Ask any copywriter how you shouldn’t write and you’ll get good advice. Don’t use jargon. Don’t use cliché. And don’t use long sentences.
This all seems like common sense. Jargon isn’t universal language. Clichés don’t mean anything. And long sentences can bore your reader.
Speaking of your reader, a good copywriter will also say you should always write for them. If they understand a bit of jargon, you can use it. If you give a cliché some context, you can use it. And if your writing comes to an abrupt pause with every short sentence, you can use longer ones.
Let’s talk about this in more detail.
You can use jargon if your reader knows what it means
You should never use jargon because your reader won’t understand it. But as we established above, you should always write for your reader.
After researching them, you may find they use certain jargon a lot.
If they understand it, you can get your message to them quicker. But be sure they understand it.
You can use cliché sparingly, and if it has context
Clichés are metaphors, similes and sayings that have had the meaning written out of them through overuse. That’s why writers of all trades say you should never use them. But every now and then, you find an ‘every now and then’. Or a ‘blood, sweat and tears’.
If you can give a cliché plenty of context before you use it, it won’t appear so meaningless. But use it sparingly. If you use it in every sentence, your reader really won’t know what you’re on about.
You can use long sentences to give your writing rhythm
Long sentences can stop your reader from getting to your point. And stop them reading. That’s why you should use short sentences. But use too many of these, and your writing can sound stumpy and lack flow.
Use the occasional long sentence in your writing, plus some punctuation, and your reader gets a good rhythm they can follow.
What else can you do?
Are there any other copywriting rules you can break? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.