Using Slang in Your Web Copy

Most people will find this hard. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get it the first, second or even third time. It takes practice and more practice. Remember, your website is a forever work in progress.

Also, this should be consistent and carry over into everywhere your brand is, i.e. in person, on facebook/social, on your website, on your print marketing materials, etc.

Be thinking of your audience. Always.

  • What do they like?
  • What are things they think about?
  • What TV shows, movies, music or type of entertainment do they like?
  • What do they CARE about?
  • The more you define them, the easier writing will become.

You (your business) has personality.

Be sure to inject some personality in there! Are you:

  • Funny + Quirky
  • Clumsy + Charming
  • Sarcastic + Dark
  • Bubbly + Fun
  • Quiet + Mysterious
  • I think you get the idea…

Your writing “sweet spot” has both you and your audience in there.

Way’s to inject both:

  • Pop culture references. Something your audience will know and that you like.
  • Slang and relaxed grammar.
  • Words and phrases you and they would use when you talk

On using Slang:

  • Needs to be relevant and appropriate to your audience.
  • Should make them feel like they’re “in” the club, because they recognize + “get” it.

Example 1

Target audience = Baby Boomers, mainly female, who are into “new-agey stuff”:

  • Words: Aura, Chakra, Energy Fields, Meditation, Crystals, Tarot, Readings, Medium
  • People/Authors: Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson
  • Books: The Secret, The Power of Now, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, A Course in Miracles
  • Things: Candles, Wands, Pendulums, Alters
  • This could continue on, to Movies, Music, Daily Habits, etc.

Then you when you’re writing you can reference these casually – like just calling Deepak by his first name. Most of your audience will know exactly what you mean and they will feel like they are in the “know”.

Example 2

Target audience = Generation Y, mostly men, who are into video games and computers (PCs only!), self-professed geeks.

  • Daily Habits: Playing an RPG, chatting with other gamers in forums, looking for better hardware for their PC
  • Likes: Any Sci-Fi epic series, most superhero flicks, Star Wars, Star Trek, JJ Abrams

Pull any phrase from Star Wars or Lord of the Rings – i.e. “Get this walking carpet out of my Way!” A ton of pop culture and slang to work within this example.

Disclaimer… I’m not suggesting you try to go stereotyping here. Using slang is a way to connect with people that are into the same stuff and make them feel accepted and seen… not to put them in boxes.

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