The Thin Web Line: Brevity in Online Writing

Photo by michael podger on Unsplash

By MATT GALLAGHER

 

Damn.

Sliced and thin, a papercut paragraph burns.

And you can’t help but feel it. Unlike War & Peace, the eyes jump in IRIS first. And the brain doesn’t even think before it’s lost, line by line, tangled up in blue until you can’t put it down.

Because quick lines rule the web. These simple strands of silk, sticky and interconnected, form elaborate designs like spider web sculpture, to snag the reader in the clutches of the best blog writing.

 

Sesame Street’s inner 3 year old.

 

Short line content works like Sesame Street’s use of short segments. Sesame Street is the perfect example of brevity in action. Kids just eat up those short educational bits like cookies. In fact, Sesame Street holds a 78% engagement level of keeping children hooked line and sinker, according to science.   

And good content isn’t just about short attention spans. Blue’s Clues, which asks children to follow a 23 minute storyline instead of three, tests at 93%. The point to brevity in writing is to be direct. That’s one of the best writing tips you can learn.

Nobody’s got time for bullshit. There’s just too much noise and too much to do.

 

You probably learned more from Big Bird than any fossil of a college professor. That old writing idiom is right: Less can be more. It’s just better for effective communication.”

 

To hell with grammar.

 

And sure, Catholic grammar nuns might rap your knuckles bloody over sentence fragments. Let them. Just so long as you know you’re breaking the rules, break the hell out of ‘em.

The point is to be conversational with your blog or business writing. Let the music dance. As a copywriter, I’d rather the keyboard bleed my fingers than some grammar ruler. And I’d rather make the reader bleed than satisfy any Grammar Nazi.

 

Imagine Yoda at a poetry slam. He’s just a little green guy until you read between the lines.”

 

Small words, ginormous meaning.

 

Because like Sesame Street’s short segments, short lines don’t necessarily skimp on meaning. Studies have found Sesame Street to be a powerful educational tool, more effective than Head Start. You probably learned more from Big Bird than any fossil of a college professor. That old writing idiom is right: Less can be more. It’s just better for effective communication. 

It’s like thin lines in poetry. Like jam band music, poetry is easy to write, but difficult to do well. As a blogger or online copywriter, you’ve got to pack in a lot using very little.

 

Will your inner William Carlos Williams.

 

Imagine Yoda at a poetry slam. He’s just a little green guy until you read between the lines.

When Uma Thurman punches her way out of a buried coffin in Kill Bill, she doesn’t have much room to swing big. Yet size doesn’t determine power.

Succinct mind and meaning pack one hell of a punch.

Just picture a red wheelbarrow, a couple of chickens, and one hell of a rainstorm.

2 Comments

  1. Ming Kuo

    Very readable wonderful content, are you available for fixing up translations for our consumer electronic launch site? Please contact me with rates and availability. I like the magic!

    Reply
    • forestoffice2012

      Sure, Ming. Contact me through my contact form. I’d be happy to talk!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *