With over 5 million blog posts written every single day, there’s no room for mediocrity. You either go big, or you might as well go home. Low or even medium-quality content will silently perish in the endless pool of information that is today's internet. So if you want your brand to thrive, your content shouldn’t just pass by unnoticed online.
All this content is written by thousands of copywriters, some more talented than others. So you’re probably thinking, ‘ok, I need to get my hands on one of the good ones.’ But with such high numbers, "good" doesn’t do it anymore; you need a killer copywriter, and those are not so easy to find. Hiring a copywriter is no easy job, especially if you’re looking for the best of the best. That’s why we’re here to give you a helping hand, and give you some pointers as to the dos and don’ts of hiring a copywriter and where to look for one.
We’ve talked to many of our clients and asked them about their process of finding the right copywriter for their business, their hurdles, and challenges. Here are some of the mistakes they've made along the way, and what you should do differently when you hire your website copywriter.
Truth is, the best copywriters won’t come to you. You need to find them, but first, let’s define what best means. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to copywriting. With so many various types of content available today (emails, white papers, blog articles, press releases, eBooks, etc.), it’s impossible to find a person that can ace them all. So you should understand your needs and wants first, to know what to expect from the copywriting hiring process and the final product itself.
One of the biggest mistakes people do when hiring a copywriter is to assume that they only need a title or an idea from you. It’s the other way around. A great copywriter will also ask you about the purpose of the content, target audience, writing style, approximate word count, keywords, etc., in order to create copy that will thrive. Make sure you provide all necessary information from the beginning, clearly communicate your needs, and leave the lines of communication open throughout the entire project, so any misunderstandings are rectified quickly, and constructive feedback can be incorporated fast.
Here's a combination that's pretty impossible to find. You need to understand you’re likely to get only one or two of these three criteria. If you want top-notch content delivered fast, get ready to pay the big bucks. If you want a fast turnaround, you’ll have to compromise on quality or increase the budget. If you’re not willing to pay much, you need to be realistic about it and know you’ll have to give up quality or swiftness.
Usually, copywriters offer one draft and up to two rounds of changes and revisions. If your expectations are somewhat different, or you’ve never worked with that copywriter before, set clear goals regarding the number of drafts and changes included in the initial estimate. Any additional revisions are paid too. No stellar copywriter will work for free.
Basing your copywriter hiring decision solely on the person’s resume won’t necessarily get you the best copywriter out there, or the right one for you. Ask for samples to get a better sense of the writing style and quality you can expect. Another great way to get a better grasp of the value a particular copywriter can bring to your brand is asking them to show you a before and after of some of their previous work. It might be difficult for them to offer you that, but you can also ask them to describe the changes they made to the copy, what their approach was, and how they transformed the content.
Just like most businesses or entrepreneurs, you probably want that copy yesterday, but quality takes time. From our own experience, we can say it’s better to wait a bit longer and get a stellar result than rush the copywriter and set yourself for mediocrity. However, it’s important to discuss a timeframe for the first draft and set realistic, tangible deadlines. Also take a buffer for revisions, rewrites, and edits.
You’ve already spent a lot of time looking for the right wordsmith for the job. You’ve found that top-notch copywriter you’ve been looking for, so your job now is done, right? Not even close. You need to understand that no matter who you choose to do the copywriting job, you still need to invest time in revising the content, giving feedback, and asking for changes, if necessary. That’s the part of the job no copywriter can take off your shoulders.
SEO is still relevant in 2019, although search engines have suffered some significant changes and analyze content differently than they used to. But copywriting and SEO are two different things. Ideally, you can hire a copywriter with SEO knowledge, but don’t go for an SEO pro. You’re hiring a copywriter for their creativity, unique take on ideas and words, and voice. There’s no bigger buzz killer for a copywriter than a long list of SEO rules that will stir them off from what really matters (ideas and flow) and have them focus on using certain words in certain places. You can offer them a list of keywords to have in mind, but leave the rest out.
Now that you have a better sense of the most common mistakes people make when hiring a copywriter, and understand the whole process and your needs better, let’s also take a look at some of the best places to find the freelance copywriter you need.
Here are some more tips on hiring copywriters from industry experts
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