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Do's and Don'ts for Writing Product Descriptions
Do's and Don'ts for Writing Product Descriptions

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but your crafts will sell better if you use well-written descriptions to tell buyers about them. Start with these tips.

DO create descriptions that reflect the style of your products and your target audience. Are your crafts and your customers quirky and whimsical? Bold and edgy? Wholesome and eco-conscious? Use words that underscore those attributes.

DON'T use tired phrases. Online shoppers read clichés like "superior product" and "excellent quality" so often they tune them out. Try to come up with fresh, original language and specifics. For example, a beach-bag maker who crafts products from recycled sails will describe the recycled nature and durability of the bags. He could also add how the fabric used has soaked up the sun, salt, smiles and adventure from its past life on the water. This descriptive language gives character and history to each tote.

DO explain what real value your product provides. Does it solve a problem? Is it a timesaver for busy moms? Will it be a conversation starter wherever it goes? Does it make a home feel warmer and more welcoming? Emphasize the benefits rather than just the product.

DO appeal to a buyer's senses. Is your product fragrant, tactile, or edible? If so, describe its aroma, how it feels, or how it tastes. Use sensory words that evoke vivid images and emotions without being overwrought. Cases in point: A crafter who knits baby blankets describes them as soft as a lullaby and just as sure to soothe a baby to sleep. A maker describes her cocoa bath salts in terms of smelling as inviting as a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night and leaving the user's skin velvety and glowing.

DO consider telling a story or painting a picture that helps buyers envision themselves owning and using your product. A crafter's woven straw hat isn't just perfect for keeping the sun out of your eyes, it's perfect for keeping the sun out of your eyes during a day at the beach, a baseball game, a July Fourth picnic, or a morning trip to the farmer's market. A crafter describes his candles as making the buyer feel as if she's enjoying a walk under a canopy of towering pines or opening the window after a spring rainstorm instead of simply saying "pine-scented" or "spring-scented."

DON'T overuse keywords. Including a keyword in the product's title is a good idea, but after that, focus on creating a compelling description rather than worrying about search engine optimization.

DO keep descriptions short. A good rule of thumb is to limit to 150 words.

DON'T forget to include basics like dimensions, weight, and care instructions. And if your product requires any extras such as batteries or allows for add-ons like customization, say so.

DO enlist a friend or family member to help you craft colorful descriptions if you're not a wordsmith. If you're still at a loss, another option is to hire a writer who specializes in writing product descriptions.

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