Confessions of a Copywriter #16

Confessions of a copywriter; a blog dedicated to humility, openness and personal growth. This week I’m confessing about doing blogging wrong.

Stop typing ‘stop typing’.

Last year I was hired by a finance company in the city. I stayed there for about 6 months where I wrote everything from style guides to white papers to marketing emails to ad copy etc. You get the idea: I wrote stuff and they used it.

I was proud of what I’d done there. So proud that when I left I made this little infographic called ‘6 months at OFX in numbers’.

Nobody does this, just in case you were wondering.

But the majority of the words I wrote during my time there were for the blog, where word count ranged from around 600–1500 for each post. Almost a year later I came across a post on UX Planet about typography*, that read “you should have around 60 characters per line if you want a good reading experience”, preceded by a paragraph about line length being ‘key to readability of your text’.

Looking back I distinctly remembered the line length for each of those posts being at least double that, meaning 70% of everything I wrote is currently being read by exactly nobody.

I knew it wasn’t exactly my fault — I’m not the designer after all, but I felt partly to blame for not spotting the glaring error at the time.

So when the same issue came up in my latest work during a blog redesign, I was all over it like a highly opinionated rash. I waited for the right moment and told the team of my previous experience, quoted the article and did an imaginary mic drop in my head. The line length was immediately changed.

As someone who wants to — as James Altucher says — over-promise and over-perform in my writing, I’m glad I got the chance to apply a lesson learned, even if it was something that only I care about. Now, the next order of business is finding out what happened to my damn sandwich.

10 Tips On Typography in Web Design by Nick Babich:

And Then I Made My First Million (Only To Lose It Later…) by James Altucher:

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as #15 (no, seriously, I got a surprising amount of love for last week’s post — thank you).

Come back next week for more and get retweets of stuff I’m reading here.