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21 Copywriting Mistakes that can Destroy Your Copy

21 Copywriting Mistakes that can Destroy Your Copy

In this digital world, you see content everywhere. Every day, you see a lot of online shopping ads, visit different websites for online shopping, and read blog posts and emails. Whether it's landing page copy, emails, social media posts, ads or any other content, your copy can make or break your brand image. Copywriting is an integral part of digital marketing that persuades people to take action.

A well-written copy can drive website traffic and revenue for your business, but how do you know your copy will attract people? Will it hit the mark and draw people into your brand's message? It's no secret that today's digital users' attention spans are getting shorter daily. It has made it hard for digital marketers and copywriters to garner people's attention with copywriting.

According to research, the human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds. With engaging copy, you can attract people with even shorter attention spans. You probably make copywriting mistakes if your visitors bounce from your content and do not convert.

Content marketers have constant pressure to write persuasive copy to drive more traffic and boost conversions. Remember, a boring copy can impede your content marketing goals. I have listed the 21 most common copywriting mistakes to avoid so your content impresses your readers, improves your brand's image, and drives more conversions.

Let's discover 21 copywriting mistakes that can destroy your copy, how to avoid those mistakes and the best practices for content marketing.

How can Copywriting Strengthen Your Content Marketing Efforts?

Copywriting Quote

Copywriting plays a critical role in content marketing. It's often said that content is king, and copywriting is the key that unlocks the power of content marketing. Whether you want people to purchase, fill out a form, request a demo, or subscribe to an email, a persuasive copy can help you fulfil the desired goal. Any content requires copy, and you need a team of copywriters to craft quality content to convince visitors that your services or products are worth it.

Remember, engaging content creates memorable impressions for potential leads if your copy educates and helps people discover what is in it. It will encourage them to take action, build brand credibility, and become customers.

Copywriting is the art of crafting content to educate and convince audiences to move and take action. When you create people-first content for your audience, it can strengthen your content marketing efforts.

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Capturing the audience's attention: Copywriting is essential for creating attention-grabbing headlines, titles, and introductions that entice readers to click through and engage with your content.

Engaging readers: Effective copywriting keeps your audience engaged with your content once you've captured your audience's attention. Using a conversational, relatable tone and weaving storytelling elements into your writing can keep readers hooked and eager to read more.

Establishing brand credibility: Good copywriting establishes the credibility of your brand by using authoritative language and citing credible sources. This helps readers trust your brand and feel confident in your content.

Driving action: The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive action, whether signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or making a purchase. Effective copywriting uses persuasive language and calls to action to encourage readers to take the next step.

SEO optimisation: Copywriting is essential for optimising content for search engines. Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases into your writing can improve your content's visibility in search engine results pages and attract more organic traffic.

Copywriting is a crucial component of content marketing. It helps businesses create compelling, engaging content that resonates with their target audience and drives them to take action. By hiring a team of professional copywriters, companies can maximise the impact of their content marketing efforts and achieve their marketing goals.

Copywriter's Handbook
  • Bly, Robert W. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages – 04/07/2020 (Publication Date) – Griffin (Publisher)

Common Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid

Copywriting is critical to content marketing, but even the most experienced content marketers can make mistakes. Here are some common copywriting mistakes. Avoiding these common copywriting mistakes can help you create compelling, engaging content that resonates with your target audience and drives them to take action.

#1: Focusing Too Much on Features Instead of Benefits

Effective copywriting should focus on the benefits of a product or service rather than just listing its features. When writing a perfect copy for your landing page or email, focus on the unique feature that makes your customers' lives easier and smoother.

For instance, if you offer a SaaS product, tell your potential customers the unique qualities that make your product stand out. Customers want to know how a product or service will solve their problems or meet their needs, so ensure your copy highlights the benefits.

#2: Using Vague or Confusing Language

Copy that is overly complex or full of business jargon can confuse readers. Keep your copy simple, concise, and understandable. Using technical lingo may sound attractive for technical copywriters, but if your target audience is unfamiliar with the industry terms, what's the point of using them?

The ultimate goal of your copy is to increase conversions, not to confuse your readers with industrial lingos. So, make your copy as simple as you can to ensure your audience builds a better understanding of what you are offering.

#3: Neglecting the Importance of Headlines and Subheadings

How To Create The Best Landing Page

Headlines and subheadings are the first things readers see when they come across your content, so they must be attention-grabbing and informative. Unfortunately, many copywriters make this biggest copywriting mistake, giving little importance to headings and subheadings.

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Ensure your headlines and subheadings accurately reflect the following content and encourage readers to keep reading. Don't try to write link baits or sensational headlines, as they only break the audience's trust and negatively impact your brand. Instead, write powerful headings and subheadings reinforcing your potential customers' desire for your product or service.

