10 copywriting mistakes to avoid and one formula to apply

This piece may improve your writing forever.

This is the 9th edition of The Essence.

Almost two years ago, I came across the AIDA copywriting formula while reading Gary Halbert’s The Boron Letters. In a short video, copywriter Neville Medhora explained what each letter meant and how to apply the formula:

  1. Attention: Get their attention with something catchy and relevant.

  2. Interest: Tell them interesting facts or uses.

  3. Desire: Make them desire the product or service.

  4. Action: Get them to take an action.

Let’s demonstrate this with my best-performing article as an example:

  1. Attention: “Avoid These 7 Things if You Want Your Article to Go Viral.” The headline is designed to grab readers’ attention, compelling them to read the article’s first line.

  2. Interest: “Key lessons from 100+ viral articles.” See how this interesting fact in the subheading pecks the reader’s curiosity? The targeted reader would be interested to learn what those lessons are from those viral articles. 

  3. Desire: “Michael Thompson only needed one viral article to launch his writing career. And indirectly, pay his mortgage for 23 months.” Those two lines make the reader desire having a viral article. It shows how just one viral article could help them succeed with their writing endeavors. And help them make riches. It builds on their desire for success and money, making them desire the tool that could get them there, which—in this case—is a viral article. 

  4. Action: “If you want your article to be more likely to go viral, avoid these seven things.” The last line of the introduction compels the reader to read the full article.

Each article’s introduction is like a separate piece of copy. I believe one of the main reasons this article performed exceptionally well is because I, unintentionally, applied the AIDA copywriting formula while in its introduction. 

Use this copywriting formula. It would immensely increase the likelihood of readers completing your pieces.

Avoid these 10 common copywriting mistakes

While reading one of the latest editions of Josh Spector’s newsletter, I found this gem. Growth Tactics shared, in a Twitter thread, those ten easily avoidable copywriting mistakes.

  1. Not using an active voice. Example: Good copywriting skills will lead to more writing career opportunities. Use active voice instead: You’ll get more writing career opportunities when you have good copywriting skills.

  2. Not being specific enough. Example: This will help you write headlines. Get more specific: This simple trick will help you write more compelling headlines.

  3. No defined goal or outcome. Example: I can write highly engaging articles for your business. Get them to take an action: I write persuasive emails for insurance companies. Contact me if you want me to write ones for yours too.

  4. Not using simple words. Example: My optimized emails’ headlines can increase your open rates to outstanding numbers. Simplicity wins: I write headlines that could boost your email open rates.

  5. Not using your prospects’ language. Example: I can help you get more potential customers. Use your prospects’ language: I can help you get more leads.

  6. Using a weak headline. Example: 7 Virality Blocks You Need to Avoid. Your headline must grab their attention and be easy to read & understand: Avoid These 7 Things if You Want Your Article to Go Viral.

  7. Not Address objections. Example: When you sign up for the free plan, you can use our services for free! Anticipate objections: You have 50 free monthly credits with the free plan. When finished, you can either wait until the new month or buy credits.

  8. No social proof. Your prospects can spot a sales pitch from a mile away, wrote Growth Tactics. Social proof lets others do the selling for you (without feeling forced)Social proof idea: Get testimonials from your clients or customers. Then display them on your website or sales funnels. 

  9. Emphasis on features. Example: My writing is SEO-optimized and well-researched. Benefits over features: My writing can help you rank high on Google, driving many visitors to your website!

  10. Sentences are too long. Example: Stop worrying about the copy and content on your company’s website and sales funnels, and let me worry about that. Be concise: You have a lot of responsibilities. Let me help get some of those off your shoulders.

These copywriting tips, along with the AIDA copywriting formula, can incredibly help you write better. I’ll bookmark this because I often forget these valuable lessons. I suggest you do the same.

Until next time,

Mohammed