The Jaw-Dropping Way Clients Self-Sabotage Their Copywriting

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You’re killing me. Ok, not really me, I’m fine. I love my job as a copywriter and, quite frankly, I never want to do anything else with my life – but this isn’t about me, it’s about YOU.

And I wanted to try to help you understand how you’re killing me, er, you, with your words. Let’s look at a few things you should think about before you edit a piece of marketing writing:

Plain English

The point of plain English is that it appeals to the lowest common denominator. You need to make your business very easy to understand for everyone so they can quickly remember what you do when they need your product or service.

Instead of: Czar of All Things Sweet

Say: Candy Wholesaler

The only exception to this is if your title is something your potential clients recognize, or the title directly pertains to a degree you’ve obtained.  Can I google your certification and learn about what you do?

Who the Piece Is Written For

Before you review your copywriting, consider who it’s written for.  Your writer may be putting themselves into the mind of the potential buyer.

While sticking to your marketing voice is important, try to have a little leeway for the audience who will be reading your marketing piece.

A lawyer may write for a journal: “An assessment of the statute of limitations on dog bites in Cali.”

But a client is looking for: “How long do you have to report a dog bite in Cali?”

Be Careful of Unknown Buzz Words

If a word is specific to your process or business model, it’s best to sparsely use it in your marketing copy. You don’t want to have to sell what you do before you sell yourself.

“Using our patented Widget Awareness concept founded by the experts at Mr. Diet Plus …”

“Using a unique, three step weight-loss system focused on nutrition awareness …”

In other words, before you can even explain what your business does and for whom, with the first example you have to explain what Widget Awareness is. You easily eliminate any confusion by using example number two.


Well, if I want to lose weight, when I see the message ‘Lose weight now’ I can identify with that sentiment.

If I own a candy store, I know a candy wholesaler can help me. But what’s a Czar? Made-up titles are only fun if they are relevant or denote an actual expertise.

If I got bit by a dog, I know to call a particular lawyer – with the right marketing message my brain associates dog bite and Mr. Dale Johnson, attorney at law.

These simple concepts form the basis for the psychology behind branding. So, if you repeat a simple message three times to a person, they’ll start to remember who you are.

But before you can even get to the point where they remember you, you have to very simply stop self-sabotaging your business. Just call a spade a spade and a widget a widget. Easy, right?

Elspeth Misiaszek

When was the last time you wore tie-dye and Birkenstocks to a business meeting? Copywriter Elspeth Misiaszek initially joined the Paradux Media Group team to assist in updating some website language. Our clients love her down-to-earth style and intellectual, results-driven approach to marketing.

After over six years of small-business SEO and content writing experience, we couldn’t help but be impressed with Elspeth’s unique sales approach to copywriting. What she won’t tell you is that she has three degrees in English, Spanish and Criminology, speaks fluent Spanish, and is a Villanova University certified paralegal. (We had to ask her mother.)

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