The 10 Don’ts Copywriting Commandments You Should Obey

copywriting tips

 

 

1. DON’T! Write for 100% of your traffic

DON’T try to please everyone or you’ll ultimately suffer from a crappy 1 to 2% conversion rate.

Write copy for the 20 to 35% of your traffic that is most likely to convert.

 

2. DON’T! Welcome people to your site

Need I explain more? If you have a “Welcome to XYZwhateva.com” headline, cut that word right now.

Write the homepage headline by telling what your visitors can benefit /do/have from your product.

 

3. DON’T! Tell yourself “no one reads online”

The truth is that no one reads boring BS or self-indulgent crap that has nothing to do with their own personal or professional needs.

People will read copy that is worth reading – copy that speaks naturally with them and focuses on them, not on the company.

So write copy for scanners and for readers. For both. Because both types are likely to comprise your customer base.

 

4. DON’T! Litter your sales page with photos of testimonials.

OMG. What a mess! Your sales copy does the selling, not the testimonials.

You still need solid headlines, a few lines of opener/lead and microcopy for product features.

Give visitors something to sink their teeth into so they TOTALLY understand what you do and what they’ll get from you.

 

5. DON’T! Follow outdated rules of features vs benefits

If you’ve heard that you should always talk about benefits before features, please listen this: there are no hard and fast rules on this.

Some people say there are, but they’re either full of sh*t or being taken out of context.

Sometimes, features matter – like when you’re putting out a new version of a product.

Other times, benefits matter – like when you’re introducing a brand new product.

The only rule is to write what your prospects/customers need to hear, be it feature or benefit.

 

6. DON’T! Try to sell everything at once

If you’re selling a software solution, choose the product you most want to sell, and architect your experience and write your copy to make that product look most desirable.

To find out which product should be your lead, consider your most popular product or the one that you’ve received the best user feedback on.

 

7. DON’T! Be a grammar nazi

Write the way people talk! Or write according to your customer language.

Use in incomplete sentences. With short words.

And with almost total disregard for the highfalutin rules of writing.

Start sentences with ‘because’ if it feels right. End sentences with “of” and “to”. Forget you know the word “whom”. Just chill…

 

8. DON’T! Bore your reader… ever

Programmers aren’t boring people. Accountants aren’t boring people. Lawyers aren’t dull people.

No matter the audience you’re trying to write for, it’s highly likely that they

1) go to the movies and watch TV,
2) read books for entertainment, and
3) rode a bike as a child.

People like to have fun! We all like to be entertained! So DON’T ever assume your reader will be cool with reading your boring copy.

 

9. DON’T! Use image banner

Your home page headline – often your value prop / USP – should remain static and unmoving on the page.

If it moves and your visitor didn’t get a chance to see it – or simply can’t recall it after reading the rest of your page – then what?

DON’T let your most critical messages appear and disappear.

So don’t put your USP in an image banner that turns off your visitors’ attention.

 

10. DON’T! Copy your competitors

Even if your competitors are huge, multi-million ringgit companies, that doesn’t mean their copy is right or worth stealing.

You should do competitor content audits, but DON’T blindly copy their words.

Instead, use what you like from competitor sites to drive testing ideas for your own site.

 

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Zafifi

Web Copywriter at Web Copy Services
Zafifi Ideris is a web copywriter and web copy consultant. He combines a wide-range knowledge in direct response copywriting, sales psychology, web architecture, usability and conversion rate optimization to help his clients getting better business results.
About The Author

Zafifi

Zafifi Ideris is a web copywriter and web copy consultant. He combines a wide-range knowledge in direct response copywriting, sales psychology, web architecture, usability and conversion rate optimization to help his clients getting better business results.