19 Common mistakes to avoid in copywriting

19 Common mistakes to avoid in copywriting

Writing copy that stands out isn't easy, but when done right it can be extremely effective. Unfortunately, even the best copywriters make mistakes. Learn how to become a better copywriter by avoiding these 19 common mistakes that can cripple your success.

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Writing great copy is an art, but it’s also a science. Get it wrong, and you risk losing customers who don’t click ‘buy’ or read on. Get it right, and you can create truly effective communication that drives results.

Whether you’re new to copywriting or a seasoned pro, there are some common mistakes that can literally wreck your copy. This blog post takes a look at 19 of the most frequent pitfalls – and how to avoid them!

From obscure jargon to being too sales pitchy, understand what not to do when writing content for different audiences. I’ll provide examples of bad practices as well as tips on how to rewrite and improve your writing for the best possible results.

Why harnessing the power of copywriting can maximise your digital marketing campaign

Copywriting is a powerful tool for driving success in digital marketing campaigns. When done right, it can help you to connect with your target audience and encourage them to take action.

It allows you to create compelling content that resonates with your readers in an emotionally meaningful way. It also helps you stand out from the crowd by creating unique copy that captures the attention of potential customers.

Copywriting is also useful for optimising your SEO campaigns and increasing conversions, as well as giving customers the information they need to make informed decisions about buying products or services online.

Unlike other forms of marketing, copywriting provides an individualised approach that allows for greater personalization and reach. By taking the time to craft effective and persuasive messages through storytelling techniques, you can create content that not only resonates but drives action from potential customers.

Ultimately, harnessing the power of copywriting can maximise your digital marketing campaign by helping you attract more attention and engage with specific audiences in a meaningful way. That’s why it’s important to avoid common mistakes in your copywriting. 

Common mistakes that businesses make in copywriting

As you’ll start to understand, there are many potential pitfalls when it comes to copywriting. Before I get into the details, I wanted to share some super simple tips that you can action straightaway. 

  1. Businesses often set unrealistic expectations for copywriting. They think that once they hire a copywriter, the job will be done in no time and the results will be amazing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A lot of attention and effort is needed to create effective and impactful copy.
  2. Another mistake businesses make is not providing enough information to their copywriter. Giving your copywriter detailed context and audience info helps them really drill down into what’s important and focus on the right message that resonates with the audience.
  3. Businesses must ensure that all relevant points are included in their copywriting. You’d be amazed by what can get left out of any content or marketing campaign. Never make assumptions. 

If you were to just focus on those 3 points, you’d already be making improvements to your marketing material. But let’s find out what the common mistakes businesses make in copywriting and how you can avoid them.

Why mastering the art of understanding your audience is the secret weapon to achieving writing success

Understanding your audience is the key to success in any kind of business. Understanding their needs, goals, motivations and behaviours helps you to create strategies that are guaranteed to resonate. It also enables you to craft more effective messaging and gain a better understanding of how your marketing efforts are performing. If you don’t understand your audience, you’re wasting your time.

Here are 3 tips on how to research and understand your target audience:

  1. Collect data: Gathering information about your audience’s demographics, interests and behaviours will help you paint a clearer picture of who they are, where they hang out online, what their challenges are, etc. 
    Take advantage of web analytics tools such as Google Analytics in order to look back at data gathered from previous marketing efforts; this will enable you to have a clearer picture of who responds positively as well as allowing for more detailed segmentation within the current customer base. 
  2. Build relationships: Establishing connections with your target audience is a great way to learn more about their challenges and develop trust. Participating in online discourse or hosting a survey can be useful for getting valuable feedback from customers as well. 
    Ask questions of existing customers or members of your target audience to learn what they need, want and expect from your product or service. This could include understanding their demographics or other important information like hobbies and lifestyle choices. 
  3. Stay up-to-date: Staying informed about trends and changes in your target audience’s interests and habits can help you anticipate their needs better and adjust your message accordingly.
    Follow the conversations taking place on social media platforms related to your product or services, this will provide key insights into the audience’s thoughts, opinions, sentiments and actions associated with them.

