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Common Copywriting Errors and How to Avoid Them

English is not the simplest language to learn. It’s not just not phonetic, but it’s also full of homophones, or words that sound the same but have various meanings, such as “to,” “two,” and “too.”

Simply said, English may be difficult even for the most devoted grammar geek, and even the most gifted writer can make mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, as a copywriter, you do not have the luxury of grammatical blunders. You are responsible for ensuring that your copy is error-free, and if you do not, you may expect someone to call you out on it. We’ve all been there (or done it to someone else).

Here’s a list of the most typical copywriting mistakes to avoid getting called out on a grammatical problem.

Homonymies such as “you’re” and “your” might be confusing

Let’s look at one of the most prevalent blunders: the infamous conflation of “you’re” and “your.” Here’s how to recall the difference.

The word “your” is possessive. As an example:

  • Your hair has a golden color.
  • Your cat has hair.

“You’re” is an abbreviation for “you are.” As an example:

  • Someday, you’re going to win a Grammy.
  • You’re the greatest.

When in doubt, consider if the word “are” fits in your phrase. If so, type “you’re.” Otherwise, use “your.”

Similar blunders

If you just had to worry about getting “your” and “you’re” correctly, English would be a joy, but there are numerous additional homophones that may be tricky. Here’s a list of additional typical mistakes to help you do it correctly.

They’re, They’re Not, and They’re Not

  • The phrase “they’re” is a combination of the words “they” and “are.” “They’re going to the gym today,” for example. The word “there” denotes place. “Here is the piece of paper you were seeking for earlier today,” for example.
  • The word “their” is possessive. “Their father is a pleasant man,” for example.

It’s versus. Its

  • “It’s” is an abbreviation for “it is.” “It’s pouring outdoors today,” for example.
  • “Its” is a possessive pronoun. “The cat is chasing its tail,” for example.

The words two, to, and too

  • The number two should be spelled “two.” “Two persons are late today,” for example.
  • “To” may be either the infinitive form of a verb or the beginning of a prepositional phrase. “Do you want to go to the movies?” for example.
  • “Too” is an adverb that signifies “also” or “excessively.” “He has too much product in his hair,” for example.

Which comes first, “who” or “whom?”

It may not seem that adding a “m” to the end of a word like who is such a significant issue, particularly because many of us forget about it in everyday speech, but it is. Here’s the difference.


  • When referring to the topic of a sentence, “who” is used. “Who are you?” for example.


  • When referring to the subject of a sentence, “whom” is used. “Who was the letter addressed to?” for example. This is simpler to recall if you use more common gender pronouns like “he” and “he.” If you’re going to say “he,” use “who.” If you’d normally say “he,” substitute “whom.”

The same mistake

Again, there are other instances when pronouns might be readily confused. It may be tough to determine whether to use me, myself, or I, for example.

Me, Myself, and I

  • When someone does something to you or for you, they employ the pronoun “me.” “He gave the gift to me,” for example.
  • When you do the action on oneself, you say “myself.” “I earned the money for camp myself,” for example.
  • “I” is only used when referring to oneself as the sentence’s subject. “I sent out the email yesterday,” for example.

Words that are much too close to home

There are numerous terms in English that are similar in spelling but not in meaning, and people often mix them up. The following are the most prevalent issues.

Than vs. Then

  • “Then” is a transition word and an adverb used to place acts in time. “I went to the store, and then I went home,” for example.
  • The conjunction “than” is used to create comparisons. “I am smarter than you,” for example.

Compliment vs. Compliment

  • “Complement” refers to anything that works well with another. “Your eye makeup matches your wonderful eye color,” for example.
  • A “compliment” is anything you say to express your admiration or respect. “You are stunning,” for example.

Lose versus Loose

  • “Lose” signifies you’ve misplaced something and can’t locate it. “Did you lose her phone number?”
  • “Loose” indicates that something is not tight enough. “These clothes are too big,” for example.

Difference Between Affect and Effect

  • The term “affect” refers to anything that affects or effects something or someone. “Those late nights are likely to harm his performance,” for example.
  • When discussing an outcome, the term “effect” is employed. “Her weak grammatical skills had an impact on her final grade,” for example.

