Avoid Copywriting Pitfalls, And Apply These Tips


Copywriting is all around us.  It’s everywhere.  But unless it’s smart and noteworthy, it has very little potential to have an effect on the people that it is meant for.  Think of all of the articles you see but don’t read.  Think of all of the product descriptions you scan, but don’t… well, you don’t read.

Nobody needs to tell you that effective copywriting is difficult to do.  The good news is that there are strategies that you can use to make your copy perform the way you want it to.

Do you want a helpful one-page guide to better copywriting?

hang it next to your computer for easy reference

Have 1 Point

Keep in mind that your client doesn’t need to know everything about your brand in order to give it a try.  Your clients just need to know 1 thing that will convince them to take action.

Having 1 point is important to effective copy, because it will help you better formulate a clear idea of what you want to say.  You will also have the clarity to communicate the point in the header, the body, and the CTA.  And, your clients will know exactly what you want them to do.

 Keep Language Simple

If you keep language simple, people will be able to skim your copy and still know exactly what you are communicating, and what you want them to do.  Helpful strategies are to use adjectives instead of adjective phrases, and avoid passive voice like the plague. 

Consider this sentence:  It would be best if the message could have been received by a person who is known to be smart. 



That is not what you want to do.

Instead, consider this sentence:  A smart person should receive the message.

Both sentences communicate the same thing.  But the second sentence is much more scannable, is much easier to visualize, and avoids that dreaded passive voice.

Make It Conversational

What would you rather be doing, reading someone’s doctoral dissertation, or chatting with an old friend over coffee? 

Do I even have to ask you that?

Of course you would rather be chatting with an old friend.  So, that is how your copy should talk to your clients.

Be sure to use descriptors so that your clients can quickly visualize what you are writing about.  Instead of writing “various”, give specific descriptors of the myriad ways that your brand meets your client’s needs. 

Use colloquialisms like “dive in” instead of “read this,” and “dough” instead of “money.”  This way, your clients will more likely think of your brand as a friend.

Use Contractions

Shorten language so that it sounds like you are talking to a friend.  This means using contractions.  For example when talking about best practices, you would not write out the negative form of the verb.  If you were talking to an old friend, you’d write the contraction commonly used in spoken language.

Remember the advice in this post

Make It Scannable

The strategies discussed and implemented in this article are all designed to make your copy scannable.  Be sure to use simple and direct language.  Use headers, italics, and bold typeface.

Also, space out the important points in your copy so that the surrounding negative space sets your message apart.  Treat your copy just like the matting that gives a framed photo the chance to shine.

Use Keywords

Keyword makes your content scannable, and it is also the driving force behind SEO rankings.  One way to make sure that you use the highest ranked keywords is by searching in the Google Adwords Planner.  Once you select a few highly-ranked keywords, use them in your header, and in the body of your copy.

The same idea holds true when posting to Instagram and Pinterest.  Both channels allow you to search for the most highly cited keywords.  For a guide to searching and exploring Instagram hashtags, check out this Buffer article by Alfred Lua.  For an in-depth guide to keyword on Pinterest, see this article on Persuasion Nation.  

Focus On Your CTA

The purpose of copywriting is to get your clients to check something out about your product.  If you keep this in mind, it makes sense to always keep your CTA in mind.  Remember - what do you want them to do?  Be sure that you drive your readers to that thing, and get them to take some kind of action to learn how, read more, click now, join the movement… you get the picture.

Always Be Testing

The set it and forget it method cannot be applied to your copywriting strategy.  Assuming that your business is always growing, you will always be attracting new types of clients, your clients will always be learning new issues in your field, and your brand will need to constantly evolve to be relevant in your industry. 

This is why continuous testing is so important.  Keep track of your CTRs, time on page, social shares, and how all of this relates to sign ups and purchases.  A skilled copywriter will continuously test new strategies against old copy to see what performs better.

Rinse And Repeat

The process of always testing and always measuring leads is a continuously iterative process that will allow you to know what your clients are saying about your brand on social, and what they say to your sales people, social media managers, and community managers.

Grab your ideals client’s attention with snappy copywriting

All of this will be valuable information to know how to position your brand.  This is known as the rinse and repeat process that continuously keeps copy fresh and relevant.

Summing It Up

Copywriting is so much more that writing.  Effective copywriting is writing smart language that is well positioned to grab your clients’ attention.  Using the 9 keys described in this article, you will have a solid process to grab the attention of your clients, and positively impact the sales of your brand.