If your copy is excellent but has a weaker headline, chances are readers won't be interested in your writing. So, use words that instantly grab your readers' attention and convey a proven benefit.

#4: Ignoring the Target Audience

Effective copywriting needs to speak directly to your target audience. Sadly, many copywriters don't know their target audience in detail, so their copy doesn't speak to their readers. Before writing, clearly understand your audience and what they want to hear. Writing with the correct audience in mind will help you craft a copy your audience wants to read.

#5: Failing to Include a Call-To-Action

Every copy should have a clear call to action telling readers what to do next. Whether signing up for a newsletter, using a free trial, visiting a website, or making a purchase, ensure your copy has a clear call to action to fulfil the goal.

Make sure a CTA is clear, compelling, and easy to follow. Using powerful words is a sensible approach to prompt your readers to take immediate action. Make sure your copy has a persuasive CTA that highlights the value of a product, improves the copy's impact, and achieves your business marketing goals.

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters
  • Sugarman, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 12/11/2006 (Publication Date) – Wiley (Publisher)

#6: Not Proofreading Carefully

Spelling and grammar mistakes can undermine your credibility and make your copy difficult to read. If you are a copywriter, set aside time for editing and proofreading to ensure the copy is free of typos, grammatical, and spelling mistakes. An accurate and error-free copy can make your copy appear professional and improve your credibility.

Always proofread your copy carefully to ensure it is error-free and flows smoothly. Taking time to proofread your copy will show that you are dedicated to delivering high-quality content that resonates with your audience and strengthens your brand.

#7: Lacks a Hook

Believe it or not, a hook is a critical component of effective copywriting. If your copy lacks a hook, capturing your reader's attention and engaging them with your message can be challenging. A hook is a catchy or intriguing statement that draws your reader in and encourages them to keep reading.

By crafting a compelling hook, you can increase the impact of your copy and achieve better results. It could be a surprising fact, a direct question or a shocking statement that stops the target audience and makes them see what is in store for them. This can result in a low bounce rate, high engagement, and more conversions.

Furthermore, a hook can help you to connect with your audience on an emotional or intellectual level. Without a hook, you may miss opportunities to build rapport and establish trust with your readers.

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#8: Using the Passive Voice

Passive Voice Copywriting
Source: YourDictionary

Using passive voice in copy can make it less effective than using active voice. Passive voice can create confusion, weaken your message, and make your writing less engaging. Using passive voice repeatedly in your copy can make it difficult for readers to understand who or what is performing the action. This can result in a lack of clarity and make your message less effective.

A passive voice can make your writing sound weaker and less assertive than an active voice. This can undermine your credibility and make persuading your readers to take action more difficult. It can make your writing sound more formal and less engaging than an active voice. This can make it more challenging to capture your reader's attention and hold their interest.

Furthermore, using passive voice in copy is not good from an SEO point of view. It often requires more words to convey the same message as an active voice. This can make your writing longer and more cumbersome to read, increasing readability issues and turning off your readers.

It's generally better to use active voice in copywriting. Active voice is more precise, assertive, engaging, and efficient than passive voice. You can create more compelling copy to persuade your readers and achieve your marketing goals by using active voice.

#9: Focusing on only “We.”

It is one of the most common copywriting mistakes most writers make, especially when writing blog posts. Many companies fill their blogs with company news, projects they are working on and have completed, new team members hired, and charity events and conferences they have attended. Your audience wants to read content that is interesting for them.

Some companies only focus on who we are and what we do and spend their time talking about themselves, not enough about your customers. Some companies add irrelevant details that are not important to their audience. Customers are not interested in your years of history; they want to know how your products or services can solve their problems.

Stay away from this “Me, me tactic” and focus on what your potential customers want and how your products can solve their lives. Follow a writing style that focuses on you rather than me. Instead of writing about only your company, write about how your company provides a smooth shopping experience.

Copywriting Strategies: A No-Nonsense Guide to Writing Persuasive Copy for Your Business
  • Krawczyk, Nicki (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 158 Pages – 01/18/2022 (Publication Date) – Callisto (Publisher)

#10: Following a Non-Conversational Writing Style

To nurture lifelong customers, make sure your copy has a conversational tone. Following a non-conversational writing tone is one of the biggest copywriting mistakes that content writers should avoid. Non-conversational writing is a style of writing that is formal, technical, and often difficult to understand.

This writing style can sound robotic and impersonal, which can make it challenging to connect with your audience on an emotional level. This can result in a lack of engagement and make persuading your readers to take action more difficult. So, write a copy that doesn't look like an instruction manual, and add a human touch to connect with your readers.

