My Gran used to say we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Some people act like it’s the other way around.
We’ve all had the experience of a friend calling on the phone “just to chat”. They jabber on long past a socially-acceptable point, and your ear gets sore from the phone against your head. You try to find reasons to curtail the never-ending torrent of small-talk about them, but we all love our friends dearly and don’t want to offend.
So why are you seriously considering strangling yourself with the phone cord just to get some respite? Are you really looking forward to the next “chatty” call?
In copy, online or off, you have to choose one point. Get your message across, then stop.
If you can’t distill your message down succinctly, then try harder. Every minute of additional effort on your part reduces the effort on the part of the reader, and that leads to more successful copy. Don’t force your reader to wade through a Wikipedia-sized reference when a few paragraphs will do. The easier you make it, the more successful your content will be.
Write out a draft and look over to see what you’ve created. Then, chop out the fat.
Yes, people still do read long copy, but they won’t read it unless they can see the benefit of doing so, and not if they are already asleep. It’s beneficial information that people want, not the mundane details of your personal life.
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