10 Copywriting Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

I’m about to show you copywriting mistakes that prevent your words from jumping off the page.

I’ll also show you how to fix them.

If you want to get better at copywriting, avoid these mistakes.

10 Copywriting Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

Mistake #1: Overusing Adjectives And Adverbs

Overusing adjectives and adverbs is a common mistake in copywriting, especially for beginners.

It's like putting too much pineapple on your pizza.

Sure, a little can add flavor, but too much?

It can be overpowered.

When you clutter your writing with too many adjectives and adverbs, you're doing the same thing.

You're drowning the core message, making it harder for the reader to grasp what you're really trying to say.

Focus on strong nouns and verbs.

Adjectives and adverbs are like spices - necessary, but in moderation.

The Fix?

Chop it down.

Example:Overdone: “She sprinted rapidly and dizzily.”

Just right: “She sprinted.”

Mistake #2: Lack Of Specificity

Copywriting tip:

Quantify your timeframes.

Don't say "Fast."
Say "In less than 48 hours."

Don't say "Quickly."
Say "In just 30 minutes."

Specificity sells.

— Dakota Robertson (@WrongsToWrite) March 21, 2022

Quantify your time frames and stop using "soon" or "in the future".

When you use specific numbers, your copy hits harder.


"Many people love our product."

What's many? Ten? A thousand? Be precise.

"Over 5,000 satisfied customers."

That's a statement. That's a fact. It's concrete and believable.

The reason why specificity sells is because it’s tangible.

It grabs attention.

Here’s another example:

Imagine you’re buying a car. The salesman says, "It's fast."

Okay, but how fast?

Now, if he says, "It goes from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds," you feel the speed.

Instead of guessing what “fast” means, you understand the car rips from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

The Fix?

Include numbers in your hooks and headlines.

When you start to become a copywriter, don’t make up arbitrary numbers.

Instead, find ways to quantify your copy based on your experience.

Mistake #3: Writing Above A 5th Grade Level

Simple is always better.

You're not writing a scientific paper; you're talking to real people. People who want to understand without pulling out a dictionary in between your conversation.

Complex language creates unnecessary friction.

It confuses the reader.

It's like putting a wall between you and your audience.

The Fix?

Break that wall down by using simple words.

Instead of “difficult”, use “hard”.

Make it a conversation, not a lecture.

The majority of the population reads at or below an 8th grade reading levell.

So why write over their heads?

Meet them where they are. Talk to them like you would a friend.

Writing at a 5th-grade level isn't dumbing down. It's smartening up.

It makes your message clear, engaging, and effective.

Mistake #4: Not Using The Words “You” Or “Your”

Your readers want to feel like you're talking to them, not at them.

Using "you" and "your" creates a personal connection.

The Fix?

Speak directly to your readers.

Instead of saying "one might find," say "you will find."

It’s a simple switch but it makes them feel part of the story.

Mistake #5: Focusing On Features Instead Of Benefits

The best way to improve your skills is to understand how people don't buy products; they buy transformations.

If you focus on features, you're missing the point of why they’re buying in the first place.

The Fix?

Don't list what your product does; explain how it makes their lives better.

Use the “so what” method.

Feature: Laptop with 16GB RAM.

So what? More ram means you can render your videos faster saving you 2 hours of editing time.

Mistake #6: Not Using The Same Language As Your Target Audience

Sure, bodybuilders want to build muscle.

But when they’re in the gym talking with their buddies they’re using words like “jacked.”

It shows you understand their world.

It makes them feel like you’re a member of the community and builds trust.

The Fix?

Speak their language.

Use the words and phrases they use.

If you're not sure what those are, spend time in their community.

Hit the forums, conduct interviews and you’ll uncover language patterns.

Mistake #7: No Imagery

Show, don’t tell.

Don't just say someone's happy; describe their smile, the sparkle in their eyes.

Let the reader see the joy. Give them a front-row seat to the action with pictures and words.

Here’s an example with Durex and KitKat:

Show, don’t tell.

Your marketing is 10x more powerful when you use pictures.

Example: Kit Kat pic.twitter.com/t7CRTTW4Yu

— Dakota Robertson (@WrongsToWrite) April 13, 2022

The Fix

Next time you write, don't just tell your reader what's happening.

Show them.

Let them see, feel, and experience the words.

Mistake #8: Using Passive Voice

Passive voice is a common mistake.

Especially if you're new to copywriting. But don't worry, I've got your back.

Why's passive voice a problem? It muddies your message. Makes it less clear. Less engaging. You want your reader to feel something, right? Passive voice puts a wall between you and them.

Here's an example:

Passive: "The product was bought by the customer."

Active: "The customer bought the product."

See the difference? The active voice is direct.

Look for "was" or "were" followed by a past participle. Like "was bought" in the example. That's a red flag.

How do you fix it?

Flip it. Make the subject do the action. Put them in the driver's seat.

Passive voice isn't always wrong. Sometimes it fits. But most times, it slows the reader down.

It makes them work harder to get your point.

Mistake #9: Too Much Fluff

This one’s obvious but people still mess it up.

How can you spot fluff?

Read your copy out loud.

If it sounds like that dude in your friend group who can’t shut up and get to the point, cut it.

Tips to Cut the Fluff:

Extra Verbs? Cut 'Em: Verbs are powerful. But too many?

They weigh down your writing. Keep it lean. If a verb doesn't add value, it's out.

Avoid implied explanations.

If your reader is knowledgeable don't over-explain.

If they’re a beginner, keep your explanations simple and short.

Get rid of filler words like:

  • Very
  • really

They don't add meaning and dilute your message.

Mistake #10: Horrible Formatting

I’m big on pattern interrupts, formatting and readability.

Your words might be gold, but without proper formatting, people can bail.

Tips for Effective Formatting


  • Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Bullet points
  • Bolded words
  • Numbers

Without formatting:

He was nervous. He knew the importance of formatting, but he ignored it. Now, his words were lost, his message abandoned. The readers disengaged, and quickly lost interest. He realized his mistake but it was too late. The damage was done.

With Formatting:

He was nervous.

He knew the importance of formatting, but he ignored it. Now, his words were lost, his message unclear.

His readers were confused, disengaged, and quickly losing interest. He realized his mistake, but it was too late. The damage was done.

See how the second version is easier to digest?

You can also use pattern interrupts like lists that go from long bullets to short bullets.

These are scroll stoppers on social media.

Want to increase your focus by 169%?

Listen to these soundtracks during deep work:

• Dunkirk
• Inception
• Interstellar
• Cyberpunk 2077
• Blade Runner 2049
• The Dark Knight Trilogy

I'm not joking, try it.

— Dakota Robertson (@WrongsToWrite) August 7, 2022

Have You Made Any Of These Copywriting Mistakes?

  • Overusing Adjectives And Adverbs
  • Lack Of Specificity
  • Writing Above A 5th Grade Level
  • Not Using The Words You and Your
  • Focusing On Features Instead Of Benefits
  • Not Using The Same Language As Your Target Audience
  • No Imagery
  • Using Passive Voice
  • Too Much Fluff
  • Horrible Formatting

If you want to become even better, make it a habit to write everyday.

Who is Dakota?

I show you how to build a high-paying creative business without doing work you hate.

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