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#11: Bad or No Formatting

Once you are done crafting your copy, format it correctly. Copywriting requires good formatting to grab your reader's attention. Lousy formatting can affect the readability and overall effectiveness of your composition. Poorly formatted text can make it difficult for readers to follow along and comprehend the presented information.

If you have long paragraphs with no breaks, it can be overwhelming for readers to digest the information. You can add large sections into small, readable chunks. Use colours and add different graphics and art to enhance the page's overall look. A professional web design company can help you to create an attractive landing page design that keeps readers for longer on your page.

Similarly, if you have inconsistent use of headings, subheadings, and bullet points, it can make it harder for readers to scan and understand the main issues of the copy quickly. Good formatting can make your copy more readable, visually attractive, and scannable. It can help break up the text into manageable chunks, highlight important information, and guide readers through the content clearly and logically.

#12: Ignoring SEO

Guide To Seo For Web Designers

It is one of the most common copywriting mistakes many web content copywriters make. Whether you are writing copy for a product page, email marketing campaign, PPC ad or blog post. It is strongly advised to use SEO when using copywriting. Interestingly, approximately 40% of customers come from organic search.

SEO is essential for good copy, especially if search engines want your content to be discoverable and drive traffic to your website. Implement keywords into your copy so users can organically navigate your website. By including relevant keywords in your copy and structuring your content to make it easy for search engines to crawl and understand, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.

However, it's important to note that a good copy should always maintain quality for the sake of SEO. While it's essential to include keywords, your copy should still be well-written, engaging, and provide value to your readers. You can use keyword planners to get tons of ideas when writing copy.

Make sure to maintain a perfect balance between optimising your content for search engines and crafting a copy that resonates with your audience. When done correctly, SEO can help drive traffic to your website and increase your visibility online while also providing valuable information to your readers.

#13: Confuse Readers with Too Many Offers

When you discuss too many offers in your copy, it becomes confusing for readers to decide which is better. Many web content copywriters make this mistake and add too many offers simultaneously. Follow the rule and add only one offer to a specific page.

The goal is not to confuse readers with too many offers in your copy. Presenting readers with too many options can overwhelm them and make it challenging to decide. This can ultimately lead to analysis paralysis, where readers cannot take any action at all.

Instead, focus on presenting one clear offer or call to action in your copy. Showing a single offer makes it easy for readers to understand what action you want them to take and why they should.

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If you have multiple offers or calls to action that you want to present, consider breaking them up into different sections or pages of your website. This way, readers can focus on one offer at a time and are less likely to feel overwhelmed by too many options.

Remember, good copy aims to guide readers towards a specific action, not confuse or overwhelm them with too many choices.

#14: No Case Studies and Testimonials

Testimonial Example

What is the first thing you look at when making an online purchase? A Power Reviews survey shows that over 99.9% of customers read reviews when purchasing. Customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies are a form of social proof. Adding testimonials, reviews and case studies to your copy can be a highly effective way to add social proof and increase the persuasive power of your message.

Customers read what other people say about a product or service, which will save them time and help them make a quick purchase decision. When writing copy for product, sales, and service pages, leverage testimonials to create authority and trust. When you include testimonials in your copy, you are providing real-world evidence that your product or service has helped other people just like them.

When selecting testimonials to include in your copy, make sure to choose ones that are specific, relevant, and credible. Ideally, you want testimonials that speak directly to the benefits of your product or service and that come from customers or clients who are similar to your target audience.

#15: Too Long Copy

When it comes to copywriting, keep it short and straightforward. Trim your copy and take out all the points that are not necessary. Your readers don't have much time to scan the document to skip all the irrelevant words and find what they need. It can overwhelm readers and make it difficult for them to focus on the most critical information. They may lose interest, get distracted, and fail to act.

A copy that is too long can hurt your conversion rates. While providing enough information to educate and persuade your audience is essential, it's also important to be concise and get to the point.

It's essential to be strategic in how you structure your copy. Make sure to prioritise the most critical information and place it at the beginning of your document. To make your copy easy to scan, use subheadings and bullet points to break up the text.

Additionally, consider using multimedia elements like images, videos, and infographics to help illustrate your points and make your copy more engaging. These can help break up long text stretches and keep readers interested.

Remember, good copy aims to educate, persuade, and drive conversions. By being concise and strategic in your approach, you can maximise the impact of your message and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.

Breakthrough Copywriting: How to Generate Quick Cash with the Written Word
  • Garfinkel, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 154 Pages – 07/07/2017 (Publication Date) – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

#16: Don't Add Concrete Details

If your copy is too general and doesn't include specific details your readers want to know, chances are it will be less engaging for your audience. When your copy is too vague or general, it can feel impersonal and fail to connect with readers emotionally.

