7 things you need to stop doing to improve your copywriting

improve marketing

Have you been using the same copy for far too long and now feel like no one’s buying your story? Or maybe you’re finding it hard to write in a way that would help you sell to your target market?

If you’ve tried every idea under the sun but nothing seems to work, take a look at the list below and see whether there’s anything you’ve been doing that could be affecting what you’re writing. Get rid of the ‘same old, same old’ approaches right away if you want to improve your copywriting.

Stop talking about your product or service

I’m not some insane copywriter. I just believe you should focus more on your reader and their pains and sufferings, their desires or problems. Talk about what they would gain from you and how they can benefit from your solutions.

Yes, they do want to know that your product was made in their local town or that you wrote your book while you were on a trip to France. Go ahead and talk about that if it’s relevant, because storytelling gets people to know more about you.

But what they really, really want you to confirm is that YOU will be their hero, because YOU will SOLVE their problem or YOU have that thing that would make them feel the way they want to feel (e.g. your massage would make them feel less pain, your book would make them appear smarter or your home design would make them feel richer).

Stop selling to everyone out there

There are various groups of people who visit your website, follow you on social media and come in to see you at your outlet, and so on.

There are people who will buy, people who might buy, people who did buy and will return, people who did buy but won’t return, people who are just curious… and the list goes on.

However, trying to sell to those who don’t need you is just a waste of your time and money. When you write, focus on the ideal persona, the one who needs you the most and who will most likely want to buy what you’re selling.

You can have the best copy in the universe, but if what you write is too broad just so you can target as many people as possible, then you’re probably doing it wrong.

Sell candles to people who buy candles. Sell car detailing services to people who spend or want to start spending money on car detailing. Sell spa packages to people who spend hundreds of dollars to look and feel good.

You see where I’m going with this?

And don’t forget to sell to the people on your list. Yes, some people ignore their lists!

Stop copying your competition

Stop copying your competition’s style, tone, advert copy, website copy or blog content.

Stop copying them, end of story.

Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely take a close look at what they’re doing and the emotional buttons they’re trying to push in their copy. Look at their bad strategies and be sure to avoid doing the same.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when looking at your competition is to do exactly what they’re doing.

Be careful and don’t assume that their advert or blog post is hitting the right emotions, and don’t assume that a similar content or formula will work for you.

Just because they have more followers or ‘Likes’ it doesn’t mean that those people are buying from them. Maybe their content is just entertaining or they once gave out free items.

Also, don’t copy brands from other markets. Every target market is different, and the way you sell to one market won’t always work for another. If your mate is winning with his car business, copying his content strategy for your restaurant is not the smartest way to go.

At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows the group of people you’re trying to sell to. Most importantly, you’re the only one who knows how your unique solutions can solve their problems.

Stop writing your own stuff… you’re probably too close to the market

Even if you know the business inside and out, and even if your service or product is ‘in your blood’, you will always forget about some of the things that an independent writer would see.

In many cases, your customers will have questions about your brand, product or service, and you’ll often find that they’re asking you or your staff about the littlest things.

Usually they ask about things that you probably class as straightforward. Commonsense. No-brainers, if you will. No-brainers to… YOU.

Ever felt frustrated that people ask the same question? Or that even after you ‘clearly’ explained your business in 500 words or more on your website, people still call or email to ask you for services or products that you don’t even sell?

This is a sign that you’re not being ‘clear’ enough… and usually the problem is that you think you know what people want, you think you understand what people know and you assume what people need to know.

It’s also a sign that you need fresh eyes, someone who can provide a new perspective as well as see things from your customers’ perspective.

And you also need to ask customers for feedback. Two-way communication is very important so that you know what to write about.

Stop making it obvious that you’re keen to sell something

The best way to get people interested is to tease them. Let’s call it pre-selling or selling without selling.

Whether you’re posting on Facebook, on your website or in an email, stop saying things like “I’ve got a new book on how to make money from home. Please head over and buy it”.

Instead, tell your fans about what the book will do. What are the benefits? Switch to “Have you ever wondered how some parents make thousands of dollars a month from home? Let me show you how to get gigs that pay that much…” to tease them over to your landing page.

And then on your landing page, feed them more information about how your book can help them.

Also, don’t trick… tease. Tease them.

Stop leaving names out of emails

If your goal is to nurture your list, it’s really important that you have the recipient’s name in the email. Use it in the salutation and even in the subject line and in the body of your email.

In the salutation it’s all about being personal, making the recipient feel like you know them and that you truly care about their needs.

There’s a bonus when you add their name to the email subject. Because it’s very hard for people to ignore an email subject with their name in it, it could push them to open the email.

Their name in the body pulls back to your message, like when you’re talking to someone and they’re distracted: “That’s why, Rhonda, you need to…”

Stop writing boring copy for boring products/services

Maybe you’re really selling a ‘boring’ product (e.g. candle or floor tiles) or service (e.g. photocopying or babysitting). But it’s not an excuse for you to bore people with your writing.

To improve your copywriting, write in an exciting way that fascinates people and make them think “Wow, I didn’t know that!” or “So I’ve been wasting my money all this time with ABC brand when this thing existed?” or “You mean if I buy this accessory I can do THIS with THAT?” and so on.

There are many ideas of how you could inject some creative writing, but here are three simple examples of angles you could take…

“How to Deliver Seminars Without Leaving Your Home”
“How to Decorate Your Home With Toys From Your Childhood”
“How to Write a Book Without Typing A Single Word of It”

Find these tips useful? Pick up my FREE Direct Response Copywriting Checklist.

Reader Interactions


  1. G’day! Thanks for stopping by our #SayGdayParty!
    Please remember to stop by and comment on other people’s submissions too and of course, hope you are following Natasha and me on Pinterest!
    Comments and shares show you care!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What’s On The List

  2. Wow Rhonda!

    This is another exceptional post! And you really offered some extremely sound advice.

    I love your advice to stop leaving the first names out of our emails and to stop being boring.

    Yea, from time to time, I’ve been guilty of that one myself.

    You have definitely shared, a ton of extremely practical advice Rhonda! Thanks!

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