Hey! Welcome to Unboring Your Writing lesson one. In this lesson, we’re looking at using repetition throughout your brand and in all your writing.
If done well, repeating words, phrases, and ideas will elevate your writing style and voice, and make them shine even more than they already do.
I’m going to start with an example. Jen Carrington, one of my favourite bloggers, uses repetition beautifully. Her business is all about helping other creative businesses to grow.
She repeats a particular phrase in a lot of what she writes: 'big and beautiful'. Usually, this phrase appears when she’s talking about ‘making big and beautiful things happen online’. She also uses other ‘b’ words frequently.
The choice of ‘b’ words for Jen is already an amazing one even without the repetition, because they fit so well with her business’s mission and brand message. ‘B’ words sound big and bold on your lips—especially when they’re put together with other ‘b’ words. Say it out loud right now: big and bold and beautiful. Can you feel that?
So, the first level of repetition is the alliteration of the ‘b’ words together in Jen’s writing.
The second, much more powerful level of repetition is that she repeats this phrase and her use of ‘b’ words across her writing and her brand in general, which hammers her brand message into her readers' brains. If you repeat something often enough, your readers are going to associate that with you.
In fact, I think if I read one of Jen’s blog posts without knowing it was by her, I would still know—because of her writing voice in general, but also because I’m sure these ‘b’ words would pop up.
Jen also has other phrases, like ‘honing in’ and ‘digging deep’ and ‘game changer’/‘game-changing’ that she uses frequently.
Another good example is Regina of byRegina.com. I think if I asked anyone who follows her what her word bank contains, they’d be able to tell me, no problem: It contains words like ‘ninja’ and ‘epic’. Whenever you see those words pop up in your Twitter feed, you can be sure you’re looking at something from Regina.
So, it seems pretty powerful, right? How can you incorporate repetition like this into your writing?
The key is to dig into your brand, its mission, and its values. Figure out what you want people to think of when they see an email from you in their inbox, or even just your name.
Then, create a word bank for your brand that you learn to draw on when you're writing content. Mine contains words like ‘polish’ and ‘shine’, because I want my potential clients and readers to understand that I’m working with them on their content to make it better. I also like the sounds of those words and their imagery—that I'm a positive source of help and not a snobby grammar pedant. Since my rebrand last month, I’ve been trying to use them wherever I can in my content, along with the phrase ‘content polisher’ or ‘polish content’, because that’s what I want to be known for.
Exercise: What is in your word bank? List at least three words and one phrase you’re going to pepper through your content.
Liked this lesson? I go through brand word banks in my writing and grammar workbook, Blog in Bloom—and it also includes even more exercises. Blog in Bloom also covers all sorts of other ways to make your writing more professional, cohesive, and engaging. It's now available as a digital and printed workbook. Find out more here.
PS: Want the Unboring Your Writing workbook? It's a printable and fillable PDF workbook with the same exercises as these lessons, plus answers. You can find it here.