“Omit needless words.”
– E.B. White, “The Elements of Style

Answer these three questions:

  • What determines the difficulty of a school writing assignment?
  • What kinds of books are you likely to brag about reading?
  • What is the basis on which a writer should charge for his or her work?

If any of your answers involve pages or word counts, you’re stuck in the mentality that the value of a written work is based on its volume.

Now answer this question: Which are you more likely to read, a short article or a long one? Which are you more likely to value, remember, repeat, or link back to?

Focus on quantity and you’ll create swollen, fluffy content. “Happy talk,” to use a term from Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think.” Lots of words; low value density.

Focus on quality and you’ll create quick, easily-digestible content that makes visitors more likely to read, spread, and convert. Fewer words; high value density. Exactly the way your visitors want it in the age of Twitter-induced information overload.

Quality is the new quantity, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t forget it.

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