Did you have an older sibling or cousin that messed with you when you were little? Like maybe aggressively tickled you to the point where it hurt? That no matter how many times you screamed, “Uncle!!” he wouldn’t stop? (Looking at you cousin Jeremy!)
If you did, you might remember being frustrated or bored by the game. It took the fun out of it.
That’s exactly how it feels when someone opens up your website and sees a huge wall of text with no visual breaks. Your potential clients are screaming Uncle and you just keep assaulting them with words.
I know it sounds dramatic, but I wanted to get your attention. This is a mistake I see over and over again on photographer websites. People put their heart and soul into their words, rewriting and refining until it feels just right. But then it all gets lost in poor design.
Your words matter, but the way you lay them out on a page matters too. You can have the best website copy in the entire world and no one will read it if it’s too long.
So give your reader a chance to take a breath. Give them headlines, font changes, images to break up the text, anything to let them pause.
Forget the rules you learned in English class. Sentences can be short. You can put just one word on a line for emphasis. Rules are meant to be broken.
Even if you didn’t read the sentence above that “See?” originally, I bet you skimmed, saw it and went back to see what I was referencing.
We are lazy, lazy people. We skim. Let your design work for you and draw people in so they actually read the words you worked so hard to write!
I tried to find the perfect GIF to illustrate this point, but just found this weird Magic Mike-ish one and A LOT of Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince.
So those fonts and headlines I told you to use? Don’t go too crazy. Stick to two fonts, and use your headlines to pull people in. People who get to know you will be the people who book you. And they can’t get to know you if they aren’t reading about you. Go forth and break up your website text.
P.S. Here’s an easy way to implement this immediately and make your copy better TODAY …
… a great way to see if your copy is too long is just by looking at it. But also by reading it out loud. If you find yourself running out of breath or energy to finish a paragraph, break it up. Pull up your website and read the whole thing out loud. Create space where you naturally want to breathe. Edit the layout of sections that visually overwhelm your eyes before you even begin.
To The Point is a video series posted to my Instagram account where I give you a quick tip to make your copy better in less than 60 seconds. If you would rather watch the video, be my guest: