It doesn’t matter what you might be trying to write. There are going to be some obstacles along the way.
How you deal with those obstacles separates good writers from the great ones. Yet, there are writers tasked with creating smart and clever marketing copy face.
Thus, they face a whole other set of challenges. That’s because their words need to be compelling.
Plus, they need to persuade the reader to act in some way. That sounds a lot easier than it is.
Let’s say you’re creating content designed to market a brand or product. In that case, it must be done with a number of things in mind.
First, you need to know your reader. Who are you targeting with this information? What is the best way to convey that message?
Second, you need to know everything possible about the product or the brand. Then, go to great lengths to portray it in the best light possible.
There is one thing that’s most important. It’s that bad copy can damage your reputation. Also, it may reduce brand integrity.
Additionally, it might distract the reader from your message. This goes beyond the easy stuff like poor spelling and punctuation.
That’s because every writer should be cognizant of eliminating those liabilities from their writing. I’m talking about the deeper aspects of your content.
It’s those that go toward eliciting some kind of emotional response. Marketing is about making a connection with the public.
How are you going to do that with your writing? Unfortunately, that’s the part too many writers forget to address.
It’s great to tell me how your product works and extoll the virtues of its many benefits. However, good copy will convince me of the “why”.
Why should I buy this thing? Why should I give you any of my information? Why is your brand the one for me?
The “why” is very important. It’s what gets to the heart of the interaction between your brand or product and the consumer. That’s the true mark of effective content.
Great marketing copy is hard to come by these days. That’s because too many writers fall into a series of common mistakes.
Perhaps, they don’t even realize they’re making them, until it’s too late. These pitfalls can (and will) do a real disservice.
They may damage all of the hard work you’ve put into building and growing your company. Writers need to be more careful about making some of these mistakes.
That’s because they can have an adverse effect on many components of a brand’s online presence. Great content and compulsory copy will increase site traffic.
Plus, it will greatly improve search results. Customers tend to give their attention to those results higher up on their search page. Good writing will deliver that kind of exposure.
With all of this in mind, here are seven pitfalls writers should avoid:
1. Failing to Check Your Work
The most fundamental aspect of writing is proof-reading. Thus, you don’t want to send out copy that is rife with spelling errors.
Also, you don’t want to put out poorly worded sentences or dreadful grammar. Plus, you shouldn’t have punctuation problems.
The reason goes further than just shoddy quality of work. In fact, studies have shown something interesting.
It’s that customers find spelling and punctuation important when they read copy. Therefore, they don’t want to read content with errors riddled throughout.
It plays a role in their decision of whether or not to do business with that brand. I’m always telling writers to find a reliable editor.
Alternately, they need a proof-reader to check their work. Even the most eagle-eyed writer is bound to miss some of his or her own mistakes.
Sometimes you just get too close to the work. Things can get overlooked.
2. The Content Serves No Purpose
Writers need clear objectives. These are necessary before they start tap-tap-tapping away on their keyboards.
You don’t want copy that fails to bring some kind of value to the reader. Actually, that copy is essentially useless.
Let’s say someone is reading your work. Of course, they are seeking to gain something.
Maybe, it’s a solution or an answer to a problem. Perhaps, it’s simply to build their knowledge. Either way, make sure your writing serves that purpose.
There’s a big pitfall that I’ve seen occur in this instance. It’s content that talks about the problem and explains how it originated.
Additionally, it goes through why it might have happened. Also, it includes the other common reasons for that problem cropping up.
Further, it defines the bad things that can come from allowing the problem to continue. Notice how I didn’t include a solution to the problem in that list?
Your content needs to tell the reader how to solve or avoid the problem. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Even worse, the reader has now left your site. In doing so, they seek out their answers from other sources. Perhaps, it’s via your competitor.
Good copy will draw the reader in. Plus, it’ll give them what they want. Additionally, it will urge them to engage with you through a sale or some other transaction.
Writers must identify the objective in their content. Also, they need to serve that objective at all times.
3. Be Brief
They say that brevity is the soul of wit. Therefore, when creating strong content, writers should keep that in mind.
However, there is a problem. It’s that most writers stuff their copy. They do it with an eye toward gaming the system where search engines are concerned.