Knowing who you are trying to reach and how to best communicate with them is essential for effective marketing and delivering an excellent customer experience.

Ignoring your target audience’s needs can harm your copywriting

When we fail to understand our audience, our copywriting can miss the mark. It might sound too stuffy, preachy or come across as unfocused and disorganised. Our copy could lack personality and voice, which can alienate readers.

It can also lead to irrelevant or incorrect messaging that doesn’t speak to the reader’s needs or interests. This can cause readers to disregard our content and not engage in any meaningful way with it.

Writing for a different audience than your own might even work against you by appealing only to one group of people while alienating others. This could reduce conversions or make it difficult to find new customers.

In addition, if the language isn’t conversational enough it can leave readers feeling disconnected from us, leading them to doubt our credibility and expertise on the topic at hand. This means they won’t be compelled to take action on what we’ve written about whether that be buying our product, signing up for a newsletter etc…

Research-driven copywriting can unlock the power to create more impactful messages

Copywriting is all about connecting people with a common language and inspiring action. But effective copywriting requires more than simply having an accurate grasp of words and grammar: it requires research-driven insights into what motivates people and what their pain points are.

By leveraging the power of research, copywriters can gain deeper insight into their audiences to craft messages that resonate more powerfully. Creating content that speaks directly to the needs of a person – be it emotional or practical – can spark bigger results.

Research also creates easier access to more accurate cultural references, helping writers to better connect with their audience and get across ideas faster. Additionally proper research empowers writers to better understand which words and visuals will maximise their message’s impact.

Therefore, you need to understand how powerful research-driven copywriting can be for unlocking valuable insights on topics relevant to your business. If you do, you can write in a way that truly resonates with your audience. However, if you don’t value research, your marketing is going to fall flat.

How to gather invaluable intel on your target audience and industry to gain maximum success

If you want to gain maximum success, it’s important to get a thorough understanding of your target audience and industry. The best way to do this is to gather pertinent intelligence.

Gathering useful intelligence starts with researching your competitors and the current market environment. Keeping up with trends in the industry can help you anticipate developments and leverage insights into opportunities and challenges.

Comparative analysis of relevant data points enables you to identify gaps that can potentially be filled by your business. This includes identifying potential customers, capturing market share, and setting expectations for growth strategies and sales projections.

You can also conduct surveys or focus groups with existing customers or potential prospects to learn more about their pain points and needs. This feedback can provide valuable insight that can help shape product design decisions, marketing strategies, pricing models, customer service interactions, etc.

Finally, tracking public opinion across social media platforms is essential for obtaining an understanding of how people in your target audience feel about certain topics- such as competition or changes in the market- giving businesses an edge on what kind of messaging will resonate best with consumers or businesses alike.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore your audiences needs & wants

Understanding your audience’s needs and wants is crucial for successful copywriting. You need to be able to tap into their desires and present your product or service in a way that resonates with them and conveys its value.

When creating copy, you need to consider the context of their situation, the language they’ll want to hear, and what words will trigger the desired emotions. Knowing who they are and what they want gives insight into how best to capture their attention and give them an incentive that speaks to the desired outcome.

Having accurate data on your target audience will help you create relevant messaging that is set apart from other marketing campaigns. A thorough understanding of their habits, interests and behaviours will help craft content that is on-brand for your company that readers can quickly identify with.

Communication is key when crafting compelling messages. You don’t just have a one-way channel talking at people; instead you must engage with them to establish an ongoing relationship – one that creates trust, builds loyalty and hopefully generates sales over time. Understanding your audience means conversing with them in meaningful ways so that they’re more likely to stay engaged in further conversations or take an action such as signing up for emails lists.

Avoiding common mistakes in copywriting can help you master the secrets to writing killer email subject lines.

Have you ignored the user experience? 

