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Should we be writing for mobile devices and people with no time to read?

I am not always as calm as I am tonight. I’m living the life of a solopreneur. I’m enjoying every minute of it, but I’m hustling to get control of everything I am doing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a goal to feel that I’m in control, because I’m always juggling projects and clients, and that’s something I’m comfortable with. But, it’s summer, I’m living in a tent, and I am enjoying the view of the ocean and the sound of the seagulls. That’s probably why I feel that I’m this calm.

iphone black

I’ve been thinking that I shouldn’t always write long blog posts, or long emails. Many times, I keep writing more words than necessary, because I really enjoy writing, and I feel that I need to write a story (with a beginning, a middle and an ending) in order to explain what I am trying to accomplish. Sometimes, when I’m writing a short post, like this one when I wrote about why using the sent from my iPhone signature is a good thing, I didn’t explain exactly what I was thinking about. It’s a lot harder to write easy to understand and short posts, than long and complex posts.

But, I love short and I love easy and simple, and that’s why I keep writing every single day. And, that’s why I sometimes try to keep my posts less than 300 words (even though that’s not something I recommend when it comes to SEO).

The reason why I started being brief, is because I have less time now, than ever before. But, when I turned my head and looked at my friends, my clients, and looking at what most of the other (business) people I discovered are doing, many of them are using their mobile phones and they have as little time as me.

That’s why I have been thinking that, when I write blog posts, and when I write new articles for my newsletter, I shouldn’t necessary be using many words or write the articles as a story. Many people are reading whatever I write on their mobile phones, and they don’t have as much time to read it, so they’re scanning and not reading every single word.

Targeting busy people who are using their mobile phones, might be a good thing – especially since when I did some research on the members of my family, friends, and clients, most of them are doing exactly what busy people with little or no time are doing, using their mobile phones, and scanning texts and deleting things that are not just boring, but too many words to read.

I am scanning everything. Are you?

Are you reading just as much as you used to, or are you scanning more than ever. And, are you filtering what you read, and are you using a mobile device to read email and blog post?

I still read a lot of my email on my mobile phone, even though that’s one of the reasons why my iPhone is making me less productive. And, I am still reading many blog posts on my iPhone and on my iPad mini. To me, reading on my mobile devices, makes me want to read less words.

57 responses to “Should we be writing for mobile devices and people with no time to read?”

  1. Aasma says:

    Hi Jens,

    On my smartphone, I read less by scanning the content. However when I use my laptop or desktop, I generally read complete content may be because it’s more convenient to read here than smartphones.

  2. Dave Patrick says:

    Hello Jens
    I actually read more on my iPhone then I do on my computer.
    But that reading is usually history books and plays (mainly Shakespeare). I have a wonderful app that gives me access to over 23,000 books!
    I tend to read marketing stuff on my Kindle. (I download PDF’s on the computer and copy them to the Kindle.)
    I read very little on my laptop as it’s at the wrong angle for comfort. I usually just clip and paste anything I want to read into the Evernote app on my phone.
    Finally, I don’t think content length is a problem. If it’s interesting and relevant people will read it, no matter what device they are using.
    Prosperity to all Bloggers

    • I read a lot on my iPhone and on my iPad too. And, length is a problem for me on my iPhone, not on the iPad. What’s more a problem for me is that I keep reading and checking email etc, when I don’t have the time to read 🙂

  3. Lisa says:

    Jens, I tend to scan too but if I get intrigued I will read it all. I’m not convinced longer posts are best for SEO. I think it’s really about the CONTENT in the words Jens. And if the topic is new and not just repurposed content to get a post completed. Interesting topic indeed! I’m also finding I’m using more sub headlines for those who love to scan. I haven’t tracked yet if it has made a difference but I will now after reading your post on scanning. Have a wonderful week there Jens.

    • That’s the same as me Lisa. I’m always scanning, but save the most interesting posts/articles for later, when I have the time to read them. Your views on SEO is very interesting. I hope you’re right 🙂

  4. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    I think shorter articles are the way to go.

    More and more people have less and less time to read stuff and they read it on their mobile devices on the go.

    Who wants to read a 2,000 word article when they’re busy. I would just scan down it and see if there’s anything interesting to me. If not, I move on.

    I do that with my RSS reader now too. I used to feel like I had to read everything on there but that’s just silly. Now I just read what I like and find interesting.

  5. Jen says:

    I feel conflicted about this. There are times when it’s nice to plug into something short and sweet but I still think there’s an appetite for well written longer posts. I think the key is that if you’re writing a longer post it needs to be extremely value added. If I’m getting a lot of great info, I’ll keep reading. Maybe that’s just me.

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