Why Your Website Copy Doesn’t Have to Be Like A Great Vacuum Cleaner

Scheenagh Harrington takes time out from family life in France, and instead uses her childish ingratitude in a shameless bit of self-promotion to explain why Black Mountain Editorial could help improve the copy on your website.


Regular visitors to this little corner of the internet will know that apart from trying to make a crust at this writing/journalism caper, I have a part-time job cleaning a gym in my home town.

I could go on at length about the vagaries of fitness fanatics, but that’s for another blog. This one is going to cover vacuum cleaners. Yup. Hoovers. Being as I am a bit of a slave to my OCD beast and a stickler for cleaning, I’m quite choosy about what sort of machine I use to suck up my detritus.

This is not my vacuum cleaner. But it could be...

This is not my vacuum cleaner. But it could be…

For a start, I’m a cylinder girl and always will be. I have tried uprights and just can’t get on with them. For work purposes, I need a bag (we – my incredibly patient boss and me –  tried a bagless and after discovering the collection chamber was tinier than a mini mouse’s clutchbag, we dispensed with such silliness), and a long, LONG cord. The tubes need to be metal and the head light and flexible.

In short, I needed a newer version of the knackered-out, grotty-looking monster of a machine that has seen me through thick and thin these past 15 months. Rather nicely, my boss offered to replace it with a shiny new one. Whoopee!

But this morning, when I unboxed my new hoover with the eagerness of a child at Christmas, I couldn’t help but let out a small cry of disappointment. It was not the machine I wanted.

I know, I know – ungrateful much? But let me explain: the new one, while looking not unlike one of the controversial pepperpot daleks, has rings that spin where the cord meets the cylinders and they cut into my hand. The bags don’t quite fit over the hose end, and the whole thing’s centre of balance is too high, so when I give it a sharp tug, instead of dutifully trotting after me, it falls over. It also makes THE most irritating whiny noise.

“But does it suck!” I hear you cry. Well, yes, it does. It’s actually not that bad. But it could have been so much better if my boss had listened to me – which made me think of the other strings in my professional bow: writer and proofreader.

Moving seamlessly from a moan about the wrong sort of vacuum to the world of words might seem a bit of a leap, but stay with me…

There are literally millions of websites out there whose copy is, well, woeful. Some days I sit with my head in my hands wondering how on earth these people are allowed to post blogs that would make your average dog’s dinner look appetising. But they do – because from a distance, they look okay.

Using the “does it suck?” argument then yes, perhaps this phrasing could have been better selected; that flabby, waffly copy could be trimmed and tightened; the odd spelling mistake or poor punctuation could be glossed over.

But not by me, nor by others who could be potential clients.

Putting your website – and by extension your business – into the hands of a qualified, professional writers like us at Black Mountain Editorial could be just what you need to boost interest in what you have to offer. An expert eagle eye cast over even the shortest bit of copy may help turn a bland sentence or two into something that trips off the tongue and lingers in the memory for all the right reasons.

Like it or lump it, my vacuum has to suck and I have to live with it. Your website copy doesn’t, and you don’t.