Value Props & ID Props

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January 26, 2013 by bradcharlesbeals

words value

There are only two kinds of language to include in website copy:

1. PROPOSITIONS OF VALUE

2. PROPOSITIONS OF IDENTITY

You need nothing more. Every word should help to do one of those two jobs. Commercial website users are not fiction readers. There’s no innate hunger for detail, no close reading for nuance and subtlety. They want hard propositions. They want to know what you do and who you are, and they want to see those things in clear terms.

For the writer, this fact is more helpful as a guide to editing existing copy than it is to originating it. It’s fairly simple to push existing text through such a filter and see what remains. It’s harder to write with the filter in place. In this way, fiction writers and copywriters (writers of all stripes really) work in a similar way. We edit our text by crossing out the superfluous. For the writer of fiction that means language that doesn’t a) fill out a character, b) advance the action, or c) establish a context (mood, setting, voice, etc) that supports A or B.

For the copywriter it means cutting anything that doesn’t say who you are or what you do.

So keep it simple, writers. Keep it really, really simple.

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