4 literary tips for great mobile copy

Small screens, multiple functions, and readers in a rush, make writing for mobile a real challenge for copywriters.

Mobile web is the most demanding platform to write for, but with more people using smartphones or tablets than ever before it's important to get all aspects of your mobile strategy right, including the copy. To get your message across and keep your busy reader engaged you need to write in succinct, clear language.

Here are some inspirational quotes to inform your writing.

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” ― Elmore Leonard

It's a fact that when reading online people skim more. People on the go want specific information – not the whole backstory. It’s always important to consider what your reader is looking for, but on mobile this is amplified. Cut out information that’s less relevant before they skip it.

“I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” ― Truman Capote

Be ruthless. Cut and cull unnecessary words. In the fast moving world of mobile everything must be on point. Beginning your sentences with verbs like ‘look’, ‘try’, ‘read’ is a good way to keep your reader actively engaged.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”― George Orwell, 1984

While we’re not saying you’ve got to strive for Orwellian greatness, you do need to make your first line work hard. People using mobiles don’t have time for waffle, so get the juicy bits in early to grab their attention.

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” — Joyce Carol Oates, WD

Don’t take this one too literally, but the point is to know where you’re going the entire way through. Your great first line won’t deliver for the reader if the following copy limps along to an insipid conclusion. Make sure you break-up copy into manageable paragraphs – what looks bite-sized on desktop is going to seem endless on a mobile.

In summary

Needless to say, writing a good title is important too. Does it nicely sum up your topic and is it attention grabbing? Keep your on-the-go mobile audience in mind, and make sure your headlines are as tight and efficient as your text. Above all always avoid jargon.

Media outlets used to produce content for mass appeal, but mobile sites can now target audiences by time, location, device, and purchasing intentions. With informed strategy and excellent copy, mobile-friendly content is too fruitful an opportunity to disregard.

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