What I Write

12/03/2015

Repost -- What is Your Tagline?

The Writers' World
December 01, 2015 / 120115
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What is Your Tagline?

By Shirley Corder
Have you ever watched an ad on TV and wondered out loud, "Now what on earth are they advertising?" I have. Many times. Usually by the end of the advert I begin to hazard a guess. Sometimes I'm right. Sometimes I'm totally wrong.


Until 2010, I had never even heard of a tagline. Then I attended a continuing workshop at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. The workshop leader was Laura Christianson of the Blogging Bistro. She led us through a series of exercises in an attempt to establish a "tagline" for our writing.

"A tagline is a slogan that succinctly, memorably, and descriptively sums up a company or product." (Thanks to Wisegeek.com for this definition.) So as a writer, I needed a slogan that would sum up my writing.

Hmm. Not so easy.

I learned a lot about myself during Laura's series of workshops, but I left without a tagline. It wasn't Laura's fault. My problem was that I seemed to have several genres.
  • I write to encourage writers. 
  • I write inspirational material. 
  • I write devotional material.
  • And as a cancer survivor I write to encourage those in the valley of cancer.
I had two websites. Two blogs. Two Twitter accounts. Two genres. Several newsletters.

And no tagline.

Some weeks after the conference, I realised what had been looking me in the face all the way through those exercises. I live to encourage and inspire others who are struggling in some way. Even as a youngster at school, I inevitably befriended the kid that had no other friends. I didn't write in a variety of genres at all. I wrote articles to inspire and encourage.

I searched for a definition of a tagline for writers and came across this one on a forum, which I have slightly modified: A tagline is a concise statement of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It is a short slogan that tells what you do, what benefit you offer, and what makes you different, all at the same time."

And so I looked at
  • what I did (I wrote. I encouraged. I inspired.) 
  • what benefit I had to offer. (I encouraged and inspired people.) 
  • what made me different. (I am a writer, a cancer survivor, and a Christian who wants to encourage.)
And at last, I had a tagline. The Write to Inspire and Encourage.

How has this helped me? I now have one newsletter: The Write to Inspire. Although I still have two websites they have a common goal. ShirleyCorder.com is to inspire and encourage writers, while RiseAndSoar.com is to inspire and encourage those in the cancer valley. The tag is not perfect, and I'm sure it will develop as the years go by. But at least it tells people who I am.

Some taglines are more catchy than others. Even Coke, surely one of the experts in the field of catchy slogans, changes theirs often. Remember "Coke is It!"? That dates back to 1981. "Things go better with Coca Cola" goes back even further—to 1963! Every year or two, the manufacturers of this drink come up with a new tagline. But I have to say this for them. I always understand what they're advertising.


SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on her sojourn in the cancer valley.


Please visit Shirley through ShirleyCorder.com, where she inspires and encourages writers, or at  RiseAndSoar.com, where she inspires and encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook



Article reprinted from The Writing World newsletter. Want more must-know writing and marketing information along with updates on free webinars right in your inbox? Get access to The Writing World (http://thewritingworld.com) today.

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