How long should it be?
Your email. Your blog post. Your sales page. Your Instagram caption.
What’s the right length?
That’s the most common question I get asked about writing. (The next question is “how often?”)
Every successful writer and copywriter will tell you the same thing: Content needs to be as long as necessary to convey the message.
(If you’re wondering WTF that means, you’re in good company. Stay with me)
Most of us believe the myth that people have shortened attention spans.
People are lazy. And they get bored easily.
But no one had any problem reading all the Harry Potter books, all the Hunger Games, all the Game of Thrones, watching all seven seasons of Homeland or Breaking Bad or…
Their attention spans are fine.
Length becomes an issue when the quality of your content is bad.
That’s also why this myth of “you don’t need to be a good writer to build an online business” is bunk.
Yes, you do.
The internet, as it stands, is reliant on words. It’s how you get someone to open an email, click on an ad, sign up for your email list, to buy something.
Until that changes (which, it will): You need to be a strong writer.
When copy courses claim “You don’t have to be a great writer to be a copywriter” what they mean is “What you learned in 11th grade English class won’t help you here.”
And that is true. For copywriting:
- You write as you speak.
- You’ll use contractions.
- You play with formatting.
- And plain beats clever ever day of the week.
You can argue it’s simple writing.
But bad writing?
I’ve never seen bad writing convert. Have you?
Bad writing doesn’t mean bad grammar.
Bad writing means you failed to convey your message.
If you’re still asking “how long should this blog post be?” I’d like to suggest a reframe.
“What are you trying to say?”
Once you know that – Convey it in the most economical way possible.
Sometimes that’s 10 words. Sometimes it’s 3,000.
Whatever it takes to get the message across.
TL;DR: If your content is “too long” the issue is not length, it’s quality.