The agency world is one in and of itself. But despite how much my inner entrepreneur rebelled against impossible standards, 70-hour work weeks, and unlimited PTO that I could never take, there were a few lessons I managed to pick up in that quick resume blip. Namely, that unnecessary words in writing can kill your copy faster than I can kill a fairy castle cactus.
What are unnecessary words in writing?
I’m glad you asked.
Unnecessary or filler words are words that we use to make copy longer.
Or we use them because one of the foundational things that you learn when you’re writing your own copy is that you need to write how you speak. Many of us use unnecessary words in writing in everyday life. And so those often translate onto the page.
But if you go back through and you read copy that has a lot of unnecessary words, you’ll find yourself skipping over sentences or even entire paragraphs!
Filler copy is not conducive to trying to sell something and that’s especially true in matters of email and landing pages.
Because when people get bored, they’ll X out.
So, when you’re writing something, and especially when you are writing to convert, you want to use tight copy. You want it to be short and tight. And you want to use actionable words.
Some examples of filler words I’ve seen in copy: Probably, sometimes, actually, maybe, exactly, just.
Sure, sometimes you need a bridge word. I hear you. If you’re stuck with what exactly to use, open the Thesaurus.
Among the bajillion possibilities, you can click on words that you like and it will take you down an entirely different rabbit hole. And if you don’t like that rabbit hole, you can back out of it and return to that original list of synonyms.
Another thing that you can do for yourself is write out whatever it is that you’re writing, whether it be a sales page, an email, product, copy, whatever it is, and just let it rest for a day or two.
Editing your own work is nearly impossible, though letting your brain forget about it for 48 hours can help with a reset.
It’s at this point that you look for filler words.
Take them out completely if you’re able to. If you’re not able to take them out completely (as in you’re using them for a bridge) look for an alternative using the Thesaurus.
Once you’ve replaced all of those unnecessary words in writing, go back through and see how much stronger your copy is!
Want help ensuring your copy is pristine? With Buy My Day, I can get through multiple pages of a website and remove any filler content!