29 September 2016


3 mins read

Overcoming content shock with the help of Roald Dahl

Overcoming content shock with the help of Roald Dahl

The end of content marketing has been foretold – and apparently we’re the ones digging our own graves. We’ve thrown everything we have at consumers, but we’ve left them dazed, confused and utterly biffsquiggled.

They’re in the throes of dreadly content shock, and the only cure is to reach out with creative and innovative content to jolt them back in to action.

Yup, it’s time to jazz up your copywriting.

And when it comes to dazzling writing (or squibbling, to be exact) there’s really only one author to turn to: Roald Dahl. This month marked the 100th anniversary of his birth, and yet his work remains as relevant as ever.

In his magical and unforgettable prose and singing rhymes lies the secrets to curing content fatigue forever – a healthy dose of unfiltered imagination. Dahl’s sparkling vocabulary and well-tuned ear for storytelling is perfect inspiration for struggling copywriters.

Because no matter what the doomsayers and grunions are shouting from the rooftops, content is still king. The demand is there – all you need is phizz-whizzing content that stands out from the crowd.

Whilst we strongly suggest rereading Dahl’s classics, we’re also giving you a fast track lesson in three of his most effective writing techniques that you should be applying to all your copy. Take a look.

#1: Choose your words wisely

Word choice isn’t just about using keywords to for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes. It’s also about plundering the depths of your vocabulary to add personality to copy. Create a recognisable and confident voice for yourself, and it’ll tell readers exunckly what you and your company is all about.

And Dahl’s biggest personality-laden writing hack? Making up words, or gobblefunk as he’d have called it. Mashing words together, swapping endings and playing with syllables. His work in word sorcery was so prolific he even has his own dictionary.

Although we don’t recommend this tactic for more serious copy, the basic premise is one you should always stick by. Aim for a conversational tone, and always say everything in the most exciting but simplest way possible – without sacrificing meaning.

#2: Make friends with your audience

You might think words like grinksludging and fizzwiggler would confuse readers, but they worked perfectly for Dahl thanks to one key factor you’d also do well to remember – he knew his audience.

In everything, Dahl wrote to his readers: children. The fact that he also charmed their parents at the same time was just a happy consequence of his unapologetically fun stories.

So, how to write to a specific target better than Roald Dahl. First things first, who are your audience members? Miss Honeys or Miss Trunchbulls? Human beans or pals of Grandpa Joe? Ask yourself everything about them – age, location, jobs, needs, wants, goals and pain points.

Figuring out the answers to these crucial questions will help you narrow your audience to the right people, so you can talk directly to them.


Although SEO considerations are obviously important, it’s interesting words and clever sentence structures that keep people reading, and Dahl had a bazillion strategies to add a little oomph to even the simplest of sentences. Alliteration, rhyming and onomatopoeia were his fall back tools – you can, and you should, use all of these in your copy.

You can’t brainwash your readers (or, at least, it’s not ethically advised), but the spellbinding effect of such techniques are as close as you’ll get.

For example, have you ever really stopped to consider the hypnotic power of alliteration? Used by Dahl and perfected by Dr Seuss, alliteration is highly memorable. Brushing up on it could help your message or words of wisdom stick in your readers’ minds.


Of course, all of this is much easier said than done. Writing is a skill which takes practice and talent to perfect. And even if you have amazing copy that Roald Dahl himself would envy, it takes analytical skills and technical know-how to make the most of it.

That’s where Maratopia can help by implementing a stellar content marketing strategy. We’ve got inventive squibblers and sensational SEO experts who’ll make sure your business doesn’t suffer at the hands of content shock.

Get in touch to find out more.

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