With an estimated quarter of a million words in the English language, why is it that certain words are so overused in marketing copy. I have had a serious bee in my bonnet about the HUGE overuse of the word “solution“. And thank goodness I’m not the only one.
When you’re on a tight budget, every word written for your marketing should count. So how do you make your copy sound better? A few thoughts…
- Detective-fiction writer Elmore Leonard says, “If it sounds like writing, re-write it.” So write as you speak in business letters. Really, who says “don’t hesitate to contact me” in real life? Apart from the whole double-negative thing, just skip to saying “give me a call”.
- Don’t write long, unwieldy sentences. Short and sharp is easier for people to read.
- Use lots of headings. People are busy, make it simply for them to scan and decide what they want to read.
- Use emotive words where possible to conjour up images.
- Don’t you find that when you see a question written, you can’t help but answer it mentally? Did you just answer that question? Ok, I’ll stop now. In summary – start copy with questions to engage people with your writing. It works.