If you want people to read what you wrote…

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

When you take the time to write a blog post, a web page, a prospecting letter, or even an email, you want someone to read it. Correct?

In that case, there’s something you must do.

I’m not talking about creating a catchy headline or title, addressing people by the correct name, spelling correctly, or even writing coherent sentences. Those bits of nagging are for another day. Today is about something much simpler.

It’s something almost everyone here in the Rain already knows. However, I’m seeing this problem more often lately – here, in my email, and even on web pages.

Here goes: If you want people to read what you write, use that enter key often and well!

Create paragraphs every few lines. Put a white space between them.a gray wall of words

A general rule of thumb in copywriting is that no paragraph should be more than 7 lines long. My personal opinion is that 7 lines is too much.

When we read, and especially when we read on line, it becomes difficult for our eyes to keep track of where we are after 4 or 5 lines. Instead of being a pleasant way to spend a few minutes, when paragraphs are too long reading becomes hard work.

And so… many of us just don’t bother. I’m sure I’ve passed over some good information because I took one look at the “Wall of words” and clicked away.

If the subject matter lends itself to bullet points, use them as well. Anything that breaks up the copy makes it easier – and more fun – to read.

So – my rant for the day: If you want people to read what you write, make your copy easy to read.

Note: Go back and check after you've placed graphics in your text. If the graphic caused every line to be shorter, then the adjoining paragraph may have become too long.

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  1. Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 07/17/2019 07:18 PM
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Rainer
475,289
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Excellent advice.

Jul 18, 2019 01:21 PM #29
Rainmaker
457,530
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

When I am about to read anything, especially on-line ... if there are too many lines without a break I immediately think "I don't have that much time!"  But if the sentences are broken down in piece meal ... in paragraphs, there is a much better chance that I will read it.  Does not seem as overwhelming.

Great Post Marte Cliff 

Jul 18, 2019 03:39 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Kimo Jarrett 

Diana Dahlberg I do the same thing. It's silly, because it's the same number of words, but...

Jul 18, 2019 03:45 PM #31
Rainer
141,104
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post and tips.  I think the paragraphs should be an extra space down as it just looks and reads better I think.  I think I was taught that way years ago in typing class.

Jul 18, 2019 05:35 PM #32
Rainer
217,043
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Another home run, Marte Cliff! And amen to this! It is clear people don't seem to like to read much anyway but to see a big old word salad like that paragraph you used as an illustration, and that all but guarantees nobody will read it!

Jul 18, 2019 06:15 PM #33
Rainmaker
667,686
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Totally agree, it does make it hard to read if the spacing is to close together 

Jul 18, 2019 07:15 PM #34
Ambassador
2,976,354
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Marte Cliff 

Always enjoy your tips. Especially.... no paragraph should be more than seven lines.

Jul 18, 2019 07:20 PM #35
Rainmaker
2,751,373
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Authenticity is key in this matter, right? No two ways around it really at all. Right on point.

Jul 18, 2019 09:02 PM #36
Rainmaker
2,751,373
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland There’s so much more breathing room when you space it out a little bit it’s a must like taking a breath to pause before you speak.

Jul 18, 2019 09:06 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Robin Wells In typing class we were taught to hit the space bar twice after each sentence. It took me a LONG time to stop doing that when I started writing for the web.

Greg Mona Exactly. "The water is too deep - I'm not wading in!"

 

 

Jul 18, 2019 09:24 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Laura Filip - and we humans want to do things the easy way.

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland That's the rule of thumb. In my opinion, if the lines are long, even 7 lines is too long.

Jul 18, 2019 09:25 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Laura Cerrano Funny that we need to have breathing room when reading, but we really do.

Jul 18, 2019 09:26 PM #40
Ambassador
2,976,354
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

 

Laura Cerrano It is like taking a breath. Now that is a good analogy. 

Jul 19, 2019 03:12 AM #41
Rainmaker
170,839
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Reading on mobile devices, as most people are doing now, is easier if it has short paragraphs as you described. I've also seen after the title (3 minute read) and then I already know how long the article is. 

Jul 19, 2019 05:20 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

faye schubert I've seen that lately too, and think it's a good idea.

Jul 19, 2019 07:26 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,526,697
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Have to agree that white space is important & so many people blow it here. When I see that wall of words ... off I go to another post.

I do only add space in between thoughts or new items. 7 sentences is a lot of info.

Jul 19, 2019 10:08 AM #45
Rainmaker
91,220
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed.
Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC - Oklahoma City, OK
Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence

The "wall of words" is a great way of putting it!
When I see that "wall" it reminds me college textbooks or research papers.
Don't get me wrong, they can definitely offer value, but I prefer not to read them outside of the classroom
Thank you for sharing!  And Congratulations on the Feature!

Jul 19, 2019 10:30 AM #46
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lyn Sims Yes. Unless you're padding your sentences with fluff, just to add word count, you can get a lot of information into 7 lines.

Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed. I agree. Some of those textbooks and papers contain important information - but they are not much fun to read.

Jul 19, 2019 10:49 AM #47
Rainmaker
290,693
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great advice!  Leave more white space!  If it is easy to ready, they will keep reading!

Jul 20, 2019 05:53 AM #48
Rainmaker
1,530,410
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Shirley Coomer Yes - or at least they will if it's interesting .

Jul 20, 2019 07:34 AM #49
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