Writing for many of us means creation. It’s easy to picture a writer as someone sitting at a desk full of wrinkled paper, an ashtray filled with cigarettes, and a landslide of coffee cups. In contrast, a copywriter is not exactly the same scene.
Copywriting is more of a working process rather than a process of creation; it has a strict set of rules, tactics, and boundaries. It is not just about writing using artistic imagery. This copywriting, in line with other factors, will shape the image of your brand and uniqueness among competitors. Your written content conveys the energy of your brand and inspires people to buy the product or service you are offering.
The text on your website, emails, publications, even social network comments define the loyalty to your brand. It’s crucial not to ignore the quality of your copywriting. In this article, we will discuss the most common copywriting mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Pointless headers and preheaders
The header serves to intrigue and tease readers to click though, and the preheader serves to create a brief abstract of the article. You can draw in your audience by writing both of them in a great way.
Eye-catching, informative, and teasing – that’s how your headers and preheaders should be if you want your audience to click through.
If your header does not prompt readers to open an email, you are making efforts in vain. A bad header can even direct your email to spam or to the trashcan.
Here’s an example of a good header with preheader:
Conclusion: Do not deprive headers and preheaders of meaning, as they are the doorway to your main content. Make them clear, concise, and informative. This idea works equally well for the rest of your written content.
- Using clichés and unoriginal content
Do you want to stand out among your competitors? If so, avoid using worn-out phrases such as:
✓ We have been incredibly successful at…
✓ As a progressive company…
✓ We are pleased to inform you…
✓ Dear readers…
✓ Good quality, wide range of choice, customization…
✓ Team of professionals…
✓ We provide excellent service…
✓ The customer always comes first…
✓ We are pleased to welcome you…
Forget clichés if you want to be unique and original. You don’t want to look like you lack creativity.
SEO specialists often claim that “Content is King.” Why is it so important to write original content? Mainly because search engines tend to bring websites with unique content to the top. It implies there is unique knowledge, data, surveys, and/or facts that no one has ever written before.
Conclusion: Do not be a copycat. When you are writing, try to be as frank as you can with your readers; address them personally; and create new, unique content for them. Also, check your content for originality with specialized plagiarism-checking software before posting it.
- Poor grammar
Please bear in mind that your readers will never take your brand seriously if you post content with spelling mistakes. Global Lingo conducted research among adults about their online purchasing and browsing behavior. Out of those taking part in the polling, 74% claimed they pay attention to grammar in written content, and 59% said they would not deal with a brand or a company that had mistakes in their written content.
Conclusion: Proofread your texts before presenting them to your audience. This way, you show respect to your readers and buyers. Use online spell-check services, which are mainly free of charge or do not cost too much.
- Long texts
Respect your readers’ time and don’t make them go through long paragraphs. Be concise when it comes to written content. Long texts are often the result of a poorly formulated message and an overflow of meaning.
Make your sentences clear and short. One complicated sentence makes up around two much better ones, simply because the reader will get lost somewhere in the middle of your huge sentence, and lose logic.
Tip: If you find it difficult to write using brief sentences, put it away for a while and come back to it later with a fresh mind.
- Overdoing it with keywords
In the race to get it right with SEO copywriting, some copywriters overfill their texts with keywords. Sound familiar? Such texts are difficult to read and perceive because they sound very unnatural.
Using lots of keywords used to work in the past, along with other SEO tricks. However, now, filling your page with keywords could even bring down your search rate and push your audience away by the immense word repetition.
- Too many exclamation points and question marks
An exclamation point (!) is a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings, surprise, excitement etc.
A question mark (?) is a punctuation mark that indicates interrogation or doubt.
Overdoing it with exclamation points “!!!” or question marks “???” in a text is not a good way to render emotions and be persuasive. Instead, it is a sure way to annoy your audience. Too many exclamation points and question marks will kill any well-written text.
Conclusion: Use punctuation with moderation. There are other tools for rendering emotions and enhancing the effect of your message, namely:
- synonyms, which are slightly different in meaning;
- metaphors, which refer to one thing by mentioning another thing;
- personifications, which are attributions of the human form and characteristics to abstract concepts; and
- hyperbole, which is an exaggeration.
- Poor formatting
Formatting serves to visually outline the main information in the text. If your content is badly formatted, a reader will get lost in it. A well-formatted text visually guides the eyes of the reader to the most important information.
Here are some practical formatting tips:
- Create intervals between the lines to visually separate them and make them easy to read.
- Set intervals between letters in words.
- Evenly distribute words within a line in the text.
- Use numerated and marked lists.
- Use bigger headline fonts.
- Obvious advertising
You need to quit writing in an obviously marketing manner. People are already tired of seeing the get-it-now-pay-later, or two-for-the-price-of-one, or limited-time-offer kinds of offers. Of course, such an approach works, but it does not score all the time, so it’s better to apply and combine other marketing methods; otherwise, your readers will soon figure out that you are flogging them your product or service.
Tip: Bring in educational content to your writing, and share useful experience and professional advice with your readers. This will help you build a bridge of trust with readers and enhance engagement into your brand.
- Text without images
No matter how informative your text is, chances are no one will want to read it if it doesn’t contain any images. The best types of articles and landing pages always imply a combination of text, images, and infographics because people tend to perceive significant amounts of information visually.
Conclusion: Do not forget to use images, photographs, and infographics to facilitate the perception of your written content.
Here’s a bright example of how you can combine imagery and written content for better perception:
- Fast copywriting
When you are writing at a fast pace, you risk making many errors and depriving your written content of meaning. Of course, you can choose to write at a fast pace, but think about your priorities: do you want quantity or quality?
Find time for a deeper analysis of the material, statistics, and data, and fact-check everything. It will come back to you in devoted readers and increased loyalty to your brand. If you want to bring truly valuable content to the readers, then devote more time to research before you start writing. Do not turn your writing process into a race to get more publications.
We hope that our tips on things you should avoid in copywriting have been useful. Just remember the importance of the quality of your written content and try to avoid typical copywriting mistakes.