Is Your Web Copy

by : Daniel Levis

Copyright ? 2006 It's true, we were all taught in school to express ourselves differently on paper, than the way we speak. To follow rules of grammar, and inject an artificial air of formality.

Forgetting about this training when you write web copy is one of the best thing you can possibly do, unless you're selling to the academic community. And forgetting about it may not be as easy as you think.

Do you write like you're speaking to a friend across the table?

Maybe even use a little slang, now & then?

Or do you worry about your high school English teacher committing suicide, if he or she were to ever stumble across your stuff?

If so, do yourself a favor. Get over it.

Marketing Communications should never be about trying to impress. Prospects should never have to think about what the heck you're trying to say.

So keep your sentences short.

Avoid big words.

Keep plenty of free space around your copy, so it looks easy.

The mind can only really think of one thing at a time. If you want your prospect to concentrate on something, make sure your points don't require more than a split second to understand.

Look at the below example, taken from an ad for a special day care course for kids. It's put on by a government agency that promotes apple agriculture in their region.

The point of the text is this. "Bring your kids here, because we'll teach them something, instead of just baby-sitting them".

Read the example, and then the revision in plain talk.


This program encourages students to conduct simple investigations of apples. Students experiment, observe, and keep records as they become 'immersed" in a multi-sensory study of apples. Students will make notes in learning logs as they investigate and discuss the activities. In the learning logs the students simply record what happened during the activities and their reactions to what happened.

Students may later use their notes as the basis for language arts activities, such as writing poems. Writing first serves as a tool for learning and later becomes one of the possible end-products of the lessons.


Hey Mom and Dad, kids love to learn about apples. They're naturally curious, and learn best by tasting, smelling, squeezing, rolling, & tossing.

It's so much fun.

They love sharing the experience with their classmates, and can't wait to write home about what happened. And the feelings they express in the special diaries we give them are priceless.

You'll be giving your kids a head start at putting their thoughts down on paper. One of life's most important skills.

And what better way to get them out of your hair for a while?

Can you dig the difference?

I do a lot of work in the computer networking field, and often need to read product specs & documentation. And it drives me nuts!

Why is this stuff so full of techno babble, hyperbole, and long-winded bafflegab? Is all of the rocket science talk supposed to impress me into wanting to do something with their gadgetry?

Almost every product or service imaginable has a technical side, and you can never over educate. But it shouldn't feel like school.

Maybe you think you're selling a commodity, and there's not much to the customer's decision, but price. Think again. There is always a technical differentiator.

One of the greatest skills you can acquire is to be able to boil the froth off complex concepts, so that they become easy to understand.

Customers crave facts, and proof, even logic in order to feel comfortable with their decisions, once you've stirred up their emotional desire.

Inject them painlessly with web copy that comes across as "plain talk"!