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Give your readers exciting details about your product or service. Add unique selling points, statistics, testimonials, number of satisfied customers and evidence. Tell prospective customers how your product or service will make their lives easier.

Your language must be specific and concrete to make your copy more interesting and engaging. This means using descriptive adjectives and examples to help paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind.

In addition to being more attractive, using specific language can help build credibility and trust with your audience. It shows that you deeply understand your product or service and are confident in its benefits. By being specific and concrete in your language, you can make your copy more interesting and engaging for your audience and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.

#17: Lack of Emotional Language

Coca Cola Emotional Branding

The purchasing process is associated with customers' emotions. Make sure to include feelings in your copywriting to make it more engaging. If your copy lacks human or emotional elements, it can make your message feel flat, impersonal, and less interesting for your audience.

When people read a copy, they want to connect with the message personally and feel it resonates with their experiences and emotions. To evoke emotions in your copy, you can share personal stories, use descriptive language, or highlight the impact your product or service can have on people's lives. Including human and emotional elements in your copy can make your message more relatable and memorable for your audience.

#18: Incorrect Tone

Use the correct tone when writing copy for websites, advertisements, or product pages. Using an incorrect tone in your copy can harm the effectiveness of your message. For instance, if your target audience is Generation Z or millennials, you can write in a much more casual tone. Similarly, if you are targeting baby boomers, use a formal manner to establish a connection and build trust.

If your tone is not aligned with your brand or the intended message, it may not resonate with your audience, leading to reduced engagement and interest in your product or service. It can damage your brand's reputation by creating a dissonance between your audience's tone and values or expectations. It is essential to use the proper manner that aligns with your brand, values, and the expectations of your target audience.

#19: Too Much Fluff

It's essential to avoid adding too much fluff to your copy. To create long-form copy, many web content copywriters add unnecessary or irrelevant information to copy. It doesn't add value to your message and can distract or confuse readers.

Adding too much fluff in your copy can make it longer than it needs to be and more complex to read, leading to reduced engagement and a lower likelihood of getting more conversions. To avoid adding fluff to your copy, it's essential to focus on providing clear, concise, and relevant information that is directly related to your message and the needs of your target audience.

By avoiding fluff in your copy, you can create a more concise, engaging, and compelling message that resonates with your audience and keeps your readers engaged.

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#20: Not Using a User-Friendly Layout

Copywriting In Ux

A good layout should guide the reader's eye to the most crucial information and create a clear visual hierarchy. If your structure doesn't prioritise key elements or create a clear flow, it can be more challenging for readers to understand the message.

Your layout refers to the visual arrangement of your copy elements, including text, images, and other design elements. An unfriendly format can make your copy harder to read and understand. A poorly designed layout can also reflect poorly on your brand and create a negative perception of your professionalism and attention to detail.

An unfriendly layout can also cause readers to miss important information or calls to action, reducing the likelihood of engagement or conversion. Use white space to create a clear visual separation between elements and help guide the reader's eye. Use visual hierarchy to prioritise critical information and guide the reader's attention to the essential aspects. Use consistent design elements like fonts, colours, and spacing to create a cohesive and professional look.

Remember mobile devices when creating a copy. With many people consuming content on mobile devices, designing a layout that works well on small screens is crucial. A team of mobile app designers and developers can help you create a mobile-friendly format for your copy.

#21: Lack of Transparency

If your copy lacks transparency, it can harm the effectiveness of your message. When writing a copy, try to be open, honest, and straightforward with your audience about the information you're presenting.

Not including any potential limitations or drawbacks of your product or service can erode their trust in your brand. In addition, if your copy makes claims not supported by the facts mentioned, it can mislead your audience and cause them to feel deceived. Lack of transparency can also lead to negative reviews and comments from customers who feel misled or deceived by your messaging.

Ensure the information you present in your copy is accurate and supported by evidence. Be transparent about any limitations or drawbacks of your product or service and explain clearly to your audience. Being transparent in your copy can build trust with your audience, give them confidence, and help them understand how you run your company.

Copywriting Made Simple: How to Write Powerful and Persuasive Copy that Sells
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Tom Albrighton (Author) – Sebastian Abineri (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 08/14/2020 (Publication Date) – ABC Business Communications Ltd (Publisher)

To Sum All Things Up

Copywriting is a vital tool in a business's digital marketing toolkit. Companies can improve their brand image, drive more traffic and sales, and ultimately achieve their marketing goals by creating compelling content that resonates with their target audience. By avoiding the above-mentioned copywriting mistakes, you can create a copy that captures the attention of potential customers, establish a strong identity and earn more profit.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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