Updated: Jul 22
Businesses of all sizes can make copywriting mistakes — but you can avoid them by learning the most common ones.
Just because you have a small business doesn't mean you have to have mediocre copywriting.
Solid gold copywriting can catapult your small business to the top of the pack. Don't settle for silver or bronze when you can be the $750,000 golden calf.
Check out these four mistakes that will destroy your small business and never make them again.
Mistake #1: No Clear Call to Action
Your readers have found your copy. They're engaged, they're interested, they're ready to be sold. And then you go and throw it all away by not telling them what you want them to do next.
Your call-to-action should be clear and direct. It should be short and sweet so that people don't get lost in reading it. If there is more than one call-to-action on a page, make sure there's no confusion about which one the reader should follow through with.
Mistake #2: Trying to Sound Too Perfect
When you're writing a landing page, email campaign, or print ad, it's easy to get lost in the details and start thinking about language. But here's the thing: Your readers don't care about your writing style. They care about how you can help them achieve their goals.
Language isn't just words; it's also something that conveys meaning and emotion to your audience. If you sound too formal or too perfect, your readers will get caught up in trying to figure out what words mean instead of focusing on what you have to say.
So, how do we make sure we're not coming off as sounding too perfect? By using more conversational language.
What does conversational mean? It means using words that your friend would use when talking with you — not words that sound like they belong in an academic paper!
Mistake #3: Mismatched Voice
Your business has a voice. And so do you. But with copywriting, you need to make sure that the two are working together.
The voice of your company is everything — it’s the personality behind your business, and how you want to be perceived by clients.
The problem is that many people who run small businesses know little about marketing or copywriting, so they don’t know what they should aim for.
If your business has a professional and confident tone, then don't write copy in a nonchalant and casual way. If your business is professional, but doesn't have much personality, then don't try to inject humor into your copy if it doesn't fit with the rest of your brand.
It's important for your brand and its voice to be consistent across all marketing materials — including social media profiles, email newsletters, blog posts and so on — so that when people come across one piece of content from you, they know what to expect from everything else on your website (and beyond).
Mistake #4: Forgetting About the Sale
The purpose of copywriting is to sell.
I've seen countless examples of websites that have beautiful design, compelling content and even well-written copy — but the conversion rate is still low because they forgot about the actual sale.
Here are a few examples:
A website with a great headline and beautiful design that doesn't include any contact information for the business or any way for visitors to get in touch with them.
A website that has an amazing offer but no way for visitors to take advantage of it (no opt-in form).
A website with well-written content but no call-to-action at all (just a link back to their homepage).
The sale is the most important part of any business. Without sales, you don't have a business. It's as simple as that.
The purpose of your website isn't to inform or entertain; it's to persuade people to take action. They may not make a purchase right away, but it should convince them you provide a great product or service at a fair price.
The key to your golden ticket is in the copy.
As a small business owner, you may have limited resources. Your time is valuable, and your money is precious. Without a large marketing budget, it's easy to think that you can skate by with mediocre copywriting, but if there was ever a time for great copywriting, it's now.
Having poor copywriting is like having a bad haircut or a cheap suit. It can make you look like an unprofessional passenger on the struggle bus.
The marketplace is flooded with competition, and not just from big brands that can afford to spend exorbitant amounts on advertising. There are thousands of other small businesses trying to sell the same product as you and get their message out there, too. You need to stand tall in the crowd. Great copywriting helps achieve this.