Slaying the Writing Dragons: Kill the Clichés

Girl in white dress kills the cliche dragon
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Writing is hard. It’s supposed to be. Show me a writer who says it’s easy, and I’ll show you a hack who isn’t doing it right. Things worth doing – important things – are supposed to be hard. That’s what keeps incompetent people from doing them. You don’t want a meh stockbroker handling your investments or a so-so mechanic rebuilding your engine. You also don’t want a hack writing for your beloved pool and spa brand. When you’re writing and things come out too easily, stop! That should be a warning that something isn’t right. Like silence in your toddler’s bedroom, it’s a warning in the form of the absence of a warning. Let’s look at some techniques for killing those deadly clichés slithering into your marketing content.

Rethink Your Anecdotes

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In my first paragraph, didn’t you expect me to talk about brain surgeons and rocket scientists instead of stockbrokers and mechanics? I didn’t. Because that’s so cliché. Resist the urge to grab the first anecdote or metaphor that comes to mind. Think of fresh ways to state concepts. Spin up innovative methods to illustrate your points. Don’t reach for anything in the pantry that’s on eye level. Pull out the step stool and pilfer around for the treats somebody hid in the back. Just stay away from my salted caramel dark chocolate.

Draw Your Sword on the Overly Dramatic

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I tend to over-exaggerate to make my point. I didn’t ask my daughter when she was coming home ten times, I asked her 400 million. I never do fifteen loads of laundry, it’s always a billion and one. Hyperbole, however, is a singular pathway to clichés in your writing. For instance, if you’re saying something is “faster than a” stop yourself before you type “jackrabbit on a date” or “speeding bullet”. Conjure up a phrase that nobody’s heard before. People just skip over clichés. These hacks don’t make any actual impact on your readers. What captures and holds attention are unexpected phrase turns and new ways of looking at things.

Sidestep the Stereotypes

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Is your swimming pool water “clean and pristine”? Is your farmer’s skin “weathered”? Is your landscape “picturesque”? Oh, I hope not. The world needs far less clean and pristine water. It needs water that’s effulgent. Or luminous. Give me a farmer that’s dowdy and a landscape that’s Arcadian. Stereotyping isn’t just bad writing, it can damage your brand image if it comes across as such.

Dancing with Deadlines

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I’ve found a plethora of ways in which procrastination leads to all types of poor writing, clichés included. Bumping up against deadlines rushes the writer, and just like a great stock trade or well-running engine, it takes time to do it right. Procrastinate on hitting the Buy Now button on your Amazon cart, and delay the dental appointment if you must. But don’t dilly dally when it comes to writing your content.

Tell Your Own Story, Not Someone Else’s

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Another doorway to clichés is telling someone else’s story instead of your own. Even if you’re writing about someone else, say someone you interviewed or are profiling, it should be your story about them. Don’t tell me your grandma’s story about immigrating to America. Tell me your story about your grandma and how she got to the States. Oh, sure, you can decorate your story with her witty quotes and quirks from her native land, just make sure your readers hear you, not her. And if her quotes are cliché, it doesn’t make for excellent quotable fodder, anyway.

Dadgummit, Have Something to Say!

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The most wicked dragon in the land of writing is, without a doubt, the non-story. Our writing team is fully stocked with superstars in pool and spa marketing content, but we occasionally get a piece that was whipped up in a rush with no thought to what the point actually was. Never put your fingers to the keyboard before you know darn well what your story is. Make sure that when I read your piece on your luminously clean pool water that I end knowing how I’m supposed to get it that way. Fulfill the title. This is especially true with clickbait-style content. When I click on, “Top 10 Secrets of Pool Boys They Don’t Want You to Ever Know” then I’m 100% counting on you to give me something I can’t figure out by reading the back of the chlorine container. When you have something to say, you’ll say that instead of pounding out a series of exhausted, and exhausting, clichés.

 

What are your content woes? Are you stuck with sub-par writers who deliver cliché-riddled marketing content? Worse, do your marketing content writers miss the point of why you sell fiberglass pools or how the climate affects pool equipment? Turn to the pool marketing pros at The Get Smart Group! Your free consultation is a click away.

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