One Scary Copywriting Tip

I remember reading this advice in my journey to writing great …

Cut your copy in half. Then cut it in half again.

Wow! That’s pretty scary.

It seems the hard part is to get copy on paper. And when you do finally come up with some good material, you are asked to cut it in half, twice!

Recently, I updated a section of content on my About page in an attempt to apply this tip.

Let me share with you the first write-up, second and third passes on a section of content I recently updated.

Here’s the first write-up and as you can see, each paragraph is 4-5 lines.

write-up 1

Here’s the second version, trimmed down to the essence …

2

And finally, the third version, which ended up having two lines for each paragraph.

3

What do you think? Is cutting copy in half, two times, a good move?

10 Responses to One Scary Copywriting Tip

  1. Mike Allison April 6, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

    Looks like that was a great move Kenn and great advice for all of us. KISS!

  2. ido barnoam April 7, 2016 at 1:13 am #

    Hi Kenn,

    I actually think that the best version is the second one.
    It has many advantages, and not tiring to read.

    • Kenn Schroder April 7, 2016 at 5:18 am #

      Thanks for posting that Ido … at some point I was wondering if the “charm” started getting lost by too much trimming.

  3. margaret nash April 8, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    the second version is best. It draws you in. The third loses its character.

    • Kenn Schroder April 10, 2016 at 3:44 am #

      Thanks for that Margaret … I’ve revereted the page back to the second one.

      TIP: Get feedback from others. It’s priceless – both cost and value. 😉

  4. Trish April 10, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Great example. Often people just quote these ideas over and over but your personal examples are powerful. Thanks!
    When I taught grade school,I used to have a poster in my class with someone hugging their writing and the caption said “Don’t fall in love with your first draft.” Good advice.??

    • Kenn Schroder April 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      Thanks Trish. First draft love at first site. 😉

  5. Steve Garcia April 20, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Funny how as I read each new version I couldn’t really tell what was missing. Less is more sometimes.
    Also, a really great piece of content.

    • Kenn Schroder April 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

      Lately, I’ve been taking the time to chop copy in half … it does help me say more in fewer words. Such a great exercise.