June 15, 2015

Phrases Every Content Creator Hates

Creating content for the web is something that all companies do today. They are equipped with manpower to monitor, churn out and curate content that’s posted on a day-to-day, even moment-to-moment basis. But the real task is to put out compelling content, content that engages readers and keeps them wanting more.

Unfortunately, bad writing is everywhere – it pops in blogs, in advertisements, in social media. Content is riddled with unwanted prepositions, bad grammar and clichés that are an assault on the reader’s eyes. In fact, clichés are so often used today, that content creators are ripping their hair out in dismay.

So, if you want your reader to be a happy one, make sure you avoid the following:

“Content is King, Everything Else is Queen”

This cliché is almost cringe-worthy. Never use the words ‘content is king, SEO is queen,’ or ‘content is king, Design is queen´ in your writing if you want your reader to reach the end of your post. A chart of royal pedigree of everything that goes on in one’s business is not what the reader wants. So, crowning content, or design, or anything else, as king, queen and jester, will certainly not help. The analogy has been done to death, and no one wants the beaten cliché to be reanimated.

“One-stop Shop”

Nothing is specific anymore. The answer to “What does this company do” has become “It is a one-stop shop for all your needs”. The phrase is used to describe a business’ main services so often that it has seeped into all media – TV, radio, new media and print. A better way to go about marketing your business would be to tell people what they are likely to get at your ‘one-stop shop’.

“Go the Extra Mile”

Every business loves to boast about how they have got the formula right, how they love to satisfy every customer want by going out of their way to produce the best results. But customers are tired of hearing (or rather, reading) that. They want to know how the company is planning to pitch in with something extra. They need reassurance of how the company is going to offer them something more. Again, focusing on the specifics can help garner better responses from customers.

“Actions Speak Louder Than Words”

Actions do speak louder than words. So, it is preferable to show the customer what you’re capable of, instead of reiterating your previously spoken words, especially by prefixing them with ‘actions speak louder than words’. While customers love wordy reassurances, what actually guarantees their loyalty in the long run is an actual show of productive work. Instead of calling this phrase to their aid, businesses can employ simpler, more creative ways of implying it. “We keep our promises, and more” is an example of how you can imply this, without using the oft-repeated cliché.

“Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover”

We all know that jumping to conclusions based on outward appearances is a bad habit. However, using the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ has been employed so many times, that people will instantly jump to a conclusion about you if your content ever does include this phrase. Keeping it simple here will help your readers give your content their full attention. An alternate sentence could be ‘Dig deeper for the real picture’. This will make sure that your content is original and fresh.

There you have it. These are marketing taglines that every writer must avoid if they wish to hold the attention of a customer. These clichés can ruin a potentially good piece of writing. Crisper, original words often bring more applause than words that have been used for generations. Phrases that are over-used tend to be over-ignored on the internet today. So, be sure to avoid these clichés “like the plague”.