Does size matter?

Tiana and Truck - 110912

What is the right length for a blog post?  Should it be as long as the stories published in Vanity Fair" that go on for pages with densely written text deeply exploring a topic?  Should it be closer to a newspaper article that provides a solid overview of a topic, but not going into depth?  Should it be closer to a Facebook update that pretty much is status update?  Should I even be comparing it to written things and look to other expressive outlets like tv, movies, podcasts and vodcasts?

A good friend of mine from high school and I are thinking of starting a blog.  It will be for artistic growth and sharing knowledge and will also be for promoting our collaborations with commercial goals.  I've never done a partnership blog and am very excited about this opportunity.  One aspect we need to address is what is the best way to lure in readers, viewers, and potential customers with content that is rich, valuable, and appreciated without either giving away too much or going too deep without being too shallow and vapid?

We are at the very beginning stages of all this.  One thing we need to work on is defining our audience.  This will help us determine what we write and share.  We want smart, sexy, people that appreciate art, erotica, and are not afraid of exploring edgy issues and will want more.  What are the right hooks to attract them?

We need to think about how much do we give out and how much do we sell.  If we create a book, we would be stupid to show all the images online and give it away.  If we have erotic stories or essays about the topic that will be compiled into something more, we can't give it all away either.

This morning, I watched a trailer for the new Bond movie, Skyfall.  It is a very good trailer.  It showed just enough to get the idea of what the movie promises without giving away the story by showing all the key developments.  I hate seeing  movie trailers that pretty much synopsizes the whole movie by showing all the good bits.  While this trailer is great for a singular offering of one movie, an online equivalent for a blog requires a bit more than a tease.  Blogs are periodicals, movies are events.  We will need to find that balancing point of giving richness to our readers and yet leaving them wanting to go beyond the blog and explore what we created and buy it.  Where is that fine line between just stringing someone along vs. giving away the whole cow?


  1. So many questions. But here are a few of my thoughts.

    “What is the right length for a blog post?”
    I don’t think there is a “right” length. It’s the length it takes to give your readers the information you want to share; be it short or long. I do think forty pages would be a hard sell, but two or three might work. If it’s long but interesting or useful they will read it. I would look around the web at blogs that combine info and ads and see what length they use. Don’t just look at art or photography; but travel, cooking, computers or news to get a good feel. YouTube or podcasts are also good ways to get info out. Podcasts need regularity I think to gain a constant audience. If you’re going to encourage back and forth discourse; you might want to think of something other than Blogger. I run into that damn 4096 character and spaces limit too often

    “It will be for artistic growth and sharing knowledge…” I hope you really have a more definitive description written on the note pad.

    “…and will also be for promoting our collaborations with commercial goals.”
    To make money on a blog with just your own content can be difficult. The photography arena on the internet is pretty well covered so you’ll need to produce really good content that some one will buy. This takes a lot of time; it takes uniqueness plus street cred and usually will take a couple of years to bear any fruit. Some start as just a blog and then add money making to it slowly. Affiliate marketing is a good way to go for revenue. But this also consumes a lot of time if you are going to make any real money with it. I think if I was going to try and make money I would have a dot com web site to monetize and use the blog to drive traffic to it. Also don’t be afraid to provide valuable content for free. It actually can be money later.

    “…defining our audience.” Your audience is defined by you actually. What expertise do you have to write about and share? That determines your customer.

    “We want smart, sexy, people that appreciate art, erotica, and are not afraid of exploring edgy issues and will want more.”
    I’d maybe take out the sexy lol. I’m getting old, I’m over weight and I’m not sexy, but I do appreciate art, erotica and probably exploring edgy issues, what ever edgy means.

    “…the right hooks to attract them?” Provide art, erotica and edgy issues in a way that nobody else is. Do this and your readers will spread the word.

    “…how much do we give out and how much do we sell.” You must give to receive. On the internet there is so much free that it takes a show of real quality to get someone to buy. At my friend Bill Schwab’s North Light Press, he has a series of books that he publishes called 11+1. Each book has 16 pages, 11 images and you get 1 signed print. You get to preview 6 of the eleven images and the books are $100.00 each. He told me that he hasn’t lost money yet on any book. http://www.northlightpress.com/ross/index.html

    Also check out the pretty girl shooter Jimmy D at http://prettygirlshooter.blogspot.com His blog will show you a monetized blog that provides a lot of information and commentary.

    On today’s image – I think the beer would have been warm anyway. She would have melted the ice in the cooler.

    D.L. Wood

    1. Thank you for the detailed reply. So much of it is in considerations and you gave us much more to think about. I am sure whatever she and I create will evolve over time as we find our niche(s), voices, and how we will work together.

      Thanks for noticing Tiana again.

  2. Funny, Karl. My photographer friend Peter recently attended the Burning Man festival where the byword is to give your art away. I've done that too long. I applaud the goal to make a buck. But be realistic. Unless you're among the art elite, it won't be much money. That brings about the question of whether it's worth trying to sell your art except for commercial purposes.

    I agree with D.L. "Don't be afraid to provide valuable content for free. It actually can be money later."

    It's like handing out free samples to get the marketing feedback.

    I wish art was a lucrative pursuit, but it just is not. Many of us spend our careers teaching (AND doing) because it's a way to make a good living by doing what we love. Otherwise, you know I support you and wish you the best in what seems a tough uphill climb to me.

    1. These are all good things to think about. I also want to teach it as well. As for my collaboration, I know part of the blog we will start is just to see how we could work together and then see where it moves from there.


So,what are you thinking about?