A recent Copyblogger post entitled ‘Do You Know When to Shut Up?‘ got me thinking. Do we copywriters know when to stop so as to put our points across effectively, and still not insult the reader’s intelligence? Maybe, maybe not. We all tend to drift when writing. Right now I’m reminded of little Nemo, who drifted too far into the ocean, and subsequently got into trouble. So unless you want to get in trouble with the readers by drifting too far, it is always good to know, to put it in Copyblogger’s words, when to shut up!
Writing a copy is like writing a story. Only interesting stories are read cover to cover and only interesting web copies are read first sentence to last sentence. Your copy needs to have a gripping build up, an interesting middle and a jolting end, but all this has to be done in some very limited words. Therefore I repeat myself, you have to know when to stop! Keep your write ups short, sweet, simple, crisp and open to possible interpretations.
The most important thing to remember here is that when you write too much, you are basically assuming that your readers NEED all the explanation; which is basically insulting their intelligence. No one likes that! Now this doesn’t mean that you start using really big words and very complex sentences. No one has the time and no one wants to read confusing stuff anyways.
The KISS mantra
Always follow KISS and Keep It Simple and Sweet. I would like to add another ‘S’ here. Keep It Simple, Sweet and Short and know when to stop. How much is too much? No one can really say. Just make sure that the words are simple, sentences are short, paragraphs are concise and you are using minimal words to put your points across (unless otherwise required).
Did I just go too far? 😀