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Know copy is important but feeling stuck? 5 tips to get overcome writer’s block.

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When people visit your online store they use the information that is on that website to make a decision. 

And they only have the information you give them. 

They can’t try it on, smell it, sample it, touch it, taste it or look in the mirror with it like they would be able to in a physical shop. They can’t ask the shop assistant questions and get an instant response. 

So what you say on your online store, and how you say it, is super important. 

During our eCommerce website audits, we often find messaging that is totally backwards. There are little nuggets of gold buried deep in the about us page, while the main headling on the home page is pointless and meaningless. 

Often we are so close to our own products and brands that we totally miss the most important messaging because we think that it’s obvious. We forget to say the things that are most important. 

And we can often feel stuck and unsure of what to write. 

So, next time you are writing a headline, product description or any piece of copy, use these tips to nail your messaging. 

Tip 1 – 5 Whys

If you get stuck with knowing what headline to create or how to define your brand value proposition for example, I find the 5 Whys method to be super helpful in overcoming overwhelm and get to the bottom of knowing what to write. 

The founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, developed the 5 Whys technique and I believe they still use it at Toyota today. 

You can do this on your own, or with a team. Grab a pen and paper and ask “why” 5 times. 

For example, if you are trying to work out what headline to include on your homepage, ask “People should buy our toilet paper. Why”. 

You can use versions like “but why does that matter” or “and why is that important” if find yourself coming to a dead end. 

(your answer goes here)

 

Why: 

(referring to the above answer)

 

Why: 

(referring to the above answer)

 

Why: 

(referring to the above answer)

 

Why: 

(referring to the above answer)

 

Repeat asking “why” as many times as you need to get to overcome the problem. 5-7 times usually does the trick!

 

Tip 2 – If I knew

Take a deep breath (seriously do it!) now say this to yourself: 

“If I wasn’t overwhelmed and knew what to write it would be…. ” 

Just write whatever comes. You aren’t going to fail for writing the wrong answer. Just start writing. It will start the creative juices flowing and after a few rubbish sentences, you may uncover some gold. 

Tip 3 – Start wrong 

Start by trying to create a wrong version. 

Get out a pen and paper and start by writing this “This is totally wrong but…” then just write your worst. Keep writing and see what flows. 

When I’m writing anything I always write a wrong version, then I go back and refine it. I am not scared of making mistakes and I’m not trying to get it perfect. 

By giving yourself permission to write the wrong thing you are removing the pressure, and your brain has the space to craft the right thing! 

Tip 4 – Make progress not perfection  

Perfection is the killer of progress. When writing something use the above tactics to make progress… and forget about perfection. Perfectionism is simply our protection mechanism and our excuse to avoid criticism. I often find that taking imperfect action will help us to see things more clearly. As Marie Forleo says “If you wait to get it perfect, you’ll never get it out there.” Which leads me so nicely to my next tip: 

Tip 5 – Remember that unless it’s a tattoo, it’s not a tattoo 

No headline, product description or website is permanent. Of course, you want to make progress (not perfect) and do your best to create the best version of it. But remember, that it’s the best version of it right now. The beauty about digital marketing and eCommerce is that we can test, measure and tweak constantly. So remember, unless it’s a tattoo, it’s not a tattoo. 

So use these tips to overcome the overwhelm next time you face a block when writing for your brand.

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Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

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