An educational program for those who missed educational programs: how to write and evaluate texts for business, media and adequate people.

Julia Egorova, Write-Studio
6 diseases of a copywriter: how to make your text better
This article will be useful for marketers, project managers and editors, that is, those who every day set tasks for texts and check the result. And, of course, to the authors of information texts.

I am the head of the Write-Studio content marketing agency and a marketer. I work with texts every day and give feedback on them. I know exactly what result the client needs, and I can distinguish strong material from a raw article. And I know how difficult it is at times to give constructive feedback to a copywriter. One that you can work with.

From the editorial staff of Cossa: this text is also useful for PR people and authors who write for the media ↓

1. Chancellery
Occurs among novice copywriters who have not yet gotten used to writing essays and term papers in batches after university. In commercial texts, the language turns out to be detached, lifeless and difficult to understand. As a result, the text may be relevant, but it is impossible to read it.

6 diseases of a copywriter: Office

A source

How to determine
There is a feeling that you have read the abstract. Simple things are described by complex phrases (“a decision was made”), clichés (“accelerated growth rates”) and abstruse words (“a consensus was reached”).

How to solve
Give more meat on the article. Stationery breaks into the text when there is nothing to say, but it is necessary to create the appearance of useful content.

Ask a copywriter to clean up the stationery. If a specialist does not see them, then he has low writing skills. Is it worth working with him further?

Study the topic of stationery on your own and share your findings with a copywriter. On this topic it is worth reading "Write, cut down" by Ilyakhov and Sarycheva, "Alive as life" by Kornei Chukovsky and "Word alive and dead" by Nora Gal.

2. Negativism
You read the text and understand: everything is complicated, life is hard and dangerous. Sometimes it really pays to thicken the colors to make the product seem like a perfect and quick solution, but the overall tone of the text should not be gloomy. When using negativity as a technique, remember that it is a sign of manipulative selling aimed at quick results. Readers may conclude that your product is weak and that it is important for you to bypass common sense.

When you build an image of a product or service, it is worth considering which associations are important to you. For quality products, one wants to create a long-term positive aura, appeal to strong positive emotions and rational profitable purchase.

6 diseases of a copywriter: Negativism

A source

How to determine
An abundance of words with a negative color, particles of "not" and the union "but".

How to solve
Advise the copywriter to look for positive or neutral synonyms. For example, instead of the word "problem" use "question". Split sentences with the conjunction "but" into two full-fledged phrases or use another semantic link. Particles "not" can be simply cleaned by changing the phrases.

3. "Visual is not mine, go to the designer"
What makes an article visually light? Navigation: headings, lists, tables, readable paragraphs with thoughtful first phrases. It is navigation that helps to understand whether it is worth reading an article, and this is part of the copywriter's job.

6 diseases of a copywriter: Visual

A source

How to determine
Lack of visual structure. Only the title tells you about the content of the article, and to understand the essence, you need to read the whole "sausage" of the text. Who wants to spend 5-10 minutes on material of questionable quality?

How to solve
Break long paragraphs into short, up to five lines: on the Internet, it is more difficult to read large chunks of text, the eye loses the desired line.

Add lists, conclusions and other ways to organize the material. They are not always needed, but if some material can be given in a list, it is better to do so. This will make it a lot easier to read.

Ask the copywriter to make subheadings: you cannot leave the reader without navigation, otherwise he will not want to read the article.

Work with the copywriter for the announcement: it should involve reading the article.

4. Narcissism
Copywriters are confident that their text will be read. This is not true. Nobody wants to read commercial texts. Deal with it.

You, the customer of the text, are the only person with a strong motivation to read all the letters in the article. The user will not force himself to read, there is too much content on the Internet. He will scan the material with a glance, snatch out the beginning of a paragraph in interesting blocks, and read only really useful text in part or in full. But it is not exactly.

A good copywriter knows how to engage and manage the reader's attention.

6 diseases of copywriting: Narcissism

A source

How to determine
You only finished reading an article because you need to reply to a copywriter. Even if you're bored, it's rubbish.

How to solve
Don't forget the reader's benefit: why you should read this article. When you set a task for a copywriter, write down what the reader should learn from the article and what to do.

Think over article navigation: headlines, announcements, subtitles

heads and tenacious inserts.

Squeeze all the water out of the text, work with stop words, bureaucrats.

5. Stream of consciousness - about everything and nothing
Sometimes you read an article and do not understand what it is about: you seem to have touched on all the topics, but there is no specific benefit. This happens when the article does not have a plan and a single goal. The copywriter forgot the "One article - one task" rule.

6 diseases of a copywriter: stream of consciousness

A source

How to determine
The article touches on several issues at once, and the copywriter does not adhere to a single narrative line. The material contains a lot of references to other topics or there are thoughts that stand out from the general outline.

Nested lists: if there are many sub-paragraphs and branches in the article, then, most likely, the copywriter cannot simplify the idea or is trying to fit several materials into one.

It is not clear from the text what the reader should do or receive, that is, the goal of the article is not achieved or is completely absent.

How to solve
When setting a task, indicate the topic of the article, its purpose, the action that you want to receive from the reader (learned, learned, ordered, and so on).

Set the rule “One article - one task”. All branches are in separate texts.

6. Surface
The most interesting thing is to read about real experience and product knowledge. The copywriter is not in the subject and does not plan to dive into it? Look for something new. Otherwise, the article will turn out to be empty, similar to hundreds of others on the Internet. Why do you need another rewrite?

6 diseases of a copywriter: Surface

A source

How to determine
Low uniqueness of the article. There are many resources on the Internet with which you can check material for plagiarism or rewriting. I am using Advego Plagiatus.

A lot of water, zero specifics: there are no practical examples, actual figures, personal experience, expert comments. The first signal may be the absence of questions from the copywriter at the start of work.

You get bored reading this article because you, as a marketer or business owner, have come across this information a thousand times and do not see anything new in either the content or the presentation style.

How to solve
If you are working with a copywriter for the first time, formulate the topic of the article yourself. You may have to sketch out a plan.

Give a list of trusted sources where you can view information on the topic.

Provide texture (meat!) For the article. In the early stages of work, expert content should come from you. In an ideal world, a copywriter would ask for the information he needed.

Customer memo
Starting a collaboration with a new copywriter? Help him with source materials, numbers. Perhaps with an outline of the article.

Feedback should be specific. The subjective "like it or not like it" will not help solve the problem. Explain to the copywriter what exactly does not fit: the topic is not disclosed, clerical stuff is pouring out of the article, the material is not readable due to lack of navigation.

I don’t like the article, but you cannot clearly formulate what is wrong? Try to describe your feelings about the text or make out specific examples from it. Copywriters are ready to work with edits, it is important for them to understand what exactly needs to be changed in the article.

Feedback needs positive emotions. Copywriters write articles in a creative impulse, not always and not everyone can separate the criticism of the text from the assessment of professionalism. Find something to praise for, and then comment on the article.

High-quality material is the result of the work of a team from the customer and the contractor. Keep focus on the result, mutual support, and everything will work out.