The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Little Bits of Words

Finding words can be hard. Finding the just perfect words even harder. But given enough space and time, experience has taught me that I can find them. But what about when the space is extremely limited?

That's the situation I currently find myself in. I'm working on the marketing site for a new personal project. Marketing sites are tricky.

First, I personally have to feel really good about the product or service … I have no desire to shill needless items on people in order to earn an income. But if I've identified a real need, then I can feel good about offering my solution for sale. The next step then is making the sale.

And so the hard part. A marketing site has to articulate the problem and why your solution meets the need of the potential buyer. And do so quickly and succinctly. Joshua Porter summed this up well:

Ironically, the smallest bits of copy, microcopy, can have the biggest impact.

And so I find myself with the time (relatively speaking), but not the space. I'm still looking for the perfect words, little bits of words put together just right. Microcopy.

Unlike the blog post or help document, microcopy doesn't come after a long flow of paragraphs. In a piece of long form writing, you often form or hone your thought during the writing. Not so with microcopy.

Instead, you write, then throw away. You write again. Nothing ever seems quite right, so you rub it all away and start again. There's no flow to help you find the answer, just scattershot words and verbiage. A mess.

The words will come, but the process is not what I'm used to. That frustrates me.

I need to go take a shower.