How copywriters cut through the crap

By: Alison R Bowyer     Freelance Copywriter

Have you ever been short of time and stuck in a conversation with someone who goes on a bit too long?

You know the type. What could be a 2 minute story takes 20 minutes and you’re obliged to listen.

It goes something like this:

They tell you about their journey into town. The traffic they hit. How little Timmy said he wanted a wee half-way there. How it was busy in the high street. That they nearly  walked past the shop because they were keeping an eye on little Timmy. How they finally found what they were looking for. But it wasn’t in their size. Only it turned out they did have their size. So that was lucky. They weren’t sure if they should go for the black or red. But they settled on the red because it went with their red top. If only they could afford both. But the red will be perfect for the Christmas party. And just as they were paying, little Timmy wet himself…

Painful isn’t it?

What you really wanted them to say was this:

“I bought a fabulous pair of red shoes in town on Saturday. Too bad little Timmy wet himself while I was paying.”

Or even better:

“I went to town and bought some red shoes on Saturday. They’re perfect for the Christmas party.”

The End.

But you’re polite. So you listen. You nod. You laugh in the right places. You might wet yourself too if they don’t hurry up. But you hang in there. Because you’re nice. And a good friend. And in this situation, it’s probably the right decision.

But imagine you were reading their story on their blog or in an email. Would you carry on reading? Or just find something better to read?

Now imagine that your friend is a business and you are a potential client looking at their website or blog. It’s full of long-winded, waffly sentences and unnecessary detail. Social niceties and loyalty don’t come into it. You’re bored and irritated. Nothing they’ve written has convinced you to use their service. So you’re off; to check out their competitors.

Many business owners write their own content. Some reason that it will save time and money. Others are so passionate about what they do, they just want to talk about it. And most are so focused on how pretty their website looks that they forget about the power of words.

Why is this a mistake? Because ultimately words are still the most effective tool to communicate your message clearly and concisely.

That’s where a copywriter comes in.

A copywriter has emotional distance from the business. They’re focused on the customer’s experience. So they write it in such a way that the reader feels that there’s something in it for them; that they count.

Sentences are shortened. Flowery, unnecessary words are slashed. And pointless information is removed (of course Timmy wet himself, he’s 2).

A copywriter knows that your audience wants you to cut to the chase. Communicate your message clearly. Tell them about your service. And how it will benefit them. Together with a clear call to action. So they contact you. And not your competitors.

They will weed out passive sentences that make your content sound wooden and detached. And check for readability stats, to ensure your content is written in plain English that’s easy for any demographic to understand and relate to.

Your copywriter will check that your content is visually appealing. They’ll use bullet-points, line-spacing and quotes to break it up. And check that factual information is correct and relevant.

And when that’s done, they’ll proofread it again and again. They might read it out loud. Or backwards. Some even hire an extra pair of eyes in the form of a proofreader or editor.

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Ultimately, your copywriter wants the same as you; they want your business to succeed.

Until next time.

Alison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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