These Words Are Killing Your Kickstarter

January 14, 2014 | Andy Cush

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology analyzed the linguistics of tens of thousands of Kickstarter proposals over the year 2012, to find whether the words people use in their pitches impact whether or not they’re successfully funded. Their findings? You’re more likely to convince people to give you their money if you’re not a big whiny baby about it.

More specifically: phrases that indicate a kind of neediness — like “even a dollar,” “even a dollar short,” “even a dollar will” — often lead to unsuccessful campaigns. Conversely, words that indicate that donors will get something in return for their efforts lead to more successful Kickstarters. “Those campaigns which follow the concept of reciprocity – that is, offer a gift in return for a pledge — generated the greatest amount of funding,” Eric Gilbert, one of the researchers, told New Scientist.

Previously, the team looked at what words lead to more Twitter followers, and had similar results: happy, engaging material led to more followers, while sad, self-centered bullshit led to less.

The moral of the story: for internet success, just be positive!