Avoid Copywriting Clichés


Have you heard? When you have great copy, and people buy your widgets, it’s a win-win. Pushing the envelope really took your company to the next level. Now that you’re part of the next generation that owns the digital age, you have practically mastered Web 2.0. No one else does it quite like you. Your company is at the forefront of technology, offering value-added solutions. It’s ahead of the curve and results-oriented.

It’s…wait, what are we talking about again?

When you populate content with clichés, it loses all its meaning.

And it’s also really annoying. People can’t see how you’re different from your competition, because they’ve seen others make the same claims you’re making about your product. If they buy from you anyway, you’re lucky – but I’ve never seen a business plan that incorporated luck as a sales strategy.

So don’t use clichés. Be clever. Be compelling. And drop all those useless phrases.

Have you edited your copy for cliché phrases?

Jessica Oman is the owner of Write Ahead Consulting, a business plan writing, copy writing and editing firm in Vancouver, BC. Jessica confidently delivers the straight talk clients need to ensure the success of their businesses. She’s also an avid Canucks fan, Whitecaps season ticket holder and obsessive cyclist. (

Jessica Oman – who has written posts on Owen Clark.


  1. Isabelle says:

    Jessica, would love to speak with you about‘s content as I think I might have fallen in the ‘cliche trap’ or in the ‘too good to be true’ category myself. Would love to hear your ‘at a glance’ thoughts.

    Thanks for a great reminder.

    1. Write Ahead says:

      Sure, just let me know how to contact you!

    2. Isabelle says: or 604.312.9613 x1

  2. WayneF says:

    Me, I like to shoot from the hip and ask questions later…

    But seriously, getting past that whole “I want to throw up” factor that cliche-ridden copy inspires – resorting to cliches bespeaks a lack of imagination, and actually suggests a dependency on someone else’s ideas.   It has the opposite to the desired effect of wanting to sound convincing or impressive.  Sounds like the writer is shallow, and the company or service behind same is thin in value.

    (Go Canucks.)

    1. Write Ahead says:

      Yeah, exactly! Well put.

  3. R S says:

    Thank you for saying this, Jessica. There are two much overworn phrases that cause me to lose interest immediately: “Outside the box” and “X number of years young.”

    They both indicate the writer turned off their brain in 1995, and have nothing innovative to offer me.

    The worst customer service cliche is, “I’M sorry YOU feel THAT way.” It indicates they’re sorry you’re making them feel uncomfortable, not that they want to correct any gaffe on their part. They haven’t updated since ineffective Conflict Resolution courses in the ’80′s.

  4. [...] 6. Don’t use clichés to try to be persuasive. Clichés don’t work and they are not effective. [...]