They think their content is jam-packed with a myriad of keywords or overwritten with a descriptive copy. Thus, they believe it will improve the chances of higher placement on search pages.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Thus, all you’re left with is sloppy copy. That, in turn, is more likely to damage the content’s search ranking.
Also, it will probably turn customers off. They don’t like reading long-winded text that could use some cleaning up.
There is a reason for writing good content. The writer needs to be efficient, clever, and intriguing to the reader.
The result will be more interactions and increased traffic. Accordingly, these will earn you that all-important higher search ranking.
4. Losing Your Credibility
Let’s say you read something. Certainly, you’d hope the writer knows what they’re talking about. Poor content is typically marred by a lack of expertise in the topic.
It’s important to establish your knowledge of the thing you’re writing about. That means getting your facts right.
Also, be sure to provide reliable and credible information on your topic. Additionally, you show the reader you are an expert on the subject.
Do you actually have to be an expert? No, you do not. Simply put, you need to convince the reader that you are one.
This might lead you to do some research on your topic. Plus, you’ll want to provide yourself with a few things.
You need all of the necessary facts and figures. With them, you can demonstrate a superior knowledge of your topic.
This does not mean you should come across as a know-it-all. Additionally, you don’t want to inject useless information into your content.
Don’t show off just to demonstrate your expertise. Always remain selective about your words.
Remember, be brief. Similarly, build your content so it will have the most impact on the reader.
Thus, you’ll fulfill its intended purpose. Establish your credibility. Yet, don’t overwhelm the reader with information to support that claim.
5. Botching the Call to Action
Marketing copy is typically designed to accomplish something. In fact, that something needs to be clearly explained to the reader.
It should be done in a manner that’s simple to understand. The call to action is one the most important components.
Of course, you want to write good, effective content. Without it, your copy can’t complete its intended task.
Conversely, you also need to know how to define it for your reader. Writers can choose to do this in any number of ways.
It could be from the bombastic to the understated. Many of them employ so-called “action words”.
These include buy, click, try, grab, and act. Perhaps, use those specific to the product or brand being sold, like drink, eat, taste, watch, etc.
These action words are a powerful ally. They get your point across in no uncertain terms.
There’s also the more strategic approach. With it, writers include text that’s meant to suggest or imply something. Thus, if the reader were to take the appropriate action, they could see specific results.
Consequently, don’t use phrases like “75% of users saw a difference in two days”. Also, refrain from using “more people are choosing this product because”.
Both suggest the reader could enjoy similar benefits. However, the call to action must also come with simple instructions.
Using a call to action, in turn, makes it incredibly easy. It’s so easy that consumers can’t help but take the action you want.
It might be something as easy as clicking a link or filling out a form. Nonetheless, you’re the writer.
Therefore, you need to sell them. They need to take that action. Do it in any manner that is suitable for your target audience.
Your prose and its severity in calling to action must always keep the reader in mind. Therefore, a younger demographic might appreciate the outrageous approach.
Yet, an older audience may want to be spoken to with more delicacy. The call to action is the whole reason behind your content. Therefore, getting this part of it right is critical.
6. Inform Now, Sell Later
Poor copy puts an emphasis on the sale. On the other hand, good copy provides value to the reader as an avenue for the sale.
The latter is always going to be a more effective in engaging your audience. That’s because you’re striking up a relationship with a potential customer.
Also, you are demonstrating that you have some expertise in the item. Additionally, you’ll be sharing some of that knowledge to help gain their trust.
Do your job as a writer. Establish your expertise. Accordingly, provide insight and education to the reader.
In doing so, it will draw them in. Plus, it’ll get them to do something. That includes making a sale or signing up for a newsletter. Maybe they’ll join a mailing list.
This plays into the “why” that every reader wants to hear.
7. Write Something Better
Finally, writers can’t get complacent. Therefore, they must always strive to be fresh and creative. That’s because they need to engage the reader through their words.
Learn from your mistakes. Take criticism. Understand why something you wrote connected, and more important, why it didn’t.
A writer can always improve. As long as you embrace that notion, your skills will sharpen.
Take these pitfalls under advisement. Then, see how many you fell into the next time you read copy you’ve written.
Work at it. The more you do, the fewer mistakes you’ll make moving forward.
If you have any comments about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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