Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wise Wednesday - Writing Product Descriptions

This week's post is written by the very generous and talented Kelly G. Stafford. She has contributed to SillyLittleLady's Wise Wednesdays before teaching you how to write an online bio here and here. Kelly G. Stafford provides marketing and communication services for small businesses. From a long line of artisans, crafters, creators and entrepreneurs, Kelly appreciates all things unique and handmade and understands the challenges of promoting your work while trying to do what you love.

A product description is an opportunity to describe your product and what makes it unique. You know that you have a great product that has been carefully designed and lovingly created, but others will not if you do not communicate it.

A product description is comprised of three basic components: the purpose, the physical characteristics and the technical details.


The purpose should detail what your product does and how will it enhance your customer’s life. Will it warm them up on a cold blustery day? Will it bring a touch of elegance to an otherwise nondescript outfit? Will it brighten up their favorite room?

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics’ portion of your description should create a mental image of your product. Write with the assumption that no pictures of your product exist and you are solely dependent on words to describe it. Is your product quirky, sleek, elegant, sturdy, irreverent, bold, whimsical or charming? Is it fuzzy, smooth, lustrous or opaque? Is it dandelion yellow, cerulean blue, strawberry red or jade green?

An online thesaurus,, is an excellent way to quickly find descriptive words and an online resource for colors is Wikipedia’s List of Colors,

Technical Details

Succinctly outline what materials were used, the size of the product (include both metric and U.S. measurements) and the process or techniques utilized. Accuracy is of paramount importance.

Writing and Editing your Product Description

Using this basic outline, start writing. In the beginning, do not worry about the cohesiveness of the copy, grammatical errors or sentence structure, just write. Once you have your initial thoughts down, start reviewing and editing. Move sentences around. The actual order of the purpose, the physical characteristics and the technical details in your product description are dependent on the product itself. What sequence is logical for your product? Pare it down to the essentials. Read it out loud. When you hear the words spoken, does it fit your vision of your product?

In conclusion, do not underestimate the importance of a well written product description. While the internet has created a global marketplace to showcase your wares, you are also now competing with sellers around the world. Carefully chosen words have a dramatic and lasting impact.

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