Don’t Ask For 10,000 Words of CopywritingFebruary 12th 2015 Sally Ormond how to write, long or short copy, per word fees, straitjacket writing, word count
How long should it be?
That is a question people ask when planning out their copy.
“I’m writing a sales letter, how long should it be?”
“I want 3 pages of web copy, each 650 words long.”
“I’m writing an article for LinkedIn, how many words should I use?”
Do you really think authors plan their novels by deciding how many words it should be in advance?
They use however many words they need to tell their story.
The same goes for your copywriting.
Stop planning your copy by the number of words it contains
If you’re writing an article, blog post, case study etc., (where there is no editorial word limit) use as many words as you need to get your message across.
If you’re hiring a copywriter:
- You shouldn’t be paying by the word (steer clear of anyone who charges that way)
- By imposing a word limit on your writer effectively means they have to write wearing a straitjacket
Back in your school days your knowledge was measured by how many sheets of A4 your homework covered (remember those days?). Of course, the kid with the biggest hand writing always won.
The thing is if you want your writing to work (i.e. persuade and sell), quality has to come before quantity.
Use as many words as you need to get your point across.
Once you’ve written the first draft edit until every word counts.
If, when you start planning your writing, the first thing you think of is your word count give up – what you come up with will most probably be rubbish.
Always start with your audience in mind: what do they want to know? How can you help them?
Then and only then will your message come across strongly.
Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd