Copywriting Clichés: are you a serial offender?

Happy New Year everyone! As we all know the transition into the new year is a time for reflection, hope and new beginnings. However, it often brings with it a descent into copywriting madness, with god-awful clichés often popping up out of nowhere – yes we’re looking at you #NewYearNewMe crowd.

Remember: clichéd writing is bad writing, as it shows a complete lack of creativity – not something you want to showcase if you’re a writer.

So, with all this temptation around us, how can you create some kickass seasonal content, without resorting to filling it with clichés? Here are some of the most common copywriting clichés, as well as why you should definitely avoid them – who wants to ride an over-saturated bandwagon anyway?

Travel writing clichés

One of the most cliché-heavy industries is travel. We challenge you to find a travel article that doesn’t have at least one of the following:

Misuse of the word ‘Mecca’: There’s only one Mecca, and it’s not a karaoke bar in Benidorm.

Wishy-washy adjectives that don’t really mean anything: Cute, hip, interesting… these are all nice words to pop into travel copy, but at the end of the day they don’t really mean anything without evidence to back them up. Ask yourself why is the restaurant cute? Is there anything in particular that makes that coffee shop hip? People want to know what is actually there, rather than just your opinion of the place.

Overuse of hyperbole: Words like ‘breathtaking’, ‘awe-inspiring’ and ‘magnificent’ are all very well and good, but try not to overuse them. If it’s just a nice ocean view it probably won’t take someone’s breath away, so save the hyperbole for the best of the best.

Think outside the box when it comes to seasonal content

One of the most common copywriting clichés is to produce boring, ten-a-penny pieces of seasonal content. Yes, it might be useful. Yes, it might be easy. But is it unique? Will it draw in the reader to something that takes them a bit by surprise? Probably not.

Let’s use New Year as an example. What’s everyone thinking of during this time of year? Here are some of the most common copywriting topics that everyone is writing about:

  • Health / fitness
  • Saving money
  • Clearing / tidying

Granted, these topics are bringing up a lot of search volume in January and the first part of February, but how can you really create something based on these that will stick out? To embrace a really different (but still relevant) approach, you need to discover just how each piece of content will really connect with your audience and the message you want to convey.

Take some time to look at your brand, products and services and how what you offer can fit into the season. Try to stay away from bog-standard titles like “top tips for a new year clearout” and “how we can help you stay healthy this new year” unless they really relate to your brand.

“In this article, I will…”

An introduction-based buzzkill? “In this article, I will…”. This is another overhang that many writers take with them from their school / college / university days. However, in the world of copywriting, this only serves to alienate the reader and draws attention back to the writer.

Also: remember in school when we were all told to write a lengthy introduction to outline exactly what was going to be included in an essay? This can be a difficult habit to break, but when it comes to copywriting, a 400 word introduction may only serve to bore and alienate your readers before they’ve even got to the heart of the article.

Sometimes, short and snappy introductions are the way to go. Avoid going on and on about something the reader probably already knows, introduce the specific topic you’re going to be talking about and get stuck into the body of copy – you’ll find many more readers reach the end!


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Tecmark Author Rebecca Beale

About the Author

Rebecca Beale:

Rebecca Beale joined Tecmark in January 2016 after working in copywriting. She is part of the copy team who create online content for our list of clients.

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