Copywriting is about more than just the words. It’s about crafting an experience for your audience and conveying a message in a way that resonates with them and inspires action.

User experience (UX) ensures that those messages are heard through intuitive designs, intuitive information hierarchy, and user-friendly interfaces.

For copywriters, this means understanding the context of their audience– who they are talking to, what motivates them, why they might be interested in your product or service – and crafting a message that speaks to them directly.

Good UX emphasises clarity of purpose and message. If readers can’t immediately understand why they should care about something or how it applies to them, then you’ve lost them before you even had them. 

Here are 4 tips to help you create a better user experience through your copywriting:

  1. Focus on the user, not the product or service: When writing copy, try to understand what your audience wants and then focus on putting that first. Your readers should be the focus of your text and not just promoting a product or service.
  2. Keep it brief and to-the-point: The goal of good copywriting is clarity. Make sure that each sentence conveys one specific idea, making sure to include only enough words for users to understand your message quickly and effectively.
  3. Write headlines that get people reading: Your headline should capture a reader’s attention and provide them with sufficient context to make them want to keep reading what comes next. Headlines should be short, specific, and descriptive so that users can quickly identify if the content is relevant for them or not. Learn how to craft more effective titles.
  4. Use visuals as much as possible: Visuals are powerful tools for highlighting key ideas in your writing and making it easier for readers to digest information quickly without having to read every single word you wrote. Using visuals also keeps engagement high since it breaks up blocks of text into smaller chunks which makes them easier to process mentally.

Don’t forget, good UX copywriting ties all these together seamlessly so readers have a consistent, enjoyable experience throughout the entire journey.

Unclear messaging will kill your conversions

Clear and concise messaging is essential for effective copywriting. When communicating with a potential customer, it’s important to be able to grab their attention quickly and intuitively. If a message is too wordy or complicated, it will likely get lost in translation and dissuade the audience from taking action.

By keeping a message simple and to the point, professional copywriters can ensure that their message is heard loud and clear by their target audience. Using language that conveys the most important points without being too verbose helps to ensure that readers understand the primary purpose of the writing.

Moreover, clear and concise messaging allows copywriters to avoid ambiguities which could lead to misinterpretations or misunderstandings. This keeps clients from having to answer questions about the subject matter and alleviates confusion in customers.

Finally, utilising concise language makes for an overall more enjoyable reading experience for readers, making them more likely engage with your message in a positive way and take you up on your product or service offer if applicable.

In other words, avoiding these common mistakes in your copywriting can enhance your ability to use conversion-focused copywriting to influence your audience.

3 tips on how to write copy with a clear and consistent message

  1. Establish your tone of voice and use it throughout all your messaging. Whether you maintain a formal or conversational tone, staying consistent will ensure that readers recognize your brand’s voice.
  2. Keep it short and sweet; try to convey each message in a concise way. Don’t drown the reader in lengthy sentences and excessive blocks of text to get your point across as this can be off-putting for readers.
  3. Utilise powerful verbs instead of weak ones to create imagery and draw the reader in. Also consider adding specific facts, numbers, and visual elements whenever possible to make your messaging more vivid and dynamic.

You don’t have a clear Call-to-Action

Copywriting is all about driving action. It needs to be persuasive, motivating and draw the reader towards making a decision.

The most important element of this is the call to action. This should always be prominently featured within your copywriting and clearly communicated what it is that you want your readers to do next – whether this is to sign up for a newsletter or buy a product.

Having an effective and clear call to action gives the reader direction and let’s them know exactly what to do next. It should be easy to find, easy to understand and grab their attention so that they take the desired action.

A successful call to action should have punchy yet descriptive language which will inspire people into taking action, as well as an inviting tone that encourages further engagement. Additionally, it should also stand out with visuals such as strong text colour contrast or use of other graphical elements like arrows or boxes.

In short, a clear call to action in your copywritng can dramatically increase engagement by guiding readers in the right direction.

