How to Bring New Life to Boring Website Copy

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Why do readers bounce away from your website copy?

How could you keep them riveted to your writing?

The answer may lie in writing like a writer. A creative nonfiction writer.
Creative Website Copy Writing
Look up “creative nonfiction,” and you’ll find books like In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Or Tilar Mazzeo’s The Widow Cliquot. These authors know how to wield the tools of fiction to bring true stories to vivid life.

What could these writers teach you about breathing life into your website copy?

They might suggest using a metaphor. Or creating a narrative arc on your About page.

They might fling around words like alliteration and assonance (repeating vowel or consonant sounds), or asyndeton and polysyndeton (no/multiple conjunctions).

In addition, they might say, “Add more sensory details,” or “Change your diction for better tone or rhythm.” Perhaps they would teach you the persuasive devices of pathos (to appeal to emotions), logos (for the logical crowd), ethos (to build your credibility).

Wondering how all those lit-major words actually work in website copy? Then keep reading.

Coming up, you’ll find examples of real* website copy before and after I turned them into creative nonfiction copy. (*I changed all the identifying information.)

As a handy guide to this section, pick up this cheat sheet on literary devices:

Download my free tip sheet,
“Literary Techniques for Copywriters”
for a list of creative nonfiction tools you can put to work.

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The Difference Creativity Makes
Ready to watch copy change from ordinary to eye-catching?

Look at what my creative nonfiction touches did for these samples.



“Originally from Hollywood, FL,but lived in Fort Lauderdale since 1986. After receiving his degree from the University of Florida in 1997, Dr. Walker spent six years in the Air Force split evenly between Glendale, AZ and Biloxi, MS. Since leaving the Air Force in 2003, Dr. Walker has been working as an associate for Dr. Jackson. Dr. Walker and his wife now live in Crestview.”


A native son of the Sunshine State, Dr. Alex Walker received his DDS degree from the University of Florida in 1997. Next he served our country with the Air Force, both in Biloxi, MS, and Albuquerque, NM. There he spent six years polishing his endodontics skills. Upon returning to civilian life in Florida, Dr. Walker brought those skills into his partnership with Dr. Jackson. Dr. Walker and his wife Marnie now live in Crestview.

Creative nonfiction tools I used:

  • Narrative arc: Dr. Walker’s military service took him away from Florida and sent him back a better dentist.
  • Alliteration: “son of the Sunshine State.”
  • Pathos: “native son” and “serving our country” appeal to emotions.
  • Ethos: “six years polishing his…skills” builds his credibility
  • Bonus: Sentence structure is long and a bit complex, reflecting the professionalism of this dental practice.



“Every item tells a story. We offer an ever-changing wealth of wonderful primitives, antiques and furniture. Our Barn has remained virtually unchanged from the time of it’s (sic) construction. Every nook and cranny is filled with treasures and unique finds not seen in decades. We are certain that once you enter, or return, to The Old Farmhouse you will leave with at least something to remember your shopping experience by – and an item that will spin a well-loved memory to share with loved ones and friends!”


Every item tells a story. Step inside The Old Farmhouse’s historically-preserved turn-of-the century barn and get swept up in stories. Peek into the nooks and crannies, and discover among our primitives, antiques, and furnishings pieces you’ll cherish for the memories they revive. Or browse our ever-changing collections to find the perfect items to turn into centerpieces of your own family stories.
Creative nonfiction tools I used:

  • Diction: Verbs like “step,” “get swept up,” “peek,” “discover,” “cherish,” “revive,” “browse,” and “carry” replace weaker “to be” verbs.
  • Narrative arc: The customer steps in, explores, experiences a rush of memories, and finds must-have pieces.
  • Pathos: “the memories they revive” and “your own family stories” create emotional impact
  • As a bonus, good copywriting places the customer’s interests, not the business, at center stage.



“It’s great to have a house or office of your own. However, it entails a great deal of responsibility. Of these, housekeeping may require the most effort. This is an extremely time-consuming and exhausting task. Floors need to be scrubbed, blinds need to be dusted, and the windows need to be polished. These days, who has the time or energy for so much work?

“The good news is that you can hire a cleaning company to take care of the mess. Centerville Custom Cleaning has the tools and know-how to fix up your entire house. We specialize in many housekeeping services such as house cleaning and office cleaning. We have the right cleaning supplies and equipment to ensure thorough and efficient residential cleaning services.

“If you need a reliable and professional cleaning service, contact Centerville Custom Cleaning. We have been providing first-rate services for years. Our professionally trained staff and environmentally-friendly cleaning techniques have made us a local success in Centerville, IA. Contact us today!”


Overwhelmed by dusting, scrubbing, and polishing your home? Exhausted from working all day at your office and staying late to clean it? Then we’ve got good news for you!

Centerville Custom Cleaning can sweep away your chores, leaving you with a glistening, lemon-fresh space to enjoy. Let our efficient and professional staff whisk in with our environmentally-friendly cleaning techniques. You’ll get the thorough residential and commercial cleaning services you deserve. You may never have to push a broom again!

Find out why dozens of your neighbors have entrusted their homes and offices to Centerville Custom Cleaning for 28 years. Contact us today!

Creative nonfiction tools I used:

  • Diction: Strong adjectives—“overwhelmed” and “exhausted”—highlight customer’s pain points
  • Sensory detail: “glistening” and “lemon-fresh”
  • Metaphor: use of broom imagery—“sweep away”, “whisk in”, “push a broom”
  • Hyperbole: “never have to push a broom again”
  • Pathos: “space to enjoy” and “you deserve” and “entrusted their homes”
  • Ethos: “efficient and professional”, “thorough”, “environmentally-friendly”, “dozens of your neighbors…for 28 years”

Now You Try It
Ready to put these tools to work enlivening your own content?

Here are three ways to get started:

  • Find a block of your sleepiest website copy. Look at it through the eyes of your ideal reader. Which parts are the least interesting? Which parts answer readers’ questions? What questions are going unanswered? Then play around with the text, using the literary techniques I’ve mentioned. What can you add? What useless text can you delete? (Do a little research to scrounge up specific details for added color.)
  • Join the new community growing around my newsletter, sharing tips and answers to our writing questions each month. Sign up today, using the box in the right margin of this page. You’ll also get my free booklet, Hiring a Writer, a guide to bringing a writer onto your team.

If you’re heading a small business or nonprofit,
you’ve got enough on your plate.

You need a writer who actually gets what you’re up against.

Someone who won’t charge big-business rates
and not listen to who you are.

That might just make us a good fit.
Let’s talk about how
my literary copywriting skills could breathe life into your website.

Start working with Karen today

Today could be the day your load gets lighter.
Ask Karen Ingle to make that happen.

The Woman Behind Karen Ingle Freelance
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