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Goldfish and Twitter – A Copywriting How To

January 1, 2011 by Glenn Boothe 0 Comments

The following is a guest post by our good friend Stacey Martin. Stacey has worked as a professional copywriter and marketing specialist in Charlotte, NC and is starting a new job with Forest Hill Church next week. We would like to wish her well at her new job and thank her for providing this great content for our readers!


by Stacey Martin

Did you know the average adult only reads on an eighth grade level? And has a 30-second attention span?

Add the immediate gratification of the Internet and the 140 character-length tweets and status updates we’ve become accustomed to – and you’ve got an even smaller window in which to communicate.

The BBC reports, "The addictive nature of Web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds – the same as a goldfish."

So how can understanding a goldfish and a tweet improve your copywriting? Keep it simple. Keep it direct.

Here are four easy steps:

1. Know your audience.

Do your homework. Know how your audience speaks by discovering what they read and listen to. What gets them fired up? What are their major concerns? Using their language will create an instant connection.

2. Keep it simple.

• Use short sentences and easy language.
•  Inject bullets and subheads for easy reading. Your reader is probably just skimming for pertinent information.
• Lose the fluff. Make each statement meaningful and to the point. For example:

“If you visit our easy-to-use and informational website, you will find the best doctor near where you live”. = Long, wordy, fluff

"The right doctor, just a click away. CharlotteMedicalCenter.com" = Short and to the point

• Proof your copy and cut as many words possible without losing the meaning. Delete extra the’s, that’s and if’s for short, easy-to-read copy.

3. Get to the point - fast. The inverted pyramid is a copywriter's best friend. Start with the most important details and follow with the rest.

4. Most importantly, end with a call to action. What do you want your audience to do? Empower them to act.

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