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Online Copywriting - When Humor Can Hurt!

Aug 17, 2007
Avoid the temptation to be clever or funny at all costs if you are providing your own online copywriting. The temptation is a huge one sometimes, but you will be better off if you fight it.

Why? No one wants to do business with a jokester.

It is more important to be honest and earnest with your potential customers and clients. They want to know what's in it for them - not how well you can rhyme words for a clever headline or that you have a witty style of writing. No one cares. They want to know they are doing business with an honest professional who will deliver the product or services he or she sells. That's it. Period. The end.

But can't these readers overlook an occasional attempt at a clever headline or witty lead in online copywriting?

Why should they?

Their time is valuable. If they feel like you are wasting their valuable time, they will move on and not ever look back. Remember, your potential online customer is always only one click away from leaving your site, never to return. So, keep your online copywriting focused on the business at hand.

Leaving humor out shows your reader you are willing to give them the respect they deserve as discerning shoppers. It also shows you can be serious about the nature of your product or service. And if you cannot be serious about it, who can be?

Remember that there's a big difference between humor and catchy, powerful copywriting.

If you insist on using humor in your online copywriting, carefully restrict it. Perhaps you are planning to present subscribers or customers with a monthly newsletter. If your wit is just bursting to get out, reserve yourself a column each week or month just for that purpose. Make sure it's marked as a column by giving it a header like, "On the Editor's Mind" or "A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Web Site...." Make it light hearted so your readers will know to expect to read article content that is also light hearted. But when you are writing for an area dealing with business, keep the tone very business like. By doing this, you will earn and keep the respect of your clients and customers.

This doesn't mean that your online copywriting should be in stilted "corporate speak" or in the third person. No, online copywriting should be casual, informal, aimed directly at the reader, but still business like in nature.

Of course, there may be exceptions. If you're marketing a clown's costume designer, a clown joke may be in order. But the majority of shoppers are not looking for a joke to use in their next stand-up comedy routine - they're looking for a quality product. Even clowns are serious when they're searching for the next great costume.

In some types of management, humor is a tool recommended to help bond teams. However, when dealing with online copywriting for Internet marketing, you really can't know much about the other participants. What might be funny to one person could well be offensive to a dozen others. It's just too iffy to pull humor into your online copywriting both safely and effectively.

Thus, with online copywriting, don't try to be too clever, or you may find that you are too clever for your own good.
About the Author
George Dodge is owner of http://www.CompellingWebCopy.com where you will discover 757 explosive online copywriting techniques guaranteed to skyrocket your sales and stuff more cash in your pocket - even if you haven't written a thing since high school!
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