Avoid Clichés Like The …

If you finished the title of this Quick Tip in your mind with the word "plague," you're on your way to understanding why you should avoid clichés.

Clichés are timeworn expressions like "it's a dog-eat-dog world" and "once in a lifetime." When a cliché is first coined by some clever person, it is smart, witty, and powerful – a new and different way to say something that’s meaningful. But through overuse, it becomes stale and loses any real meaning.

You know that to write convincing sales copy, you must engage your prospect's interest immediately and throughout your copy. Your ideas must be exciting, as opposed to dull as [you fill in the blank!] and your words must carry him along to the final sale. Every time you use a cliché in your writing, you run the risk of losing your prospect's hard-won attention.

Clichés will undoubtedly sneak into your writing. Weed them out when you revise and replace them with ideas that are original and compelling.

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Published: May 24, 2004

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