Hi! My name is Deanna Roux, aka FancyFreeMe on Etsy. My last job was for a corporate communications department, in employee communications. I was assistant editor for an employee magazine and online publisher for an employee intranet. My experience granted me some valuable knowledge on the difference between writing for a print publication and an online audience. I have some helpful information to share that I think you can use for writing up shop listings and on your blog.
Let me begin by saying this – I’m not done learning. Times change, technology changes, and people’s needs change. Things are always evolving and you have to keep up if you want to stand out.
With that said, here’s where we were last I checked.
What’s in it for me?
People have little time and even less patience. Readers want to know “what’s in it for me?” in the first few seconds, otherwise they’ll move on. Potential customers want to connect with you through your writing. Wow them with your art, but grab them with your voice first. And don’t wait until the end of your blog post to present a call to action (e.g. sign up, join, visit me, etc.).
[bowl by vesselsandwares]
Headlines and Titles
- Shorter is better
- Susie’s Sassy Salsa NOT Sue Roberts Homemade Recipes Hot and Spicy Salsa – Hot
- Words that pop
- Mohair Harry’s Skullcap NOT Black Hat With Hair-Like Fringe Around the Edge
- Assign attributes
- Juicy Gemstone Choker NOT Watermelon Tourmaline, Ruby, Peridot, 14K Gold Filled 16” Necklace
- Work a rhyme
- October 25, Blossoms Alive NOT My Garden is Still Blooming on October 25
KISS – Keep it Simple and Short
Yes, you need details, but don’t overwhelm the reader right to the nearest exit. Reserve space for sharing your personal views, techniques and inspirations. Go back and read what you wrote. Remove big words only used to impress and redundant information. Don’t drown your clever cut of meat with too much gravy.
[exemplary description by vesselsandwares]
It’s your job to slow the online eye. Give your reader something to stumble upon. Instead of using a large block of text, break it up. Use bullets to make a list easier to read. Use caps and/or boldface to make subtitles in your post pop. The use of whitespace will give the eye a break and it’ll make your blurb easier to read.
Write As If Your Audience Doesn’t Know Anything
You are the expert of what you create. You know the size, length, and dimensions. You know the materials and components. Your words should tell the story your photos can’t. Don’t make them search. A shopper wants to know if it’s sterling silver or plated; cotton or rayon; and porcelain or ceramic.
Things You Need
- Word Processing Application: Type up your entries in Word or another application — it just helps to have an active spellchecker.
- Camera: a digital camera is best for an easy snap and post.
- Time: Don’t fake it — if you don’t have the time just put down the basics in a draft and fill it out later.
Things That Would Help
- PFF (Proofreading Friend Forever): Have someone you trust take a peek for typos and general comprehension.
- Photo Editor: Photoshop, Google’s free Picasa, or something like it — make your photos go from sloppy snapshots to pretty pics.
Ultimately, the challenge is not “writing.” The challenge is “taming the writer within.” So here’s your whip and here’s your chair. Now go tame!
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? Comment below with any tips you have to share!
For more information on writing for your shop, check out these helpful articles.