3 Ways Copywriting for Business is like the State of Origin

Monday, July 03, 2017

Every year it’s the same old rivalry between the Mighty Blues and Maroons - State of Origin! It brings out the competitive streak in even the least-sporty amongst us, and unfortunately for those of us born and bred in New South Wales, the outcome is not often a win. A game of football or 3, may not seem like a natural analogy to use when it comes to writing website copy, but when it comes to a trained eye, there’s some clear correlations between the origin series and copywriting for business.

1. You start off not knowing the outcome.

At the start of the Origin series, everyone is pumped - the players, the coaches, the fans. There’s three big games ahead and no one knows the outcome (although it may be slightly predictable where NSW is concerned!), but they’re excited for the future. When it comes to copywriting for your website that initial buzz is also present among all involved - the business owner, the staff, the copywriter - everyone has a bunch of fabulous ideas that they’re hopeful will score some big goals. The game is on and everyone is working hard for a win!

2. You’re halfway there but need to do the hard yards in the editing phase.

By the mid-way point of the Origin series - there’s one of two possibilities on the table - it’s either ‘Even Stevens’ or a clear winner can be seen.  This is this toughest part and the editing phase of your business copy is no different. The ideas are down and now you are all labouring away to make everything work just how you want it to. If you bury your head in the scrum for too long you may drop the ball at some point during the edit, so stopping for a bit at half time and regaining focus is essential to a successful outcome. Listen to your coach’s (read: editor’s) advice and prepare for a big finish.

3. You publish and get a result with lots of engagement = win!

The final game has arrived and if there’s been a tough battle between teams, the end result of a series win is relief. When you get to the publishing phase of your new website copy and you share it right, the results will be rewarding. Lots of new traffic to your site and customer engagement, leading to a boost in sales is your ultimate win. 

The difference between a good and bad result for your business is in establishing clear goals, communication, teamwork and of course, getting just the right copy. Now, if only our ‘Mighty Blues’ could get that right!

Let The Writing Group help you score a win with your website copy. Email hello@thewritinggroup.com.au or call 1300 073 078.



Common Copywriting Peeves and How to Avoid Them – Literally

Monday, April 24, 2017


Here’s a brief guide to the words that make a copywriter cringe and how to avoid using them. 

Let’s start with the mostly superfluous word in the title of this blog -“literally”. It demonstrates the very problem with using more words than necessary to get a message across. If you’re saying exactly what you need to say, then the word “literally” has no place in a sentence. That is, unless you are using a phrase that is commonly known as a metaphor in a literal sense. See the difference between these two uses of this word: 

“I was literally laughing my head off.”
- Superfluous and impossible! 

“He couldn’t swim but he literally jumped in the deep end.”
Useful 

Hence

This word is used very little in everyday conversation and yet it appears regularly in online writing. I think what irks me about this word is that it feels unnatural to write something that I am unlikely to say out loud. The lesson here is to write like you speak, particularly when you are writing blogs or other pieces that will be read by the public. You don’t want to come off as pompous or condescending. 

Holistic

I love the meaning of this word, but its overuse, particularly in marketing has driven me away from using it myself. Holistic solutions, holistic strategies – to me, this overused word devalues the noun it precedes and doesn’t add value to the message. Sure, your business may look at your clients’ problems “holistically”, but is this word descriptive enough to have you stand out from the crowd in your market? Think about how your business helps your clients and get specific. 

See the difference here: 

“We take a holistic approach to writing digital content.”
- doesn’t say a lot about what we do. 

“We write engaging and relevant digital content to drive conversations with your target audience.”
-far more articulate. 

Peruse

My 20-year disdain for this word makes me cringe every time I read it. Used more in the 1990s in sales letters and emails when we were trying to sound clever and sophisticated, I’m yet to hear someone say this word in regular conversation without sounding a tad self-important. “I attach our quotation for your perusal” used to be a commonplace. The words “review”, “information” or “consideration” are much better substitutes. 

Regardless of your audience, keep the language simple and concise when writing to them. And if you have trouble keeping your Hences and Holistics under control, get in touch and we’ll handle it for you. 

Email hello@thewritinggroup.com.au or call 1300 073 078.