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You have a professionally designed website. You like the way it looks, and the navigation functions well. Now you need the written content. After all, pictures are nice but copy is what persuades a visitor to become a customer. Keep these 10 tips in mind when choosing your website copywriter.
1. Check out her website.
Look at her website copywriter services and determine if she could be a fit for your needs. See how she presents herself. Read her pages. Do you like her writing style? Do you feel a connection to her?
You want to choose a copywriter who will craft exceptional website copy that describes your products and services in an engaging way.
Creating online content for a website can be a lengthy process, particularly if you plan to have a large website with many pages or complex functionality. You want a copywriter with whom you’ll enjoy working, or the process will be difficult and stressful.
2. Ask to see samples of her website copywriting.
Any website copywriter should be able to provide you with links to websites she’s written. Take a peek.
Do you like her writing samples? Is the copy easy to read? Is it engaging and persuasive? Does it make you want to take action?
Be sure you’re reading the copywriter’s words and not just evaluating the websites on the basis of their design and pictures.
Also, ask the copywriter if she is comfortable writing about your area of expertise. Some copywriters are generalists who can write about most any topic, while others have specialties. For example, if you have a technology company, you’ll want a copywriter who understands and likes writing high-tech copy.
3. Google the website copywriter.
You might find articles or blog posts she’s written, which will give you more insights into her capabilities. You also might find her mentioned on feedback sites that include copywriting services.
In fact, it’s a great idea to Google any vendor with whom you plan to work including copywriters, web designers, programmers and more. Reading reviews can help you choose the best service providers.
4. Ask if she has any client testimonials.
Many website copywriters post comments from their clients right on their own website. (You can find my testimonials here.)
Even though you’ll probably only find positive feedback, the client comments will give you a better understanding of the writer’s strengths. If she has no testimonials to share, you can ask for client references. She may be able to provide you with written statements or contact information for her copywriting clients whom you can then call or email. (You can find my references here.)
5. Talk with the website copywriter.
Ideally, you shouldn’t rely solely on email. You want the added communication value that comes through voice. Most writers won’t want to meet in person because it’s not time efficient, but a phone call would be worthwhile for everyone.
Determine during the call if you feel the copywriter is listening and understanding your requirements. Do you feel the connection? Does she seem confident she can do your work? Does she sound enthused about your project?
Hiring a freelance copywriter is similar to hiring an employee. You’ll want to choose someone whose personality meshes with yours and who is as committed to creating quality work as you are.
6. Ask for a quote on your website copywriting project.
Copywriter fees are always a factor, so of course you’ll want to ask for her copywriter rates. However, price shouldn’t be your sole priority.
A cheap copywriter likely isn’t the best copywriter. She may be lacking in experience or might not understand the nuances of writing marketing copy. Copywriting is one area in which you usually get what you pay for. And exceptional writing talent is worth every penny.
A better approach to evaluating copywriter rates is to search for value. Do you feel buying professional services from this copywriter will be a good value? Will you get a good ROI?
Remember, good copy should make you money by generating sales and building your brand. Don’t try to save a few dollars on copy that ultimately won’t deliver the desired results.
7. Spell out the parameters of your project.
The best way to ensure that your expectations are met is to state them clearly or even put them into writing. Website copywriters are not mind-readers. They only know as much as you tell them.
While you don’t want to overwhelm your copywriter with unnecessary details, giving her insights into the big picture can help her understand your objectives and how the copy they produce will fit into the organization’s marketing mix.
Tell your copywriter the key points she should emphasize, the audience you want to target, your sales process and the call to action (what you want the visitor to do after reading your website copy)
8. Ask for a written agreement that itemizes the copywriting services she’ll provide.
As suggested in item #7, putting terms into writing lessens the chance of a misunderstanding. Your copywriter should be happy to put together a proposal that spells out exactly what the website project entails, what copy she will provide and the project’s timetable, copywriting rates and payment terms.
9. Provide your copywriter with all the background information she needs.
Don’t hold back. Share your marketing strategy so she understands your objectives. Talk about your target customer.
Your website copywriter will also want to get up to speed on your product or service. If someone in your organization can provide insights, offer to set up a conference call.
If you have written materials on your subject matter, share them with her. If you have specific competitors you’re trying to beat, point your copywriter toward their websites. The more your copywriter knows and understands about your business, products and services, the better job she’ll be able to do on your web content.
10. Trust the pro.
If you’re hiring a professional website copywriter, then be receptive to her ideas. She’s trying to help. Of course no one knows your business better than you do, but she can provide an objective outsider’s viewpoint.
She can also give you the benefit of her experience working with other clients on their website. That doesn’t mean you should accept every idea without question, but do give her suggestions and recommendations serious consideration.
If you follow the 10 tips give above, you’ll likely have a good experience in selecting and working with a professional website copywriter.
One last caveat. Be sure your expectations are realistic. Website copywriters are wordsmiths not magicians. They can’t make a bad product sell or a poorly run business be profitable. Copywriting is just one element, albeit an important one, that can help a business succeed.