Shop Owner Challenge Day 16: 5 Tips for Writing Outstanding Copy

Today’s Shop Owner Challenge comes from Stephen, a welcome new addition to the Shapeways Marketing team. He’s a fabulous master of words and is channeling the greatest authors of all time when he delivers these tips.

He’s a big fan of Michiel Cornelissen’s The Wrap – Cable Winder for iPhone so it’s featured today! 

Hi Shapies! 
This is Stephen, Shapeways Resident Wordsmith. For today’s Shop Owner Challenge, I’m going to give you Five Quick Tips From Famous Authors On How To Improve Your Copywriting, citing some of my favorite writers whose work I have learned to appreciate, trust, and ultimately love. Remember, you can always use words to dazzle your potential customers and sell products, so don’t be shy with them! 
1. George Orwell has 6 legendary writing tips, but the one that is most relevant to the Shapeways community is “Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.” In short, remember the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid! 
2. Tell stories! James Patterson said, “I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished. I’m very conscious of an audience. I’m very conscious that I’m an entertainer.” Be an entertainer. Don’t bore your audience! 
3. One of Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing is to “Laugh at your own jokes.” Humor is an excellent and proven way to build trust with your customers. So don’t be afraid to be funny in your copy! 
4. Mark Twain, one of my all-time favorite authors, wrote, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” (Yes, Mark Twain just used a semicolon, but he’s Mark Twain…) My advice to Shapies everywhere is to be cognizant of repeating phrases, because if your ceramic vase is very lovely and very nice and very cool, your potential customers may think it is actually very, very, very boring.
5. Finally, as Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Even if you lack confidence in your writing abilities, it is surely better to have some product description written when the alternative is to have none written at all. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member for writing or editing help! 

I hope that these tips helped you, and if you want to reach out with any questions, my email address is 

Write on!