Are words killing your copywriting?

Professional copywriters and copy editors know the importance of clear, concise language to communicate strong messages and useful information when writing blogs, writing proposals and bids or writing articles, websites and similar. 

Words to avoid when copywriting 

If you’re tasked as being your company’s copywriter, but it’s not actually your role, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using cliched words and phrases. When talking about tender writers specifically, Fergal McGovern, CEO of Visible Thread says that using trite words is the ‘easiest way to sabotage an otherwise strong bid’. His advice is just as relevant for copy writers and editors as it is for tender writers. 

Here’s a selection of the words he recommends you kill from your copywriting, as professional copywriters and copy editors will agree: 

Are confident – Implies you’re doubtful that you’re able to help.   

Pleased to – Sounds subservient and damages your credibility.  

Strive – Indicates you’re trying hard but not quite getting there. 

World-class – Replace with measurable evidence. 

Countless – Replace with actual numbers. 

Unique – Truly? The only one in the world? Only use if you can provide solid evidence. 

Uniquely qualified – Can you back this up? Give actual qualifications instead and why they matter. 

Seamless – Typical marketing boilerplate. Rephrase with evidence or drop altogether. 

Never – Are you sure you want to make such an unequivocal claim? Consider rephrasing. 

Expert – True experts are rare indeed. Instead, show evidence of expertise qualifications. 

Unparalleled – Comes across as trite and lacks credibility. 

As appropriate – Too woolly. It’s better to give examples of what you will do. 

If you’re copy writing or copy editing a document, build time into your production for a review of your draft content. Better still, have an independent, professional copy editor review it for you. Proof Communications has been editing documents for more than 20 years. 

Many organisations think that copywriting and copy editing is easy. Once a document is written, they think that’s all that needs doing. Editing and proofreading are often an afterthought.  

But good copywriting and copy editing are real skills that take time.  

For support from professional copywriters and copy editors in Australia, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or email

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