By avoiding these common mistakes in your copywriting, you can enhance your techniques for crafting effective calls to action.

Being too technical or using jargon

Using technical terms or jargon in copywriting can be counter-productive. Not only does it make the message harder to understand and reduce reader engagement, but it also fails to reach broader audiences. Complex language or insider terminology limits the number of people who can relate to or comprehend what is being written. This can result in a missed opportunity, as language functions as a tool to convey ideas and establish relationships with readers.

Additionally, using too much jargon can create an impression that doesn’t reflect the organisation’s values or reputation. Technical terms and buzzwords may sound professional, but if used incorrectly they can leave readers feeling alienated or confused rather than inspired by the message.

Finally, relying on overly complex language can take away from genuinely demonstrating an understanding of your target audience. If you rely too heavily on industry specific vocabulary or elaborate explanations, you risk losing sight of what your writing should ultimately accomplish: connecting with and communicating with readers in a meaningful way.

Being too formal

When it comes to copywriting, an overly formal tone can create an off-putting distance between the writer and their readers. This can lead to a lack of engagement and connection with your readers, as well as decreased understanding of the message you’re trying to convey.

Too much formality can also make copywriting dry and unappealing, leaving readers feeling like they need to put forth too much effort to understand what’s being said. This can cause them to quickly abandon the piece and move on without getting the desired results.

When you attempt to be too formal in copywriting, you may end up using language that is either confusing or unfamiliar. This means that fewer people will be able to relate, hindering comprehension and leading readers away from your message rather than towards it.

Being too formal in writing also increases the risk of using inaccurate or outdated language which can make your content look dated or out of touch with modern times. In some cases, this could lead individuals not only rejecting your copy but perceiving it as unprofessional or sloppy work. 

However, as we’re about to see, you need to find the right balance.

Unprofessional tone & language

Using an unprofessional tone in copywriting can have serious consequences. It can be too casual, disrespectful or even offensive. It can make it difficult for readers to take a message seriously, and could cause them to lose trust in the business or organisation that produced the content.

Also, an unprofessional tone may lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and misunderstandings of a message’s intended meaning, which could create conflict or hurt feelings within a customer base. Even if the intention was not malicious, it may still come across as such due to being phrased inappropriately.

When writing copy and content it’s important to keep things professional at all times and use language that is respectful and appropriate for the audience. This will help ensure that messages are taken seriously and better received by customers.

When writing for your target audience, make sure you understand their expectations. Try to strike the balance between less formal and staying professional.

You don’t proofread

Proofreading is a crucial step in copywriting, as it allows writers to ensure that their work is free of errors and follows all necessary style guidelines. A few mistakes can significantly diminish the quality of the message being conveyed and lead to confusion or misinterpretation.

Proofreading helps to improve clarity by ensuring that all text meets the highest standards. This includes eliminating redundancy and making sure all sentences are clear and concise without unnecessary jargon or verbiage. Moreover, proofreading ensures that grammar and spelling errors do not detract from the quality of the content. 

In addition, proofreading can reduce common writing mistakes like using awkward phrasing or ambiguous words which may result in miscommunication between writer and reader.

By carefully re-reviewing their work, writers can identify any potential flaws that could lead to incorrect interpretations, as well as any areas where more information is needed for clarity.

Write copy that’s informative and helpful rather than sales-focused

Copywriting can be tricky. You want to make sure that what you’re writing is both informative and helpful, rather than solely focused on sales.

The secret to great copywriting is to focus on the audience first, not the product or service you’re promoting. When you’re writing content, think about how it will benefit your readers and address their needs.

Make sure your copy is helpful and informative by providing actionable advice and guidelines. Instead of simply pushing a product, educate the reader about its benefits and why they should want it.

Include links to valuable resources, case studies or additional information when it can help the reader be more informed.

When creating persuasive copy that encourages readers to purchase or sign up for something, be sure to highlight what makes your offering unique so they have a reason to pick you over competitors.

