Many bloggers and business owners underestimate the importance of writing copy. Your sales pages and About pages should be unique, clear, concise, and informative.
I’ve seen promising e-commerce businesses cripple themselves with badly written copy. Many business owners selling products figure, “I’m not a writer, and I’m not selling words, so who cares?”
It matters. It matters more than you can imagine. In a sea of e-commerce shops and online destinations, copy is going to make you stand out as professional and legitimate.
Good copy imparts a sense of trustworthiness. I wouldn’t buy something from a clothing web store with bad copy, because it makes me think they are juvenile and unprofessional, and that’s not the type of company I want to give my money to.
This post will show you how to properly write copy for two different types of uses:
- Introductory, Welcome, or About Copy
- Product Descriptions
Whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, copy is important to establishing yourself as a real trustworthy professional.
Keep it simple, and short.
You have a million and two things you want to tell your customer about your business or blog, I get it. But run-on sentences and complex syntax isn’t going to work in this scenario. You must be concise and use simple, easy to understand sentences and phrases.
Have a clear message.
You should be trying to convey one major message with your copy. Use those other sentences to support it, but there should be one stand-out message that the reader takes away.
Use proper grammar.
This is obvious but so often overlooked. Edit for grammar and syntax mistakes. Customers will cringe if they see you’ve misspelled something, used the wrong “there” etc. It will reflect on your company, your competence and your product. Again, you need to be trustworthy and professional.
Don’t repeat yourself.
It’s important to have a clear message, but don’t have a long paragraph if it just re-iterates your first point with different wording. I know you want to communicate everything awesome about you and your business, but don’t OVER-communicate and seem repetitive.
The following examples are the before and after from a client. He had some working copy up on his website, an About/Front page introduction and some product descriptions. His shop was fairly new, he knew he needed to work on his copy but had no idea how to make it sound and feel the way he wanted it to. He sent me his existing copy and I re-worked it so that it conveyed his message, spoke to their ideal customer, and used proper language. Use these samples to work on your own copy, and if you’d like a critique or some copy-writing help, you know where to find me.
This is the About/Introductory Copy that was originally on my client’s site, which he wrote but knew needed tweaking.
Wise Old Sage (Our Company) is a London based menswear clothing brand that focuses on producing hand printed bespoke clothing. Our garments are all made with ethical fashion practices using natural organic fibres and recycled materials. Producing a beautiful hand printed garment is central to Wise Old Sage's mission and we aim to ensure that all of our products live up to the passion that we have for our craft.
Because all of our clothing is hand printed and finished each and every single one of our garments is unique, which we feel can be no bad thing in today's market of mass production and consumption. Wise Old Sage aims to help foster the growth of a vibrant and independent fashion market where there is a huge amount of consumer choice of quality, beautifully made products that champion and celebrate the amazing wealth of creative talent the UK has to offer the world.
I fixed the run-on sentences, awkward wording, and repetition.
"Wise Old Sage hand-prints bespoke garments on natural, organic fibres and recycled textiles. We are a London-based menswear company that uses ethical fashion practices to create beautiful and responsible clothing. We promise that each one of our unique, hand-printed products lives up to the passion we have for our craft. Our mission: to provide our customers with sustainable, unique, hand-printed garments and top-notch customer service.
All of our clothing is hand-printed and finished in our South London studio. Each item is individual and unique, a welcome departure from the mass-produced market. We believe in conscious consumption, and strive for the most ethical, responsible, and naturally made materials and processes. Our in-house designs showcase the most vibrant independent creative talent the UK has to offer. You are choosing quality and style when you purchase a hand-made Wise Old Sage garment."
Product Description Sample:
This was a product description for a shirt in my client’s shop. I showed him how to re-word this one so that he could fix all of his listings and descriptions. I have years of experience writing product descriptions for fashion e-commerce shops, so this was right up my alley and fit well within my personal skills and interests.
Hand printed on one of our bamboo fibre T-shirts with a mandala design made from hand drawn illustrations. The bamboo fibre is a soft luxurious material which is 100% sustainably produced. It has the added benefit of being very breathable and so is perfect for the summer, as it will keep you feeling cool and fresh in the heat. We feel bamboo fibre clothing is something everyone should own and experience!
Wash inside out on a 30 degree cycle and hang dry. Iron inside out to best preserve the print.
Delivery within 5 - 10 days
Hand-printed on one of our luxurious bamboo fibre T-shirts, this shirt features a hand-drawn and illustrated Mandala design. The bamboo fibre is a soft material, and is breathable, comfortable, and perfect for summer. Forget sticky, sweaty cotton! Bamboo fibre feels cool and fresh all day long. Experience the difference of bamboo fibre clothing.
Our shirts are 100% sustainably produced and made in ____, and we hand-print every garment right here in our South London studio.
Care: Wash inside out on a 30 degree cycle, and hang to dry. Iron inside out to best preserve the print.
Each garment is hand-printed custom for you in our studio, delivery is within 5-10 days of purchase.
As you can see, I organized the details so that they made sense. I added a subtle call to action ("Experience the difference of bamboo clothing") and made the customer understand the benefit of bamboo clothing without bluntly stating that there are many benefits.
Copy is hugely important if you want to make sales (which, you do of course). It can’t be underestimated or overlooked. If you think you need help with your own website’s copy, get in touch with me here.