Some of you may know that I started my career as a wedding photographer, but not many people know that before I was a photographer, I was a journalism major, spending my days memorizing comma rules and learning all the different ways you can legally creep on someone via public records.
Journalists are kind of like the Navy Seals of communicators. They’re trained to take the clunky, raw material of daily life and sculpt it into attention-grabbing stories that relay the facts vividly, in the exact right order and with the exact right amount of emphasis.
Getting a journalism degree was like going through writing boot camp. I use my journalism training every day! Especially when writing for my business.
If I could give you one copywriting tip today to implement in everything you write, from your About Me page to your social media captions, it would be this:
Make it shorter.
Your word count, your paragraph length, and even your word selection.
Shorter, shorter, shorter.
Shorter paragraphs move your reader’s eye down the page faster. The same amount of text split into paragraphs of no more than 1-2 sentences will get read way more often than a large block of text, the same way short chapters make thriller novels so addictively readable.
Shorter sentences force you to distill your message and present it in the most precise, vivid, meaningful words possible. By doing this work for your readers, you burn away the fog between your words and your audience, allowing your message to shine through clear and strong.
Shorter words trim away even more unnecessary fluff. If the exact word you need just happens to be long, then by all means, use it! But in cases where you have a choice between sounding fancy and getting to the point, always prefer the latter. Focused, crystal-clear copy will always win out over fluffy words.
And that’s it! That is seriously the best copywriting tip I could give you.
Make it shorter.
So here’s my challenge to you: Go through every page of your website tonight and see how much you can trim from your existing copy.
What if you could only keep half the words on your website?
Would you cut a word here and there, or take out whole paragraphs that distract from the good stuff?
You’ll be surprised how much you can get rid of that seems totally essential at first. Shortening your copy is the fastest way I know of to strengthen and clarify your message.