I’m going to regret writing this... but size isn’t everything.
Sometimes small is beautiful, and less is more.
You don’t always need to publish paragraphs of purple prose to prove your point.
In fact, sometimes you only need a few quick sentences as a Micro Blog Post.
In today’s post, you’ll learn what microblogging is, why it’s so effective for certain types of content, when you should consider using short posts, and how you can get started right now...
What is Microblogging?
A lot gets said about long form blog content – it’s better for SEO, better at exploring topics in detail, and better at helping your audience achieve a result.
But ultra-short micro blog content (just a few paragraphs and maybe an image) has a lot to offer your online business and your audience if used for the right reasons.
- Quick updates on a work-in-progress project
- Regular accountability check-ins
- Image + description combos
- Teaser content to build buzz for an upcoming release
Let’s quickly look at the Pros and Cons of microblogging, and then jump into some real examples:
The Pros of Microblogging
The Cons of Microblogging
How Can You Use Microblogging on Your Website?
Microblogging isn’t suitable for all types of content, but it really shines at some. Here’s a few examples of how you can use micro posts on your blog to give your audience a fun project to follow along with.
Keeping a Challenge Log or Journal
Many individuals love to take part in well-known industry challenges, both to build their skills and to feel part of a bigger community.
For most aspiring authors, this is National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo as it’s better known – in which writers are challenged to write a 50,000 word draft throughout November each year.
For artists, this could be a daily sketch challenge like Inktober.
NaNoWriMo is the world's biggest challenge for writers and authors.
Community challenges like NaNoWriMo can become HUGE... Every November, about 300,000 indie authors try to write 50,000 words. That’s like the entire population of Iceland participating at the same time.
Everyone who completes NaNoWriMo is considered a winner. The emphasis is on writing and completing a draft, not a finished novel, so all participants have to do is upload their manuscript to the NaNoWriMo website to verify their word count.
Just imagine if your brand could start a community challenge for your audience. You don’t need the entirety of Iceland to be successful either; just a group of passionate people who need some group accountability and motivation to reach a defined milestone.
Challenges like NaNoWriMo are becoming more popular across all niches... they’re great fun and they generate thousands of blog posts by participants each year. But like all challenges that rely on internal motivation, most people’s self discipline starts out strong and slowly fizzles out.
Do you know the secret sauce to writing 1,666 words a day?
Microblogging is perfect for sharing regular, short updates with your audience and peers, without asking you to commit to even more writing on a standard blog post. Ain’t no one got time for that when you’re writing 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo!
Our gorgeous new WordPress theme, Bookwise, features a specially designed Micro Blog Post template that helps you to quickly publish short ‘journal style’ updates without tempting you to share too much.
Think of Bookwise’s Micro Blog Post template as your website’s personal Twitter-esk feed. Except you control it completely... the design, the layout, the content. You can then show off a Post List of these accountability updates anywhere on your website.
Sharing Project Progress Updates
Writing a new manuscript or illustrated novel?
Training for a marathon, biathlon, triathlon... (or any number of athlons)?
Losing weight or gaining muscle as part of a specific goal?
These are all projects that your audience might enjoy following along with you on your blog, but they probably don’t need lengthy updates or posts.
Microblogging is perfect for these project ‘check-ins’ – just let your audience know the latest progress highlights and get back to hitting that goal.
Sticking with our writing example (have you checked out Bookwise yet?), microblogging is a great tool to share things like:
- Writing progress reports
- New illustration sketches or concepts
- Character or plot teases
- Little tidbits to show your audience you’re still alive and working on something exciting!
Mixing Rich Media and Text
Micro blog posts aren’t limited to just text. You can add any type of media you want:
- ... even fancy media like LaTeX formulas or embedded online quizzes
This makes it possible to create quick-consumable mixed media posts in the style of Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr and Facebook. Love or hate these platforms, there’s no denying that people love consuming content in this format.
But let’s look at some more specific examples of mixed media micro blog posts:
- Video game developers and designers can share quick updates on their newest work in progress title
- Musicians can share audio updates on a new studio recording session
- Van dwellers can share short video and written updates on how their van build is going
- Hair stylists can share before/after photos of clients they saw that day
- Food bloggers can share photos and descriptions of the food they ate
- Kick-starter or crowdfunded projects can share updates to their audience of crowdfunders
So the next time you need to publish just a quick combo of an image and a few sentences, you might find that a dedicated micro blog post template is the right tool for the job.
And speaking of dedicated templates....
Have You Tried the New Bookwise Theme Yet?
The new Bookwise indie author theme comes with a professionally designed Micro Blog Post template that you can start using immediately.
But what if you’re using another of our great themes, like Shapeshift, Ommi or Kwik?
You’ll be happy to learn that, since all our themes are built using our customizable Thrive Theme Builder, it’s super easy to create your own alternative template for microblogging no matter which theme you choose. This lets you choose between a ‘standard’ post or a ‘micro’ post for each piece of content you publish.
But what if you’re using a non-Thrive theme?
Creating a dedicated microblogging template will probably require custom coding or an expensive development cost... and even then you’ll have to dig into the code to make changes later. Why not make things easier?
Check out the Micro Blog Post template that comes with Bookwise, and see how easy it is to customize every element of your website with Thrive Theme Builder.
Will you have micro blog template in other themes? I don’t plan to write a book but I do like making a blog post when I release a new YouTube video. Micro blogging would be perfect for that.
It’s a great idea Marlene. Did you know you can create your own micro blog post template for ANY theme using Thrive Theme Builder?
Check out this guide
I’ll pass along your suggestion, and maybe we can add a micro blog post template to our other themes in a future update.
Hi David, I don’t understand the difference between a micro blogging template and a normal template for a post? Why do I need a special template? It looks like a normal post just very short. David
Great observation David. Sure, someone can choose to publish a very short post in a standard template, just as they can publish a long-form post in our micro template.
This post is more to offer ideas on how to incorporate super short posts (a few sentences) into your content strategy.
However, the micro blog template inside Bookwise is designed to look best with very short content, with minimal scrolling. In the example above, I replaced the dynamic featured image with a static one, so all micro blog posts use the same image. This makes it faster to publish and more consistent to the reader.
So you don’t need a special template if you’re happy with your standard blog post template. But it’s easy to create one if you do decide ultra-short updates look better with fewer distractions.
Hope this helps!
Oh, nice for you to include Nanowrimo as an example – it’s an awesome contest that helped me to write four books now 🙂 (Three of them were really terrible fiction that I didn’t even publish, but it’s an another topic, haha)
Wow, you completed NaNoWriMo 4 times? That’s amazing, Danielius! I’ll probably give it a try this year 🙂
I like the idea very much. This doesn’t feel “complete” though. Same set of posts as full posts, right? So it all gets mixed together anywhere you have a post list unless you exclude them.
I definitely want something like a microblog again. The current posts requiring featured images, lots of SEO stuff, etc., means too much resistance to just a quick paragraph announcement. Would like to have a “newsfeed” but not sure how to go about it while keeping some separation from our database of 1000 posts and pages!
No, the posts don’t have to be all mixed together in post lists. It’s easy to display only micro blog posts (or exclude them) with a tag.
In the NaNoWriMo example above, I tagged those micro posts as ‘nanowrimo-log’ and set the post list filter to show only these.
You can definitely create a ‘newsfeed’ that stays separate from your other blog posts. Please try the above solution and let me know how you get on.