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7 signs your copywriting is bad

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The right business copy should inspire your audience to take action - this could be a simple write a comment to purchasing your product, while most businesses see the symptoms of their copywriting problems such as low conversion rates, high bounce rates, unopened emails, and low engagement only a few would attribute it to their copywriting.

We all use words - they're everywhere - your ads, your content, your website, landing pages, internal coms, brochures, and so on. The thing is when you work within your business every day it's hard to be objective. You are the bridge between what your audience already knows and what they want to know.

You need to recognise the 7 signs of bad copywriting and how to fix it.

1. Irrelevant content gets ignored

Nothing is more damaging to your brand than irrelevant content. Given that your customer's attention is shrinking, your copy needs to be engaging and interesting.

They want to know what's in it for them.

Show them you understand their pain points and know how to deliver a quick solution all within the first 5 seconds. Make sure you clearly identify your Benefits, and Value.

2 The Wrong Target Audience

If you write for everyone, you write for no one.

Writing without the right audience in mind means you misunderstand what they are trying to overcome and if you're aiming in the wrong direction you won’t hit any targets.

Get to know who your ideal clients are and write to that one person. Identify their potential problems or challenges. Outline their external symptoms and internal struggles and provide them with relevant information before you offer your solution.

3. Stop writing about yourself.

There’s nothing wrong with including some of your personal life in your writing but talking about your hobbies, or your love of chocolate shouldn't be the main focus.

Your readers will relate and connect better with your content if you avoid using too many “I's” and use “you” and "your". Remember you are not the central character - your customer should be the hero.

For example

❌ Every Sunday, I'll send you an email with finance tips

✅ Every Sunday, you'll get an email with finance tips

❌ We help drive more traffic to a website

"Here’s how to drive more traffic on YOUR website"

Apple iPhone Your photo Copywriting

Apple uses "YOU" 94 times on the iPhone 14 Pro landing page

90 times on the iPhone 14 landing page

It’s not any photo – it’s YOUR photo

It’s not any Phone – it’s YOUR iPhone

4. Too Generic

Nothing stands out if you sound like everyone else and talk in broad, generic terms. You need to be specific rather than vague. Think about your unique advantage and display it front and center in your messaging. What makes your service so special from the competition?

5. Terrible flow

We all love a good story and a great story has a natural progression. You can feel the tension building up. It takes your audience on a journey and so should your copy.

Make sure you have a well-structured story arc with a beginning, middle and end. It should move your audience drawing them in and towards your conclusion. A complicated style or sentence structure that's too long or complex makes it difficult for your audience to enjoy the ride.

6. Weak Language

Do your words add value? Maybe you use too many adjectives. Keep your sentences simple and short. You’re not trying to impress anybody with how well you can write - keep your copy clear and concise.

7. Too Sales-focused

Yes, before all your sales people yell at me - I know you’re in the business to make a sale but the power of your words means you don’t have to sell directly. Your potential buyers will get annoyed if all your copy asks for a sale.

Use micro-commitments to help lead them to your goal. This could be a simple sign-up for a podcast or book a free demo.

Walk them through the transformation and outcome. Let them experience the value you bring. Apple doesn't sell phones with a great camera, they sell great photographers.

Now consider your business copy. Did you pass?

Do you know someone who would love to get better at communicating and writing?

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