Content monetization

Short-form and long-form content monetization

You’ve probably heard the debate between short and long-form content or asked yourself how you can improve content monetization. Bite-sized blog posts and slideshows are examples of short-form content that are short and sweet, and straight to the point. In contrast, whitepapers, ebooks, and webinars are more in-depth and comprehensive. When content is what is driving users to your site, the length of your content is an important factor for attracting and retaining users, and can be an easy content monetization strategy you can implement. 

It’s important for you to understand your user and the type of content that resonates with them. With your site’s user base history, you can build a high-value ad inventory. The value of ad placements are determined by the level of engagement of your users (i.e viewability, time on page). When it comes to the length of content, there isn’t one right answer for how to present it, because every website is different. Let’s take a deep dive into short-form and long-form content. 

Advantages of short-form content

Short-form content is considered articles under 2000 words like blog posts, infographics, slideshows, galleries, and listicles. This length of content is often used on sites that are product/service-oriented or the article is focused on one specific topic or set of facts. Users are looking for very specific information, like the pros and cons of a new smart television or the top five things to know about buying a new car. 

This length of content is especially popular for marketers and brands for the following reasons: 

  • Readership improves – Short-form content ensures your users read your content since it can be easily scanned for important and relevant information.
  • Consistency – It increases your ability to produce content at a higher frequency and engage with your users on a more regular cadence.
  • Mobile-friendly – With mobile being the only way some users access content, short-form content is easier for mobile users to consume.

Disadvantages of short-form content

Short-form content doesn’t work for every website, topic, or brand. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Lack of depth – Limiting your content to short bursts of text prevents you from going into too much detail on a subject, which can be interpreted as a lack of credibility.
  • Not search-friendly – For search engine rankings, short-form content is at a disadvantage since page crawlers are looking for keyword-rich, longer pages.

Monetizing short-form content

Short-form content allows you to monetize each page with a high number of ads because your user is more likely to leave the page after reading. You don’t want the ads to be too dense or to disrupt the user experience; it should be just enough that you’re still able to capitalize on that single user. 

Another tactic you can implement for short-form content is to direct them to more pages that may interest them. These pages should have relevant content, but more pages mean more visibility for your ad placements. 

Examples of short-form content and ad placements

Advantages of long-form content

Most long-form content can be categorized as articles, whitepapers, e-books, or how-tos, which are generally over 2000 words with multiple sections and focused on a single topic. Using this length of content depends on what is right for your readers and the topic you’re sharing. The advantages of long-form content include:

  • Establish expertise – More words allow you to create a comprehensive piece that truly showcases your expertise.
  • Higher engagement – Long-form content provides more value to readers and inspires them to share it. A study from Buzzsumo found that the longer the content, the more shares it receives.
Image from OkDork.com
  • SEO optimized – Long-form content gives you the opportunity to rank for more keywords and increased time on page can contribute to your domain authority and overall SEO.

Disadvantages of long-form content

Just like with short-form content, not every brand or website mandate is to produce long-form content for its users. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Short attention span – Some users become disinterested with an article’s length, preferring something more consumable. This could result in a higher bounce rate.
  • Time-consuming – Producing long-form content requires more time and resources and you might not have an abundance of either.  

Monetizing long-form content

Long-form content requires more real estate on your page, which gives you more opportunities to insert ads, whether those are anchor ads, in-feed, or sidebar units. Using lazy loading ensure your page loading speed remains high. The more value provided to a user translates to high engagment. This results in them scrolling farther, and the better you’re able to monetize your article by showing more ads. There’s a direct correlation between time on page and ad revenue generated.

Examples of long-form content and ad placements

When comparing short-form and long-form content, there isn’t a better or worse way to showcase your content or make more ad revenue. It really depends on your objective and your users, and what type and length of content you produce. At Sortable, we websites be successful focusing on either short-form or long-form content. 

If you want to learn more about content monetization or find ways to maximize your ad revenue, contact success@sortable.com. If you aren’t a Sortable customer but want to learn how Sortable’s solution stacks up against the competition, request a demo today and start on your path to earning more.