Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fun With Content Writing

Let’s talk work. Have you ever heard of online copywriting or content writing? No? Here’s a definition:

A website content writer is an employee or a freelancer who specializes in providing relevant content for various websites. 

In human speech, this means people are paid to write thousands upon thousands of words of promotional text for your local restaurant, repair shop, or funeral company’s seedy website. I’m one of those people.

I write blog posts and website content about cleaning services, construction consultants, cannabis stores, limousine rentals, integral adjusters, online chatbots, cash counters, classic car restoration, ship repair companies, swimming pool equipment, overhead storage racks, and so on.

Sounds like ponderous work, doesn’t it? Nah, not at all. I actually have fun while writing this stuff. Read on to learn my secret. It’s deep stuff, I assure you.

Here’s a typical passage I’d write for a cleaning company:

There’s nothing worse than coming home after an exhausting day at work, only to discover you have a lot of tiring house cleaning waiting for you. Here at Horror Maids, we want to help you reclaim your leisure time by taking care of all that mopping and dusting for you. Reach out to us today and kick back while our cleaning superstars give you the gift of a sparkling clean home.

Here’s another one (sometimes they may appear in the same text together):

We’ll come right out and say it: cleaning is boring and tiring. Worse, it takes up the precious leisure time you could spend doing the things you love in the company of your friends and family. By outsourcing your cleaning to Horror Maids, you’ll not only be getting a pristine home, you’ll also have more time to focus on the things that truly matter. 

Variations of these paragraphs appear in hundreds of texts I wrote for dozens of cleaning companies. Imagine what a normal person would think if they unknowingly visited these websites and saw the exact same stuff written over and over again with slightly different phrasing. It’d be sort of creepy, wouldn’t it? Maybe there’s a horror story idea in there. But I digress.

So how do I make writing the same stuff every day even remotely amusing? Simple. I come up with the most insane over-the-top praise for mundane things, and I look for the juiciest places to drop F bombs.

So when I write this:

Reach out to us today and kick back while our cleaning superstars give you the gift of a sparkling clean home.

In my head it reads like this:

Reach out to us today and kick back while our cleaning demigods give you the miracle of a sparkling clean home.

Remember how, back in high school, the most idiotic stuff could crack you up during the final one or two classes because your mind was tired and your sense of humor has temporarily degenerated?

This is like that, except I’m all alone in my room, chuckling at my own bad jokes. The idea of using terms like godly, divine, Christlike, Oscar-winning, Arcadian, heavenly, luminous, angelic, miraculous, staggering, wondrous, magnificent, mind-blowing, etc., to describe cleaning ladies is a daily source of mirth for me. I love it.

But wait, it gets better. This:

We’ll come right out and say it: cleaning is boring and tiring. Worse, it takes up the time you could otherwise spend doing the things you love in the company of your friends and family.

Instantly becomes this in my mind:

Fuck cleaning. It takes up the precious leisure time you could otherwise spend drinking with your friends and family.

The thought of actually typing these sentences and submitting them to my bosses for review adds an extra layer of joy. Imagining the faces they’d make while reading, or the comments they’d leave, damn near makes me want to do it. Hell, I’m giggling as I write this.

As I said, deep stuff.

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