Is Short Copy Better Than Long Copy?

Is short copy better than long copy?  Not necessarily.

From all you hear from copywriters – including me – you are not wrong to conclude that it is.  No less an authority than George Orwell (1984; Animal Farm) advises, ”If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” He is right.  So, how can I square this with my comment, “Not necessarily”?

I square it because both statements are absolutely, positively true.

We Need A Better Word Than "Better"

It is not a case of whether short copy is better than long copy; it’s a case of which is more effective?

Remember – copywriters inform, educate, and influence.  If it takes you 3 words or 3,000 words to do that effectively, then so be it.  Yet, even with long copy, Orwell’s admonition stands.  You might remember that story about Abraham Lincoln being asked, “How long should a man’s legs be?” – his answer, “Long enough to reach the ground”.  It’s like that with copy.

Copy should be long enough to get the job of informing, educating, and influencing, done effectively.  And not one word longer.

Ready To Be Surprised?

There is no such thing as Long Copy.

Heresy…I must be out of my mind…how could I say such a thing?  Because, if you do it right, long copy is just a well-planned and structured sequence of pieces of short copy.  I wrote two Guides on this subject:

  • How To Eat An Elephant
  • How To Write in Thought Bites

Let me give you the ultra-condensed version.

You Eat An Elephant One Bite At A Time

Each bite represents an idea, thought, or concept you wish your reader to know.

You write one “Thought Bite” at a time.  Thought bites are short copy.  You’re reading one now.  It is made up of three to four parts.

  • The Cross-Head 
  • The Intro sentence
  • The "Meat" (Main points you want to make)
  • The Outro sentence

In fact, this entire article is written in thought bites as is my book, “How To Write Copy: Your Million Dollar Advantage.

Learn A Lot About Copywriting For Very Little Money

My latest in my Five Buck Book series debuted in January 2023 entitled, How To Write Copy: Your Million Dollar Advantage.  The information page is an example of "long" copy broken down into sequential thought bites…it could open your eyes.

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"All Copywriters Must Know About Business, And All Business Owners Should Learn Some Copywriting"

Such as the question “Is Short Copy Better Than Long Copy?”

Here’s three free and easy ways for you to get loads of information on where and how to learn copywriting:

  1. Visit the information page of “How To Write Copy At Write Like A Madman University”.
  2. Sit in on the first video session of my acclaimed course Write Like A Madman and Make Money Like Crazy.


Posted in Copywriting, Marketing.