Descriptive Descriptions

I know, I keep talking about making descriptions descriptive. It seems to be something that many who sell their products online need reminding of.

A recent forum thread had the original poster asking for adjectives. She felt she needed some new ones as she was wearing out awesome, cool, beautiful, and a few others.

Oh, boy, where to start?

Instead of looking for adjectives to use to describe your items, pretend you are talking to someone who is new to speaking English and does not know the meaning of awesome, cool, beautiful, etc. Why is the item beautiful? Why is it cool? What’s cool mean anyway?

I talked in an earlier blog post Writing Product Descriptions about giving specific details about an item. For example, “white dove on a chain” would be much better described by “Hand-blown white glass dove with a gold-filled bail. The 18 inch chain is gold filled with a lobster claw clasp.”

Superlatives are not informative

Let’s look at this with an example or two. Which tells you more, finely-detailed or beautiful? How about awesome necklace or make a fashion statement with this necklace?

What you should do is rather than use a vague word like beautiful (would you be selling it if it were ugly?) or awesome (would you sell anything that was horrible?) is to convey a feeling or mood about your item; or better yet, describe it like you would to someone on the phone.

What’s in a name?

Do you really know what awesome means? Awesome means awe-inspiring, but it also can mean frightening, horrible, appalling, shocking, and awful.

Playing with words a bit, if your product description were “awesome necklace” – would someone find it shocking or horrible? I doubt you would get much business selling ‘appalling jewelry’.

I know it is so much easier to find an adjective than to actually describe something, but I know you can do it if you try.

For some more ideas on this topic, be sure to check out Avoiding Ambiguous Adjectives to learn more about keeping your descriptions clear.

A few suggestions for further reading...

4 Responses to Descriptive Descriptions

How true this is. I think I responded to that forum post with some words from my own list 😉 The problem is that you go to enter stock in and suddenly your mind goes blank! I have started to overcome this by writing out my product descriptions when I am feeling creative – not when I am annoyed with the speed (or lack of) that my website can be updated. Then when I do have the determination to sit there while the site frustrates me – at least all I have to do is cut and paste my better worded descriptions rather than ‘think’ as well!

Comment by Annette on

I alway get frustrated with this part. I love creating but when it comes to the writing I’m at a loss. I see other sites where they have a name for each piece, but that name doesn’t tell you anything about the piece. Then I look at my design I just made and for the life of me I can’t come up with any fancy name like Roberta on Fire. This is where I get all confused. All I come up with is something like “copper wire wrapped beads with carnelian bracelet”. Nothing fancy, but it does tell what it is. Thank you for sharing and making things easier to understand.

Comment by Mixed Kreations on

Hi Linda,

I have seen the trend to give things names like Roberta on Fire. The big retail companies do that and I guess it makes sense if you will be selling multiple pieces that are the same but I’m not sure folks who make mostly OOAK pieces need to do that.

In your case, I’m not sure what would be wrong with Copper and Carnelian Wire Wrapped Bracelet. Let your photos and description do the real work on describing the piece.

I’m glad you found this post and others helpful.

Good luck on building your business.

Warmest Regards,


Comment by Michele on

Thank you Michele, I am so happy to know now how I need to be writing my product names. You have alot of wonderful articles that really explain things where it’s easy to understand. I will be back to read more and bookmarking.
Thank you,

Comment by Mixed Kreations on

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