Stop, Smell, and Poke the Web Copy

We stop and smell the roses

We taste test our recipes

We listen to the engines purr, clunk, and bang

We drink in the bouquet of fine and not so fine wines

Why do we often spend so little sensory time with our web content?

In some cases we literally slap words onto a web site or a landing page. Wham bam thank you ma’am. We have customers waiting, developers waiting, time’s a tickin’. “Put the words on the page already and we’ll figure it out later.” I admit it, I’ve been guilty of this from time to time–the popular “fail quickly and often” model. But when IS “later”…exactly?

Later is after I’m off the corporate project.

Later is also after my client says “Works for me” and PayPals me over my fee never to be heard from again.

Later is next year or….never.

Web Copy Sniff Test

I was flapping through a popular business mag this morning and this bolded headline grabbed my eye. Couldn’t help but wince in pain. See what you think:

Crafting a new product and brand in a changing industry…” (Wow. I’ll stop there because that’s the chunk that causes me the big pain and inspired this post)

“Craft” – Nobody really crafts anymore except for jewelers, metal workers, welders, sculpters, wood carvers, and potters. The word has lost all impact for advertisers and marketers. Sure, I like to think that I’m sitting here hunched over an anvil, ball-peen hammering away at words, Gepetto-like. Ish. And when I try and employ the word “craft” to describe what I do, I just think, “How  lame, Jen.” and choose something stronger, even better if I can get sensory. (“bring alive” could be a quick alternative).

“Changing” — how corporate can you be? “rock the boat,” “won’t hold still,” “jittery,” “shape shifting,” “shifting sands,” now I can actually FEEL those things. Each of them is indicative of instability, changing conditions, or uncertainty and doubt.

I just spent 5 minutes making weak words stronger because I sniffed and poked at two in a high-dollar headline. People get paid a trunk load to write that hollow natter.





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