When I was at Cal State San Marcos, I took a creative writing class to improve my writing skills (and because the class was required…). We learned how to write in multiple styles, including poetry, surrealism, character dialogues, and descriptions, etc…
We learned a lot of things. For the most part, we were able to write about anything we wanted, so long as it aligned with the assignment.
One of the ONLY things my professor was firmly against was the use of cliches.
Because they were “an easy way out” of thinking creatively, he would say. He was right, too. Cliches are what you use when you’re lazy. They require very little effort to come up with because everyone has said them before at some point in their writing. They’re unoriginal. And while it’s true that you may get your point across from use of a cliche, it dramatically lowers the quality of your writing…
Unfortunately, the same rule applies to sales copy.
Learn how to write a simple Call-To-Action button in the blog: How To Keep The Call-To-Action Button As Simple As Possible.
Cliches Are The Worst Than Grammatical Errors… (In My Opinion)
What’s the first thing you hear in your mind when you think of a “get-rich-quick scheme?”
Think about it:
“I made a BAJILLION dollars in Just 3 Days!”
“You can do this STRICTLY PART-TIME!”
“All you have to do is find three new people!”
“Fire YOUR boss!”
“Just follow these 3 simple steps!”
“With just a push of a button, you can make $______________________ (‘cuz that’s usually how big the number is) a month – INSTANTLY!”
“Buy this system and make money on AUTOPILOT!”
“This isn’t some ‘get-rich-quick-scheme’!”
We’ve all heard them before. Don’t some of these just make your skin crawl? Well if they do, it’s because:
- These quotes are completely misleading
- They’re ingenuine
- THEY’RE SUPER CLICHE!
So if the cliches above make you want to vomit, imagine if you put them in your sales copy…
They would categorize your valiant attempt at persuasion with scammy, fraudulent activity!
All because you threw in some cliches!
Talk about “being in a pickle!” (LOL #clichecity) Which brings me to my next point:
You know it’s a cliche when you’re reader complete the phrase before they finish reading it.
Got Writer’s block? Learn how to combat it in the blog: What To Do When You Hit Writer’s Block.
One Tip To Avoid Cliches – ACTUALLY Be Creative
Avoiding the usage of cliches is actually much easier than you think. In that creative writing class, we replaced all of our cliches with a real description of what the character was thinking, how the character was feeling, or what they looked like.
In other words, we had to use words to get our message across…go figure.
I won’t lie, it was challenging in the creative class. But when you’re writing sales copy, it’s much easier!
All you have to do is describe in detail the benefits, fears, and desires of your target audience. And you have to do it in a way in which THEY will understand.
So if you’re writing to men who are looking to attract women, you wouldn’t write something like,
“Show her who’s ‘daddy’ with this special technique!”
(ugh…this is bad, especially from me! LOL).
You could write something like:
“This simple attraction-hack will make her uncontrollably lust after you!”
Putting a little effort not only makes for a clearer picture, it also makes it easier to read. If you’ve ever read anything cringeworthy, you know how difficult it is to get through it all. The last thing you want is your copy to make people cringe from cliches.
Speaking of which, I know I’ve written about how puns can make you cringe too. But puns can also be creatively placed, unlike cliches.
Another way to rid puns from your copy is to replace adjectives. For example, instead of saying, “a cool, new way to ask girls out,” you can say something like “a weirdly effective way,” or “a much better way” etc.
And of course, just try new words and phrases that you’ve never heard used before.
My friend hates this technique. Check out the blog: A Funny Technique That You Can Use In Your Sales To Increase Brand Awareness.
To Use Cliches Is A Cliche Within Itself
In conclusion, just don’t use cliches in your writing. You’ll end up suffering for your laziness in the long-run. When in doubt, stick to vivid descriptions of benefits, desires, fears, and the most desirable things your prospects are looking for.
For more copywriting tips and strategies, check out the blog at joshwrotethat.com.