Finally, respect the reader’s time by breaking up long blocks of text with visuals when possible and keeping paragraphs concise — use short sentence structure when possible.

A bad headline will ruin your landing page

The headline is often the first thing people will read and it needs to be attention-grabbing and relevant to the rest of the copy. If your headline doesn’t grab the reader’s attention, they’re unlikely to keep reading.

No one is interested in boring and generic content

When copywriting fails to engage, it can have a negative impact on readers. Boring and generic writing can be difficult for readers to understand and follow, and this often leads them to stop reading or ignore certain messages altogether.

Furthermore, without putting in any thought or effort into crafting pieces that are interesting and engaging to the reader, brands can come across as disingenuous and insincere. This means readers won’t trust the brand or their message, which means they won’t be likely to convert or take any action whatsoever.

Ultimately, putting out quality copywriting is not only important for engaging customers but also for accurately representing your product, brand values and messaging in the minds of users. Poorly written content can convey the wrong message about your company which could damage its reputation among customers both current and potential.

Ignoring relevance and context

Copywriting is all about conveying the message effectively, and that means understanding relevance and context. When creating copy, it’s important to think about where the content will be used, who the audience is, what their needs are, and how the words you use can help them reach a desired outcome.

Words mean different things in different contexts. That’s why it’s so important to consider cultural factors as well as language when choosing words for your copywriting. Knowing who you’re writing for and what they’re looking for will inform your choice of words and help you craft a more effective message.

It’s also effective to determine the level of detail needed in order to fully understand the context or situation being discussed. You want the reader to naturally connect with your content while gaining valuable insights they can use in their lives or work. Understanding relevance and context can help you achieve this objective.

Finally, when it comes to copywriting, relevance and context should take into account both audience emotions and expectations. If readers feel something after reading your copy, then you’re on the right track. Relevance also considers how timely or applicable your message is to people’s lives at that particular moment in time.

Not utilising graphics & videos

Visuals play an important role in conveying a message effectively, as they draw attention and relay information at a rapid pace. They create more engagement and connectivity with the audience – something that’s hard to achieve through text alone.

Using visuals like graphics, photographs, or illustrations alongside your copy gives it more context and clarity of meaning, which can help you engage readers and make sure your point is heard. You can add emotion, context and an element of storytelling to what you are trying to say with the help of visuals.

Adequately placed images also serve as excellent supporting elements for written pieces, breaking up lengthy or dense blocks of text into digestible chunks. This makes it easier for your readers to focus and pay attention to the relevant points of your writing without having to decipher long passages of words.

When used correctly, visuals can be incredibly powerful tools in driving home a message or teaching complex topics to readers with ease. So make sure you use them thoughtfully in your copy to improve its overall effectiveness!

Not testing and optimising

It’s important to test your copy and see how it performs. This means trying different headlines, calls to action, and language to see what resonates most with your audience. Keep tweaking and optimising until you find the most effective copy.

The importance of SEO in copywriting

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to effective copywriting. SEO allows content to be discovered by potential readers and customers, increasing the visibility and reach of a brand’s digital presence.

When creating copy, writers work hard to produce meaningful messaging that resonates with their target reader. Incorporating SEO measures into copywriting can help ensure this messaging is seen in the online world. Taking steps like using relevant keywords, optimising titles and descriptions, crafting worthwhile backlinks, and ensuring proper formatting will all help to maximise the odds of being seen on search engines like Google.

By pairing savvy writing with SEO best practices, content creators have a much higher chance of engaging readers at a deep level. This means more people are exposed to those incredible creations!

And don’t forget; avoiding common mistakes in your copywriting is one of the best ways to improve the SEO of your website’s copy.


In conclusion, copywriting is a powerful tool for a business when done correctly. You need to be mindful of the mistakes that many writers make in copywriting and take steps to avoid them. Be sure to focus on the most important elements, including accuracy, clarity, brevity, and persuasion. Doing this will yield solid results that you can use to drive conversions and sales.

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