If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably also a copywriter, marketer, and your own public relations agency. Writing your own newsletters, blogs, and social media captions may seem like an easy task at first, but make sure you’re avoiding these common copywriting mistakes.
Not Having Someone Proofread
It can be extremely helpful to have even just one person quickly read through any copy you write for your business. There’s no faster way to look unprofessional than to have an embarrassing typo in your marketing materials. Especially if the typo was an easily avoidable one that you missed because you were too busy to ask for a proofer. The extra effort and time you put in is worth looking polished and professional where it matters most.
Using Inconsistent Punctuation
Many people aren’t aware of the Oxford comma or the different types of dashes. Whether you do or do not choose to use an Oxford comma (the one that comes before “and” in a list of three or more items), just be sure to stick with that decision throughout the entire written piece.
Additionally, not all dashes are created equal and there are actually three different types: em dashes ( — ), en dashes (–), and standard hyphens (-). Em dashes are used to emphasize parts of a sentence, en dashes are usually used for number or date ranges, and standard hyphens are for compound modifiers which is when two adjectives describe a noun. Simply staying aware of your punctuation choices can make all the difference in providing a smooth read for your audience.
Not Catching the Right Spelling of the Wrong Word
Did you know complement has a different meaning from the word compliment? Or peak and peek? Soul and sole? These types of errors won’t get caught in your spellcheck because, well, they’re still spelled correctly. Improve your chances of catching this particular mistake by being mindful of words with double spellings. If you find yourself making this error often, find a trustworthy proofreader to be on the lookout for it.
Forgetting to Include a Call to Action
If you’re writing for your small business, remember to drive readers towards a specific action with everything that you create. Whether it be “Click Here” or “Shop Now”, the CTA is a vital piece to incorporate in all marketing materials. Feel free to adjust and customize it to your brand as you see fit!
Feeling uncertain about your copywriting? A public relations agency can offer you the resources and services you need to be a professional, effective communicator. Learn more about PR services here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.