Let’s be honest, writing good copy is no small feat.
Although it may seem it’s just typing words and explaining something, the truth is copywriting is much more than that.
And if we’re talking good copywriting, then that’s a whole different story.
It may not seem like an easy job but it’s not impossible.
You just need to steer clear of these 10 mistakes in copywriting.
1. Using complex words
We all get carried away sometimes when we explain complex ideas or concepts. Some writers tend to use jargon and technical terms. It makes them look like they know about the subject.
Readers don’t necessarily know all the facts and details about the topic they’re looking for. They want a smooth, fluent, and easy-to-read piece.
Give them simplified concepts, familiar words, and jargon-free sentences.
That’s what will keep them hooked.
Think of it as if you were talking to a friend who is unfamiliar with the topic. You’ll avoid your readers from exiting your page immediately.
2. Long sentences and paragraphs
Similarly to the previous point, readers run away from long sentences and neverending paragraphs. That kind of writing is exhausting, it almost feels like you need to catch your breath to continue reading.
Shorter sentences keep ideas and concepts clear. No need to overexplain everything with a bunch of extra words.
Ideally, sentences should be between 18-20 words long (with exceptions, of course) and paragraphs should not be longer than 2-3 lines.
Remember that most readers skim through texts, so if they see long paragraphs made of wordy sentences, that’ll probably scare them away and leave the page.
3. Weak headlines
Headlines are your first opportunity at grabbing your reader’s attention. It’s of vital importance to write something that makes them want to keep reading.
Headlines with an unclear hook are simply overlooked and readers move on to something else, to another message that actually speaks to them.
Create a message with the user’s pain points, the problems they face, or the key to solving them.
Adding numbers, questions, strong verbs, and clear words can make your headlines appealing and click-worthy.
4. Avoiding long-form texts
While readers do appreciate short and clear sentences and paragraphs, they also want to read expert, in-depth pieces.
This requires long-form texts most of the time. So it’s a mistake to think that only short-form pieces will work better.
This study from Backlinko of 912 blog posts shows how longer texts generate more backlinks, which means the content is worth sharing more.
Crazy Egg also saw how switching to long-form text resulted in a 30% increase in their homepage performance.
They changed the content from their page and conducted an A/B test with a shorter version. It was clearly proved that their users preferred the expanded and much more detailed version.
5. Using the wrong structure
In the world of copywriting, the message is key. No question about that.
But not just.
While the message needs to be absolutely on point and straightforward, the format and structure it is contained in are equally important.
Some sites choose to structure content in columns, for example. And while this may work in other platforms like paper and print, not so much for online formats.
If you’re building a landing page, use single columns and text containers, it makes it easier for readers to browse around and skim through the content, resulting in more conversions.
6. Not being specific
Confused customers don’t buy. They want to be 100% sure of what your product/service can do for them.
How can you solve that? Simple. Provide a lot of detail, be as specific as possible.
When you add numbers, results, data, charts, or social proof readers feel more equipped to make an informed decision about a purchase.
Reading “Increase your revenue with XYZ tool” is not as convincing as reading “Increase your revenue by 25% with this proven method”.
Specificity is what seals the deal.
7. Writing for yourself
Even if you create content for thousands of readers, every time each one of them reads it they’re doing that alone. It’s not an audience reading your article in an auditorium.
It’s that person in their office or house, with their laptop or phone. That’s it.
You want your content to speak to that person, they don’t care if there are 100,000 like them reading.
Make your writing as personalized as possible. Use the form “you” more than “we” or “I” to create a more meaningful connection with your reader.
After all, if they see that your content is speaking to their specific situation they’ll feel understood and more likely to trust anything you create in the future.
8. Talking about the product, not the problem
Many brands and businesses make this mistake often. They want the world to know about their amazing product and the wonderful benefits it has.
But here’s the thing. Customers looking to buy something don’t want to be sold, as contradicting as it may seem.
They want to know how their problems can be solved in the best possible way.
Instead of talking about how amazing your product is, tell your customers about common problems they face and how they could solve them.
Make them see how you “understand” what they are going through, that way it’ll be easier to present your solution as the best option for them.
9. Using the passive voice
Similar to what we saw earlier about keeping sentences and paragraphs short, using an active voice can be much more effective in copywriting.
Passive writing tends to need more wordy sentences, which makes reading a little less comfortable.
The passive voice sometimes creates awkward messages, not fit for a text that wants the reader to take some sort of action. The meaning of a sentence may not be clear and result in your user’s leaving the page.
It is always recommended to use an active voice. It makes the message easier to understand and more likely for readers to continue browsing through content.
10. Not proofreading
Nothing sells worse than a typo.
No one wants to see spelling and grammar errors when reading any piece of text.
That’s why proofreading is something any writer must do always. All writers make mistakes when they write, it’s almost impossible not to.
Proofreading helps avoid typos, but not only that, it’s also a good way to rethink the writing style, phrasing, and structure.