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Why wasn’t I told this before? Oh, wait a minute, I was.

Clown teaches at the chalkboardI have just read a post by one of the most popular bloggers on content marketing, full of such pearls of bleeding-edge wisdom as:

  • Home and other key pages should have a prominent headline.
  • Poor colour contrast, like grey type on grey, is hard to read.
  • Narrow margins make reading difficult.
  • Effective spacing is important with long copy.
  • People scan when they’re reading.

Wow! Thank the Lord I read this. Otherwise I would have had no headlines at all, white type reversed out of a lemon background, type running to the very edge of the screen, a single paragraph containing all the copy for a page and no signposting of any kind on the page.

As usual, what we’re being served up is the brilliance and hard work of people like David Ogilvy, John Caples and Drayton Bird, cloaked, non-too-subtly, in a lot of jargon like “UX” and “usability”. It doesn’t matter how many links you stuff into a piece like this in an attempt to lend it some spurious intellectual credibility – it’s still a statement of the crushingly obvious.

If writing for the web really is different (it isn’t, by the way) then let’s hear some original thinking and some genuinely new advice on how exactly it differs from print.

It saddens me that so many credulous folk are buying into this stuff, believing that the world of reading and writing came into being in 1995.

Claude Hopkins once said, “People don’t buy from clowns”. But they do get lectured by them from time to time.

 

 

 

Categories: Content marketing, Design, Freelance life, Selling, and Web copywriting.

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