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The Mark of Lazy Copywriting

Author: Ryan Healy   |   September 21st, 2011

Lazy copywriting is fairly easy to spot.

All you have to do is look for those worn and trite expressions you’ve seen over and over again.

For example, how many times have you seen articles that promise to reveal how to… write “killer” headlines or how to write “killer” copy?

Probably too many times to count. And, as a result, the word “killer” applied to any form of writing has lost most of its punch.

News flash… If you ever want to be a great copywriter, then you can’t merely parrot the catch-phrases you’ve grown accustomed to reading.

You can’t just copy what everybody else is saying and expect it to work for you… in your market… with your customers.

Repeating the phrases that others have used — without tweaking them or injecting them with your own personality — is a clear mark of laziness.

Now, there is a place for lazy copywriting. It’s called the first draft.

But if you let lazy copy go out the door “as is,” you’re setting yourself up for poor results and possibly outright failure.

So how do you break free from lazy copywriting?

Always edit your copy thoroughly. Make sure you get rid of all your lazy expressions — and replace them with creative expressions that have both meaning and impact.

It’s work… and it takes effort… but it’s worth it.

Here’s an example of how I did this.

When I wrote an in-depth article about how to write blog post titles, it would have been easy (and lazy) to title the article, “How to Write Killer Blog Post Titles.”

Of course, I didn’t do this because it would have been a sign of lazy copywriting. Not only that, imagine teaching people how to write good blog post titles… and then just parroting back some catch phrase that’s already been used hundreds of times!

That wouldn’t be good at all.

So I put some thought into it and drafted a few different headlines based on what I had written. Here’s the title I settled on: “3 Unexpected Rules for Writing Blog Post Titles that Demand Attention.”

Much better, don’t you think?

This headline gets attention and arouses curiosity without relying on any tired or worn-out phrases.

Please, don’t let yourself fall prey to lazy copywriting. Put in the extra effort to make your copy fresh, distinctive, and persuasive.

-Ryan Healy

P.S. You can get instant access to all my best copywriting tips at CopywritingCode.com.

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2 Responses to “The Mark of Lazy Copywriting”

  1. Judith Says:

    This reminds me of something I read from Mark Twain. His advice was “Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

    Thanks for demonstrating how you write original headlines. The one you settled on is definitely better than what you previously mentioned. Oftentimes writers keep doing the same thing from habit because it’s easy.

  2. david sneed Says:

    In related posts, 4 down from this one, it the article titled “How To Write Killer Headlines.”
    I clicked on it.

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