Most Active Rain bloggers already know this – but I had to mention it today because I’ve been noticing some posts from new bloggers who don’t.
One of the “rules” of copywriting is to avoid building gray walls.
Building them is one of the fastest ways to kill your message – because nobody will be reading it!
This “rule” applies to everything from blogging to writing prospecting letters, e-mails, postcards, and newsletters. And in fact, it applies to letters or emails written to family and friends.
What’s a gray wall?
- It’s text with no white space.
- It’s sentence after sentence, run together with no place for a reader to stop and take a mental breath.
- It’s copy without a place for a reader’s eyes to rest in order to “keep their place” in the text.
- It’s text that runs from one idea into the next with no break for that mental gear-shifting that’s necessary to follow the writer’s train of thought.
- It's copy that looks like this image....
Create a break each time you bring up a new point, but if that point demands too many words, find some breaking points within it, just to make it easier to read. If you study copywriting, you’ll learn that most experts say the maximum number of lines without a break should be 7. I personally prefer no more than 5.
Make skimming easy for your audience - so they'll read what you have to say.
Today, people are in a hurry. They want to skim your message to see if they're interested before they take the time to read every word. Since that's impossible with a gray wall - most will choose to simply delete it. Or, in the case of printed materials, simply toss it in the round file.