Crossing The Line – Are You A Big, Fat Boaster?

When writing content for websites, one of the hardest things that an SEO copywriter has to consider is striking the right balance between being positive about what you have to offer… and just pure boasting.

The British are taught from an early age that it isn’t polite to talk about yourself and particularly to ramble on about how successful you are. A large percentage of the population struggle to find the balance between telling potential customers the great things they need to know about a business and just being a ME ME ME bore.

What could be seen as boasting?

- No style and no substance – many websites make bold claims but few have the evidence to back it up. Don’t hide your successes but if you stick to the facts when writing about your successes then you are less likely to be thought of as bragging. Testimonials are a great device to use if you aren’t comfortable with writing about how good your customer service is.

- An overly formal or a lofty tone of voice that uses complicated vocabulary and sentence structures when something simple is adequate is a form of boasting. It’s lovely when what you have just written makes you feel clever, but if someone else could see your work as pretentious then it might be an idea to start again.

- Twitter is a great tool for shameless self-promoters, but you don’t have to tweet every 15 minutes about how great you are, how well your business is doing and how busy you are. Your Twitter account will be linked to your website so don’t forget that your tweets should be in keeping with your overall tone of voice and add value to other social media users.

So how can you avoid being an obnoxious boast?

1. Ask someone else who doesn’t know your industry to proofread your copy. Another set of eyes is pretty vital for the sign off process anyway but if you’re concerned that you might be boasting then ask a friend to tell you the truth. You never know, they might tell you that you need to brag more!

2. Add a portfolio page to your website to demonstrate what you have done in the past. This way you can stick to the facts and let your talents shine through without having to hit your word count with little more than hot air.

3. Hire somebody to boast on your behalf. A professional copywriter will be able to strike the balance in the first couple of drafts without the heartache and effort you could put in yourself.

4. Enter yourself in for local and national awards, you never know, you might win! Also, being able to state that you have won awards should speak for itself, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing your down to earth humility ever again. A good PR agency can advise you on entering awards.

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