Farther vs. Further

  • The term “farther” refers to a physical distance. “How long is it to the petrol station?” for example.
  • The word “further” denotes a larger degree. “I’ll understand if you explain more,” for example.

Principal against Principle

  • The word “principal” refers to the highest-ranking individual, but the adjective refers to the most significant member of a group. “The principal of the school handed me detention,” for example.
  • The term “principle” refers to a basic truth or a norm. “The first premise of fundamental Christianity is faith.”

Assure, Insure, and Ensure

  • “Assure” is to declare anything with certainty and assurance. “I guarantee you, she’s the best on the squad,” for example.
  • “Insure” implies to safeguard against some kind of danger. “I insured my home since I like to burn candles,” for example.
  • “Ensure” means “to make certain.” “Please make sure you don’t burn down the home when you light all those candles,” for example.

Fewer vs. Less

  • When referring to a group of people or items, the word “fewer” is used. “Fewer astronauts are traveling into space,” for example.
  • When you can’t count the number or there isn’t a plural, “less” is used. “I now spend less time watching television,” for example.

Peak vs Peek versus Pique

  • “Peak” refers to the highest point of anything, such as a mountain or a point. “Our peak buying season was in December,” for example.
  • “Peek” means “quick peek.” “Don’t peek yet, it’s a surprise!” for example.
  • “Pique” may signify both annoyance and excitement. “The summary of the book has aroused my curiosity in finally reading it,” for example.

Frequently occurring punctuation mistakes

Not only may you use words wrongly, but you can also make mistakes with punctuation. Rather of listing every potential misuse of punctuation, let’s go through the fundamentals of commas and semicolons.

To separate: use commas.

  • a sequence of components (e.g. this, this, and that)
  • separate sentences connected by a conjunction (for example, I’m thrilled, and I know you are, too.)
  • an introduction phrase or word (e.g. Listen, I mean it.)

A semicolon is used to:

  • link two separate sentences that aren’t united by a conjunction (for example, I’m thrilled; I know you are, too).
  • to separate items in a list when the items themselves include commas (e.g. New York City, NY; Portland, Oregon; Nashville, TN)

The following is an example of how to use a semicolon:

Global Fund for Women email example - This shows the right way to use a semicolon, and we're using it for our common copywriting mistakes article on Campaign Monitor.

Words to avoid in your copywriting

If you use any of the terms listed in this section, you are not committing a mistake, but your writing may be a bit uninteresting. If you want to spice up your writing, consider removing or removing the following words:

  • Just
  • Very
  • Really
  • Amazing
  • Absolutely
  • Completely
  • Actual
  • Literally
  • Totally
  • Quite
  • Suddenly
  • To do so,
  • Like

Do yourself a favor and do a fast “control/find” search on your documents, removing any of the terms specified above.

Jargon use

It’s easy for a copywriter to slip into the trap of utilizing industry jargon. To be explicit, jargon refers to certain phrases, concepts, and acronyms connected with a specific field of activity. For example, consider the following phrases:

  • Stat – a statistic, a state, or a quick
  • Working for a share in a company in exchange for sweat equity
  • Working from home (WFH)

While jargon might help to streamline Slack discussions, material should be accessible to all readers. While certain terminologies may seem more professional, clients may not comprehend your industry-specific terminology.

So, wherever possible, avoid jargon.

Writing too generic copy

The basic goal of copywriting, particularly commercial copywriting, is to utilize your words to motivate your readers to act. Creating generic content will not help you reach your objectives. Instead, be quite clear about why you’re writing and what action you want your readers to take.

Examine the following examples to discover how specificity affects them:

General: Product XYZ will improve your performance and productivity.

The fix: Product XYZ will improve your performance by simplifying lead scoring and email marketing. As a consequence, there is increased efficiency and income.

Make your copy as detailed as possible the next time you write it, whether it’s sales copy, advertising content, or email copy.


English is a complicated language, making it tough to create excellent content. Hopefully, this tutorial will assist you in improving your writing when it counts the most.

Remember that, in addition to spelling and grammatical errors, you must ensure that your material flows effectively and is simple to comprehend.

Avoiding these spelling and grammatical errors, as well as the other technical copywriting errors, can make your work cleaner and more compelling.