Ask an Anchor: How do I keep my copywriting succinct without becoming generic?

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Hi Sarah, 

I have a product business, and I am struggling with a copywriting question: How do I keep the copy succinct without becoming generic? 

Writing isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I know it’s an essential part of my business, and I want it to help me, not hurt me. And when I run out of time to write, the end product seems boring.

Thanks,

Wondering about Writing


Hello Wondering,

I used to hate writing. I always felt less than, that my words weren’t worth publicizing and, frankly, that even when I wrote, my words never really made sense. What I have learned over the last decade of being a professional and the last six years of running a business is good writing depends on giving myself enough time to do it. And then having good editors and collaborators to fine-tune my thoughts. I truly thought that good writing just flowed out of people. Of course, for some it does, but that takes years of practice. Most people (even those with years of effort, degrees, and clients) need space and time to write and rewrite. 

The process was the part I didn’t understand or really know about. Once I realized there was a process, the pressure lifted. I spend a lot of time thinking, then I write, let it sit, edit it, THEN send it to a trusted collaborator and finally, knowing that I will always want it to be different later, I let go of perfection and SHIP THAT SHIT. 

Some actionable steps: 

  • Figure out what needs to be written 

  • Build copywriting days (prep & edits) into your month so you continue making progress toward your goals

  • Don’t do it alone! Hire or trade for help with the writing

  • Let go of perfection

I feel your pain because it seems like in our current business world, a perfect trio is the basic expectation: flawless design, authentic writing, beautiful photography. It’s too much to handle alone (and might make you long for the days of working a 9-5)!

Next week, I’ll have my writing partner, Devin Pope of Kindred Word, answer your question from her perspective (here’s the post!)

Warmly,

Sarah

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