Content is important for any affiliate business. You can use social media to optimise your site navigation, structure your site to be aesthetically pleasing and simple to browse through, but all this just attracts the attention of the visitors to your site. What keeps them there is the content you write and post on your website. However, all that work to get those visitors to your site will be for naught if your content is irrelevant, or lacks depth, or is just plain uninformative. The length of your content doesn't matter here: it could be long or short, but still irrelevant and useless. These drive visitors to leave your site.
Despite this fact, many debates have started and ended, some inconclusively, over what form of content is better for affiliate businesses and blogs and other online companies. Is long form better, or is short-form the more favourable option?
What Are Long-Form Content And Short-Form Content?
Long-form content is simply content that starts anywhere from 1500 – 2000 words and above in length.
Short-form content refers to content that is just under 1000 words total in length.
Both forms of content have their benefits and disadvantages, and these could also influence your decision to choose one over the other for your affiliate business.
Long-Form Content: The Advantages
- Long-form content is the most likely to get you high-quality backlinks from influencers and other avenues.
- They give your site credibility and mark you as an authority on that topic, or in your niche.
- Long-form content provides the readers with an in-depth view of the topic or product or service you are promoting.
- Long-form content keeps visitors on your site or blog for much longer, increasing your chances of getting more impressions and more conversions.
- There is a special ranking algorithm for long-form content on Google, the most discerning of all search engines.
Long-Form Content: The Disadvantages
- A lot of people do not read on the internet: they scan. Short form content lends itself easily to scanning, more than long-form content. As such, people tend to ignore long-form content and look for something shorter.
- Long-form content has a bad tendency of not going viral.
- Long-form content is not shared on social media as much as short-form content.
- The length alone does not qualify your article for a higher search engine ranking.
Short Form Content: The Advantages
- A lot of people scan through the content on websites, and short-form content is perfect for this.
- Short-form content is easily and shared more on social media, as opposed to long form content.
- Short-form content is more mobile-friendly.
- Short-form content has the tendency to go viral.
Short Form Content: The Disadvantages
- Short-form content is easily copied by other affiliate marketers and bloggers
- Short-form content does not provide the depth required for a particular topic: it gives more of a summary or an explanation of the topic.
- Generally, short-form content does not convey a lot of information about certain topics.
With their advantages and disadvantages, you might already be leaning towards long-form content, or you might think what you have to write is best said using the short-form content. What you need, however, is what is best for your affiliate business site.
Which Form of Content is Best for Affiliate Business?
Both. That is the simple, straightforward answer. Both forms of content are good for your affiliate business. What matters is how much information you need to provide on a certain topic to your readers. Long-form content or short form content can boost your SEO rankings and traffic levels to your site, as long as you consider the various factors that are necessary for creating content for your affiliate business.
- How Often Are You Posting To Your Affiliate Site?
This is the frequency of posts on your site. If you are posting an article every day, five days a week, then your affiliate site does not need long-form content. If your posts are set for one once a week, then long-form content will be required.
- What Type Of Content Are You Creating?
This is the medium of the posts on your site. Are they reviews? Tutorials? Webinars? Depending on the type of content, you can use the long-form or short-form content for your affiliate business. Reviews may not need as much content as how-to guides, and neither will article need as little content as product descriptions.
- Who Is Your Target Audience?
What your audience want is what you will provide because, if it hasn't occurred to you, your audience are your customers. If they lean towards in-depth, slightly ponderous, heavy long-form content that is what you should give them. If the fancy short bits of content that bring to mind flash fiction, you should give them that.
- How You Structure Your Content Affects Your Readership.
Since people are scanning the Internet rather than taking the time to read, short for content may be preferable for your affiliate business. Even though the long-form content doesn't interest a lot of people to read, breaking it up with sub-headings, white spaces, media and bullet points will enable them n through as usual, and make the content easier to digest.
- Your Style Of Writing
This is your voice and you should look at when writing content for your affiliate business. Content must be fun and engaging and should be more so with long-form content. If your style is of a more serious, slightly dull bent, dish it out in short-form content.
- What Are You Trying To Tell Your Audience?
What are the benefits that will derive from reading your content? This is the substance of what you write. Substance matters more than length: sometimes substance determines the length of your content. If you can provide in-depth information on a topic in 150 words, go with it. If you need 4000 to thoroughly explain and exhaust a topic, go with it. It is the quality of your work that matters most, be it long-form content or short-form content.