Already on ArticleSlash?

Forgot your password? Sign Up

Short And Sweet? Long Copy Isn't Always Bad Copy

Kristen Michaelis

Visitors: 128

According to Stephen King, the secret to successful writing is to “take out the bad parts. " Sounds straightforward, doesn't it? But many marketers and writers confuse brevity with concision. They think the mark of good writing is that it's “short and sweet. " That's not it at all.

How many times have you heard marketing pundits praise writing that's “short and to the point?" While that's often a good standard, it can be dangerous if carried to the extreme.

Why? Because it's not about the quantity of words, it's about the quality of your word choices. Long copy, short copy. It doesn't matter. A recent Marketing Sherpa study showed how one ezine publisher signed up subscribers by the tens of thousands for their latest newsletter with a 945-word offer letter! Almost a thousand words! Long by almost every standard, their letter generated a whopping 12.5% response rate.

How did they do it? For starters, they didn't confuse brevity with concision.

Brevity means being short, or brief.

Concision means packing more power per every square inch of copy, or expressing a great deal in few words. It means using passionate, focused, purposeful words. Put plainly, concision means you eliminate unnecessary words while still communicating your point and achieving your desired results. If it takes you a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand words to make your point concisely, so be it.

And that's the tricky part. Most marketers and writers are adept at ensuring reader comprehension. But in their zeal for brevity, they cut out the part of the message most likely to convert readers into customers. They eliminate the parts which will result in the desired action or effect.

Here's the rub: In order to be concise, you've got to “take out the bad parts. " You've got to say everything that needs to be said, but you've also got to train yourself to be a ruthless editor.

What does a ruthless editor do?

  1. Uses one word instead of two wherever possible. A wanderer isn't “without aim;" he's “aimless. " Handwriting isn't “difficult to read;" it's “illegible. "
  2. Eliminates most adverbs. Words like “literally, " “really, " “very, " “actually, " and “extremely" are unnecessary clutter more often than not.
  3. Makes the reading easy without being lame. This means having good transitions, using elements like story, metaphor, and good illustrations, and creating a helpful structure using bullet points and signposts.
So, marketers and writers of the world: Stop paying attention to word count, and start paying attention to word power. Use as many words as necessary. No more, no less. It's that simple, and that complicated.

A freelance copywriter and editor, Kristen Michaelis publishes the popular monthly e-zine The Wonderworking Minute . Each edition of The Wonderworking Minute contains valuable hints and tips for helping you become a better marketer, communicator, and person. Sign up today for your free subscription to the e-zine and receive a FREE copy of her report “How To Gain And Keep Clients Through Strategic Partnering. ” She and her husband Steve have partnered to create Wonderworking Words , a freelance copywriting services company. For more articles and tips like this one, check out The Wonderworking Words Blog .


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Copy Ps2 Game with Game Copy Wizard
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Average Indian Person Just Gets A Copy Of Pirated Windows Instead Of A Free And .

by: J. Watananbe (February 19, 2007) 
(Computers and Technology)

100% copy DVD movie to blank DVD disc fast with iMacsoft DVD Copy for Mac

by: Tracy Sue (July 06, 2011) 
(Computers and Technology/Software)

Copy Writing Ways of Becoming a Professional Copy Writer

by: Kelly Alvarado (July 24, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Copywriting)

Copywriting Tips - Creative Copy is Sometimes Better Than Good Copy

by: Steven Wagenheim (July 31, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Copywriting)

Five Tips For a Short, Quick and Effective Copy

by: Katie Marcus (June 15, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Copywriting)

Copy That Convinces, Copy That Sells

by: Sonya Carmichael Jones (June 04, 2007) 

How Killer Copy Can Potentially Kill a Long-Term Business

by: Alice Seba (October 19, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Copywriting)

Article Writing Tips - Short And Sweet Or Long And Comprehensive?

by: Hendry Lee (May 20, 2008) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing Articles)

Its Okay to Be a Copy Cat Just Make Sure That You Copy the Right Cat

by: Marvin Kane (July 29, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/Inspirational)

Copy Ps2 Game with Game Copy Wizard

by: Jack Bush (August 23, 2010) 
(Computers and Technology/Games)