by Kate Merryweather, Melbourne website copywriter
Clients are great! They pay my bills. I love my clients.
Sometimes clients take my copy and make it boring. They take out the colour, the pithy comments, the spark. (No humility from this website copywriter.)
Some clients just want standard, corporate style copy.
And that’s a shame.
What doubly kills me is when clients delete a carefully crafted sentence that incorporates a good sales hook for the reader and gives Google a keyword optimised whammy of SEO winners.
I fight it. I tell my clients to be bold. Readers love it. It helps for SEO.
Sometimes I win, and they keep my copy. Other times, I lose. I recently visited a website I’d written months ago. They’ve added four extra waffly paragraphs filled with extra-long sentences and commas instead of semi-colons. You won’t see those sites as case studies on my portfolio.
But clients pay my bills. So I write for three audiences:
- The client’s audience
- Google and other search engines
- The client
And if the client wants that traditional, corporate writing style, then I tread that fine line between writing compelling, creative writing that is also gets the tick from the client. Luckily I’m good at that too.
When I work with a new client I always write a sample page or two of copy to see what they like. In this sample there’s a little test – an unusual combination of words here, an inexact but arresting phrase there. If the client deletes those few tidbits, then I know.
So my advice for writers is to keep selling the style and fighting the fight so that boring, overlong corporate writing will one day be banished forevermore.
And for clients, try not to delete so much, and don’t edit a document so much that it becomes dull. Better telling the copywriter to have another crack than fix it yourself.You didn’t hire a copywriter to get boring writing!