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Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes but, when it comes to copywriting, some are pretty unforgivable.

Every word you write leaves a lasting impression on your reader and just because you’re copywriting for the web (or any other digital format), it doesn’t mean you can slacken off. So when you’re writing emails, websites or even the lowly SMS, remember they deserve grammatically correct, error-free copywriting!

If you’re worried you might be making obvious errors, then here are my top ten easy copywriting mistakes and how to fix them.


  • Your – possessive adjective. (Your copywriter is hot.)
  • You’re – the contraction of ‘you are’. (You’re a great copywriter.)


  • Its – possessive adjective. (The company is great but its website sucks.)
  • It’s – the contraction of ‘it is’. (It’s easy to make a copy mistake.)


  • There – in or at that place. (I had coffee over there.)
  • Their – possessive pronoun. (Their copywriter is fantastic.)


  • Loose – Adjective meaning free from attachment. (My tooth is a bit loose.)
  • Lose – Verb meaning to come to be with out. (I always lose my wallet.)


  • Bear – animal. (I saw a bear in the forest.)
  • Bear – deliver. (I hope my SEO work bears fruit.)
  • Bare – naked. (I slapped his bare bottom.)

Could have/Could of (Would have/Would of)

  • ‘I could have eaten the whole cake’, not ‘could of eaten the whole cake.’
  • ‘I would have liked to go home’, not ‘would of liked to go home.’

Allow/Allows, Lets/Let’s

  • Allow – Passive form of the verb ‘to allow’.
  • Allows – (Kate allows her clients to take her to lunch.)
  • Let – Passive form of the verb. (Let me go.)
  • Let’s – A contraction of ‘let us’. (Let’s eat some cake.)


  • Stationary – Not moving. (The car was stationary.)
  • Stationery – Writing materials. (I love to buy stationery.)


  • e.g. – The Latin abbreviation for exempli gratia (for example), to be used before giving specific examples.
  • i.e. – The Latin abbreviation for id est (that is) and used when you want to make something clearer.

American spelling

  • We’re not part of America (yet) so make sure it’s (for example):
  • Specialise not specialize.
  • Adviser not advisor.

A few others that are irritating but somewhat harder to explain (so I haven’t) are:

–       Dangling Modifiers

–       When to use ‘that’ and when to use ‘which’

–       And the classic (mis)use of colons

Do you have a pet copywriting hate?  Please share it below.

P.S. Picture from Writing Forward.

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