View Full Version : Who says people won't read long posts?

05-22-2007, 09:43 AM
It is frequently commented that if a blog post is too long, people won't read it. Well today I posted a blog post that totally defies common wisdom. In total my post is over 7,000 words long (20 printed pages) and took me nearly three very long days to write plus days of reading beforehand. The result has been more traffic to my blog in three hours than my most popular blog entry received in its first two weeks of existence. What's more the comments on other blogs are that it is a must read in all its detail.

The morol is that if you write a post or article that is timely well thought out and well written, people will read it even if it takes them an hour to read. You can see my post at: When science, peer review & independent experts are anything but (http://blog.environmentalchemistry.com/2007/05/when-science-peer-review-independent.html)

It is an analysis of the testimony and background to the Floyd Landis doping hearings (the guy who won last year's Tour de France).

Happy writing.

05-22-2007, 09:56 AM
Its all about your intended audience, the more cerebal the audience the more length they can take generally, but there are always exceptions. It also depends on what the blog post is, not many people will read a 20 page rant but a carefully thought out and research post on the right topic will generally be read or linked to.

05-22-2007, 10:00 AM
Xander, you are exactly correct, which is part of what I was trying to get at. You just put it in clearer terms.

05-23-2007, 06:35 AM
Okay I'm really bummed with Google Analytics today. Analytics is reporting about 40% fewer page views to my blog for yesterday than is being reported by AdSense. AdSense Almost NEVER reports more page views than analytics and when it does the difference is normally very small. In fact, AdSense normally reports around 20% fewer page views than analytics.

The only thing I can conclude is that Analytics did not record massive amounts of my traffic as it is extremely unlikely that AdSense would over report impressions. This really bums me out because according to AdSense I received 20 times more traffic to my blog than I normally do and I was really hoping to get really fine resolution on yesterday's traffic. :(

05-23-2007, 09:54 AM
Its strange for such a discrepancy unless there were a lot of non javascript enabled vistors, or maybe Analytics was having some problems?

Does blogger not report traffic? Or do you have any logs for your blog associated with your hosting?

05-23-2007, 10:58 AM
I don't believe blogger reports stats, but I can get indirect numbers by looking at server log requests for images by my blog since the images are hosted on my site. I suspect what happened is that the article was so large (45 kb of text just for article) that Analytics simply didn't get loaded on slower connections. I've also noticed that Blogger has been having problems the past two days with not always loading pages (I've been getting error messages).

05-23-2007, 02:19 PM
Reading other people's posts (1 (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-reliable-is-google-analytics) and 2 (http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3227679.htm)), it seems not too uncommon. However are both reporting the same period? I.e. are the both up to the same reporting time/date?

05-23-2007, 02:28 PM
The reporting periods being off from each other by a few hours has only a minor influence on my overall stats because my lowest traffic time frame is 11:00pm - 4:00am EST. I think Analytics clicks over at midnight and AdSense clicks over at 3:00am for me. At most this should affect my stats by a couple of percent. Because of ad-blockers it is exceedingly rare for AdSense to report more traffic than Analytics. When it does happen Analytics is normally only 1-2% lower.

05-23-2007, 02:48 PM
I just confirmed my stats indirectly using my server logs by looking at how many time a specific file that is ONLY requested by my blog was requested. It was in line with AdSense stats. Something happened that caused Analytics to puke with my blog yesterday. :(

It is very sad, because this post in about 15 hours time became the most viewed blog post I have ever posted and got as much traffic as most of my normal articles receive in a few months. I would have loved to have had the details of who was referring the traffic to me.

The comments I have seen on the sites I have found linking to the article were very positive. One site called it a "scientific cycling smackdown" and implored their readers to read the whole article. It feels good to have find those kinds of comments about one's post after putting so much work into it. These moments are very rare especially in my niche where I plod away in obscurity most of the time.

05-23-2007, 04:35 PM
Too bad Analytics is not showing all the info for that day, but at least you know the post was a success. Congrats for the great post!!

Im building a kind of "Scientific" site of my own (not related to your subject), so i love to see when a scientific site gets the Recognition that it deserves and of course the traffic rewards.

05-24-2007, 08:43 AM
Oh happy news. I checked my Google Analytics this morning and it is now reporting ALL of my traffic for Tuesday. :)

My article/editorial was referenced all over the place. One common theme was the admonishment to read the ENTIRE post. The best quote I have seen thus far called my article a "scientific cycling smackdown".

I'm also seeing lots of referrers being from webmail URLs like Yahoo Mail so apparently people are also emailing it to others very heavily as well.