Copyblogger.com is a tactfully written blog focused on copywriting for online marketing success.
A post from last week gives some useful advice on how to keep your writing clear and direct. From product descriptions to landing page copy and everything in between, there are three “enemies” to stay away from when you write for the web.
1. Metadiscourse – a big word that means writing about writing. Examples include: “to sum up,” “I believe,” “note that,” and “I would like to point out.”
A sentence full of metadiscourse would look like this:
“I would like to point out that we should cancel the meeting.”
Get rid of the unnecessary words:
“Cancel the meeting.”
Get to the point, you don’t have to tell us that you’re pointing it out. You’re saying it, so we know it’s your opinion.
2. Redundancy – don’t use two words where you could just use one.
Examples: “Screaming loudly,” “past history”
3. Pretentious words – don’t try to impress us with “smart” sounding words. Say what you want to say, simply and clearly.
Examples of pretentious words and their better, simpler replacements:
Utilize = use
Comprehend = understand
Inexorable = determined
Also, don’t forget who you’re speaking to. You wouldn’t use the same terminology for a product description when writing for a product vendor as you would a new customer on your website.