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If you’re selling anything online, whether it’s a product or service, then you’re going to rely on solid copy. Sadly, tons of websites out there have copy that’s unconvincing and ineffective.

It doesn’t make you want to buy or take action. The only action you’ll be taking is hitting the back button.

You’re spending all of that time generating traffic for your site, pitching, and generating leads, but if your copy doesn’t convert, you’re missing out on a lot of sales.

Luckily, a lot of common mistakes can be fixed.

Below you’ll find seven of the most common copywriting mistakes that are killing your conversions and business.

  1. No Clear Value Proposition

What is it exactly that you’re selling? And who are you selling it to?

Your value proposition makes you stand out from everyone else in your field, and actually gives your customers a reason to work with you.

Value propositions that are too airy-fairy and don’t rest upon anything specific don’t do much for your visitors.

Take a look at these two value propositions from two different developers.

  1. I build high-converting WordPress websites to help busy real estate agents sell more homes.
  2. I’m a WordPress developer who builds aesthetically pleasing and fully functional websites.

The first is more effective as it speaks to a specific person and shows what result you’re going to bring them. The second doesn’t really do much for anyone.

When in doubt focus on what makes you different. Why would someone want to work with you? How can you (and only you) help them get the result they desire?

  1. Highlighting Features, Not Benefits

People make decisions based upon emotion and desire. Not logic and facts.

A lot of business owners make the mistake of focusing on the features and technical aspects of their products, not the benefits their product will bring.

Since we’re in love with the products we’re selling it’s easy to get caught up in the features that don’t really matter.

For instance, instead of writing, “this computer has an Intel 5 processor, 1TB of RAM, and the highest resolution on the market”, you could say, “Tired of your lagging computer slowing down your workday? This computer has the fastest processor on the market, and will help you get work done with blazing speed.”

When you’re writing your copy make sure to ask yourself: how does this benefit my user?

Find out what your customers already care about and align your product or service with those desires.

  1. Selling to the Wrong Person

Sales pages that don’t have a specific focus tend to fall flat. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s that they don’t end up speaking to anyone.

Try to speak to everyone and you end up speaking to no one.

Before you even write your sales page you should spend time getting extremely specific about who your customer actually is. The more you understand this single person the better prepared you’ll be to write something that speaks directly to them.

In some cases your copy might even be geared towards the wrong person altogether. We all make mistakes. If you come to realize this, don’t be afraid to scrap your copy and start over.

But, putting in a little extra work is better than having a sales page that doesn’t convert.

  1. Failure to Address Specifics

Chances are your copy is pretty vague. Instead of providing your reader with specifics your copy is filled with phrases like “we’ll get you results” or “make your life better”.

These phrases sound good on the surface, but they don’t actually do much. To get your reader to act you need to provide specifics. Ground your statements with numbers, facts, and specific timelines.

For example, the phrase “I’ll show you how to make $500 in your first 10 days as a freelance writer”, is much more convincing than “I’ll show you how to become an abundant freelance writer.”

See how the first phase is clear. It shows the reader the desired result and offers a specific timeline. When in doubt, add numbers and specific to any claims or promises you make.

  1. Focusing On ‘You’ Over the Solution

Here’s something that might hurt a little.

Your readers don’t care about you. They only care about themselves. It might seem a little dark and twisted, but it’s really not. It can actually help you better serve your clients and customers.

You might beef up your copy by including all of your credentials and courses you’ve taken, your degrees, and your team members. But, all of this is just extra.

What your customers care about is what you’re going to do for THEM.

What benefits will working with you bring?

Will your marketing expertise increase their bottom line by 100%?

Will your skills help increase their subscribers by 20% every month?

Think about what tangible benefit you’re bringing to table and focus on that.

  1. Including Too Much Hype

You know when you come across headlines or sales pages that are too good to be true. They’re the ones that make the promise of showing you “how to make $5,679 dollars in 48 hours all while losing 20 pounds of fat”.

These headlines and product pages are filled with massive promises, and few, if any of them, ever deliver.

Make sure that every single promise you make on your sales page can actually be delivered. If you have to, make sure to underpromise and over-deliver.

This will help you delight your customers and build fans for life, instead of just a one-off interaction.

  1. No Social Proof to Build Credibility

It’s time to talk about trust. Your customers and clients won’t work with you if they don’t trust you.

If it’s their first time coming across your work, then you’re going to have a lot of convincing to do. However, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

If you have specific customer testimonials these can go a long way towards bolstering your copy. Testimonials end up speaking and even selling for you.

Other forms of social proof and authority include having a large social media following, or being featured on any relevant news networks or large blogs.

Mastering the art of copywriting takes a lifetime. But, you can take a shortcut by fixing any of the above mistakes you might already be making.

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Kevin Wood is a freelance writer who writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes, Counter Culturist and Wooden Writing.

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