The 10 worst copywriting mistakes

By June 29, 2017July 27th, 2017No Comments

Ever read something that made you cringe and completely put you off the company behind it?

If you want potential customers to stick around, it’s important to spend time making sure your copy hits the right note.

Here are 10 crucial copywriting mistakes to avoid!

1.      Relying on spell checker

In the age of text talk do people still care about spelling and grammar?  According to research (by Global Lingo on 1,029 UK adults) 75% of web users pay attention to the quality of spelling and grammar on company websites, while 59% would not use a company with obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing material.

So, check for spelling and grammar and don’t leave it to your spell checker.  It won’t pick up on confusing writing or misused words such as “their” instead of “there”.

2.      Not checking for meaning

What you write can have multiple meanings. Make sure you’ve said what you wanted to say and use punctuation for clarity. A few more commas on the magazine cover below would have made the difference between a horror movie scenario and a cosy feature:

wrong meaning

3.      Copy that lacks personality

People want to be spoken to, not at. If your copy reads like a lecture, a blatant sales pitch or is overly stuffy and formal, it will have them turning off in droves.  Earn their attention by using a conversational, approachable tone that is both respectful and professional.

Which brings me onto …

4.      Not knowing your audience

Write as if you are talking to your ideal customer face to face and in a style that resonates with them. One style doesn’t fit all.  Should your tone be sonata or rap track?

5.      Using jargon

The idea behind your website is to attract new visitors, not alienate them.  Does your copy make sense to the novice as well as the expert?

6.      More is less

No matter how good your content, large blocks of text are off-putting. Try to get your point across in as few words as possible, especially if you are writing for the web.  There are tips for keeping it simple here.

Consider layout and break your copy up into small, easy-to-read chunks with subheadings if possible.

7.      Forgetting the end result

Print and digital copy can be very different. If you’re using the same content for both, avoid obvious errors like including click here in the printed version.

8.      Blatant keyword stuffing

When writing for the web, don’t overdo it with your keywords.  It will read badly and turn visitors off.  Sprinkle keywords naturally throughout your content and ensure that quality and readability come first.

9.      Overlooking headlines

If readers aren’t pulled in by your headline, they’ll never see your content. A good headline will grab attention, while an okay headline will be passed over for the next one. Take extra care over these crucial few words.

10.   Not considering a copywriter

Maybe you thought the project was too small, or that a copywriter could never understand the complexities of your business. But not considering a copywriter could be your biggest mistake.

An experienced copywriter will spend time getting to understand your business, products and customers. They’ll write engaging copy that draws the reader in, and won’t make these common copywriting mistakes … Hiring a copywriter could be one of the best decisions you make for your business.

Find out what copywriting services we offer or contact us to discuss your project.

And here are a few tips from Grammerly to leave you with …

copywriting mistakes



I’m Lesley Hussell and my job is to bring some copywriting magic to your business, so you sell more, inspire your staff or spread your message far and wide. You’ll want to know how I measure up against other copywriters you’re considering, and whether I’m good enough to be trusted with your brand. If you’re looking for quick wit, creative thinking and a flair for compelling content writing.