Everyone, absolutely everyone, makes mistakes when writing copy every now and then. Even David Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising copy, once admitted: “I’m a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor.” Perfection never happens the first time around, and even the best copywriters in the world are constantly re-drafting and making little tweaks. While some mistakes are unavoidable, some are more common than others. Here are a few of the most common copywriting blunders you need to watch out for…
You may have some of the best content on the web, but if your headline stinks, so will the results. Using click-bait is probably one of the most common mistakes when it comes to headlines. Titles that scream controversy, offer incredible guarantees or apply similar cheap ploys, can serve a purpose, but only for a moment. If you do end up using click-bait headlines, you need to make sure the body of your copy backs it up in a big way.
Another common error is trying to be too original. It’s good to make your copy stand out, but there’s a reason why professional copywriting headlines follow certain conventions: they work! Good headlines are absolutely essential, so make sure you’re not making these common blunders.
[bctt tweet="Using click-bait is probably one of the most common mistakes when it comes to headlines." username="alinabradford"]
Too Much Focus on Features
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be clued-up on the product or service you’re trying to sell. Being familiar with whatever it is you’re trying to make people buy is absolutely essential for any piece of copywriting, whether it’s organic groceries or NFC cards or anything in between.
However, it’s a big, and unfortunately common mistake, for copywriters to focus their material too much on the features of a product, and not enough on the benefits it offers the target audience in question.
Customers aren’t interested in the quality of the materials, the high manufacturing standards, or the history of the business itself. All they want to know is what they’ll gain from buying this product or paying for this service. Features can certainly be important, but you should limit them to short, sweet, bullet-points. The bulk of your creative energy should be used for telling people how they can benefit from buying this or that product.
A good layout isn’t going to make your copy successful, but poor layout will chase prospective customers away like there’s no tomorrow. You’ve probably had at least one instance where you went looking for some information on Google, clicked a promising headline, then glanced over a huge block of text, and went straight back to the page of search results.
The content itself may have been just what you were looking for, but seeing the way it was laid out, you decided immediately that you weren’t going to bother reading it. You probably went on to find some copy with well-spaced, legible font, broken up into subheadings and bullet points. Make sure you’re using layouts that are attractive and easily digestible to your audience, or your copywriting is sure to fail.
For every article you write, be sure there are:
- Separate paragraphs
- Bullet points or numbered lists, if needed
- Legible font (Times New Roman, Calibri or Georgia are some of the best)
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