and involved, every time I move I get lost again, and it just takes too much patience and searching to get back to it.

    Or something!


    By the way! I have made TEN DOLLARS on Amazon, so I know what I am talking about! ;D

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 9 years ago from India

    Good points, justmesuzanne - I think most people's attention span online is extremely short and if you what to hit them with what you got, you need to keep it interesting and brief. Great and relevant hub!

  • ajcor profile image

    ajcor 9 years ago from NSW. Australia

    interesting hub  justsuzanne - I don't know what does better for sales but suffice to say i am yet to make an amazon sale but I like the way the adsense is climbing - altho slowly - someof mine are short and some long so the court is out on this for me....but I like to read both short and long hubs ... cheers

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    My pleasure! :)

  • Dottie1 profile image

    Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

    Thanks Suzanne, I appreciate your thoughts on this subject!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    LOL! Well, I read both of the ones you wrote today! :) The whole things! Not just the first sentences of each paragraph! Well done!

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    I tend to be a bit long winded - it is something I have worked on. And I think I have somewhat mastered it, the art of condensing what I want to say - but then again I could have just said 'great hub justmesuzanne' but no I kept writing on and on...

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    Oooh!  That sounds like a good idea! I don't know if things actually DELETE when you unpublish them or if they are stored.

    You might want to break your chapters down into readable daily chunks so that the likes of me won't just go through and read the first sentence of each paragraph!




  • Aya Katz profile image

    Aya Katz 9 years ago from The Ozarks

    JustMeSuzanne, great hub and very useful advice. I can tell that you are right from my own experiences. It is a matter of taste, but by far most readers seem to prefer the shorter pieces.

    However, I've been considering serializing a novel on hubpages, by posting a chapter a week and then erasing it and posting the next chapter, in the hopes of eventually selling the whole novel in Is that idea unworkable? What do you think?

  • VioletSun profile image

    VioletSun 9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    Ooops,again: I meant to say, "I  can't do E-books, or would enjoy the Kindle..." not "can".

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    Goldentoad! You're not a failure! I enjoy the first sentences of every paragraph of your articles! ;D

    Elena, thank you for your comments! They are both right on topic! :D

  • Elena. profile image

    Elena. 9 years ago from Madrid

    Hi again! I came back to check your response, Suzanne, and caught GT's comment, which made me laugh! 

    GT, amigo, I dig your articles, and I will quit your fan club if you change your style now!

    Suzanne, I don't want to turn this space into a soapbox, so feel free to remove my comment if you think it's too much off topic!

  • goldentoad profile image

    goldentoad 9 years ago from Free and running....

    I feel like a complete failure now :(

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    Well, thanks! I respect yours, too! :D

  • Elena. profile image

    Elena. 9 years ago from Madrid

    Hi Suzanne! You make good points --it's easier to hold reader's attention with shorter bits than longer ones, but I do like longer hubs, actually if I'm interested in the topic I feel a bit "robbed" if the hub is "too short". Oh, I don't know, I guess it's a matter of taste after all, and I respect yours!!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

    Oh good! It doesn't seem anyone is offended so far! :D Whew!

    I notice that lots of people write VERY long HUBs, and I really feel bad that they are missing so many opportunities to attract new readers and market their Amazon merchandise effectively.

    There's a link to the HUB I mentioned below this comments box. It is the one about the logging industry and the bushmeat trade in Africa. Have a look! It's a great HUB, just too long and maybe too serious.

    Thanks for reading!

    :) Suzanne

  • Melissa G profile image

    Melissa G 9 years ago from Tempe, AZ

    Nicely done, Suzanne! Now I must know--which hub of yours was so sadly neglected?

  • VioletSun profile image

    VioletSun 9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    Hi, Suzanne: Ooops, sometimes I write long articles, but not too long, I think. :) I too don't generally like loooong articles or posts, and my friends know this, but when I find an article that interests me, I print it and read it offline. The breaking the topics into installments is a good idea, magazines do this as it keeps the reader's attention.

    I can do E-books, or would enjoy the Kindle, give me a good book with a book cover, and I will spend hours reading.

    Good, hub!


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