You hear it every now and then… that “nobody wants to read anymore” in this era of bite-sized chunks of media all around us, grinding us through a daily dose of YouTube, Twitter, gossip sites, and whatnot.
It sounds so logical and true, doesn’t it? The days of the written word, and especially long prose or copy.. are well and truly over, or so “they” say.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of selling products, where copywriting plays a truly central role. Nowadays people are talking, saying that the age of the sales letter is over – especially the long sales letter. We must use video, and other flashier innovations to persuade these days.
Before we all collectively and proverbially jump off the bridge.. let’s take a quick look at the truth of the matter, when it comes to what actually makes people read, to actually consume writing (yes, it still happens).
The most popular books in the world are excruciatingly difficult, long, cryptic etc.
And yet people want to not only read them but understand every word!
Which books am I talking about?
- The Bible, and every other major religious work out there.
- Academic study books… the most inaccessible material there is
- DIY type books that help you learn a valuable skill.
We all know these books are almost unbearably difficult to consume, and yet they are the most widely read written material out there.
WHY IS THAT?
- Because people are motivated to read by overwhelming desire!
- The desire for… salvation, the desire for getting an education and a well-paying career, the desire to learn how to do something valuable to them, or to achieve some important goal.
- With overwhelming desire in place, they can’t get enough of the words and even WANT to be convinced by them, to justify their desire turning into a buy-in.
So yes… writing still matters, even online. And willful consumption of written material DOES still happen.
But here’s the big difference to keep in mind:
- Creating, strengthening and channeling that desire is paramount – then everything else falls into place in a persuasive manner.
- Audio and video can actually help create that desire, that “state”… but it takes good writing to create that effect.
- What it all comes back to, then, is quite simply solid, persuasive but empathy based copywriting.
Because after all, nobody does nothing they don’t want to do.
If the desire is there, CHANNEL it.
If it’s weak, STRENGTHEN it.
If it’s not visible, CREATE it.
Then you can have something in your hands EVERYONE wants to read, consume and act on.