What Should I Look For When Hiring A Copywriter?
Whether your business is looking to hire a full-time copywriter or you are considering a freelancer, you need to know the necessary skills for great copywriting. A good copywriter knows how to write content that gets found in search engines by potential clients, drives excellent user experience, and boosts sales.
Content marketing is changing, and many business owners look to a freelance copywriter to help them achieve their goals. Instead of hiring a six-figure in-house writer, it is often less expensive and more convenient to work with a freelancer who is skilled in both advertising and content production.
It can be challenging to weed out the good from the bad when it comes to freelance copywriting businesses. There are many platforms that promise the best writers, but the truth is you will likely need to test different copywriting work to find the right freelance copywriter.
The best way to find a marketing expert who can produce sales copywriting is to ask the right questions during the interview process, and you can look at their portfolio to see if their past work matches your style.
Here are the five most essential elements that you should look for in a successful freelancer or in-house writer.
1. Polished Writing & Editing Skills
Obviously, the first thing you should think about is the actual writing. After all, freelance copywriters get hired first and foremost because they know how to put words together in such a way that the copy generates interest, makes a sale, or promotes brand loyalty.
Newer copywriters who don’t have the best grasp of spelling or grammar should hone these skills immediately as they’re crucial to landing clients and providing valuable service. There are various ways that a freelance copywriter might improve on their writing skills.
Those who prefer the old-fashioned way of learning would likely look at various books on writing and grammar to learn the basics. More modern methods include looking at educational articles or watching YouTube videos from established copywriters.
Either way, the freelance copywriter that you choose needs to be able to write engaging marketing material that gets found and closes sales. Along with having polished writing skills, you should also expect your copywriter also to proofread their content.
2. Write Engaging Headlines That Get Clicks
Of course, even a copywriter with the best writing skills in the world will struggle to achieve results if their blog post and page headlines are so bland that no one ever clicks on the articles they write.
This is why practicing your headline-writing skills is almost as important as perfecting your spelling and grammar. Online copywriting is more than fancy words that sound good- you need a writer who knows how also to get people to take action when your content is found in search engines.
You have to go deep into the psychology of it all and figure out what grabs the attention of your readers. Find the right phrasing the invokes their natural curiosity to ensure that they click on your articles.
Let’s look at two examples to compare what an amateur copywriter would write compared to an experienced copywriter.
How To Make More Money With Your Online Shop
How To Make $3,000 Per Month With This eCommerce Strategy
As you can see, the first headline is boring and doesn’t stand out, but the second headline really shows value. This is because the headline has numbers, symbols, and specific value for the reader. These are all essential elements to consider when writing content for advertising purposes.
You should look at past content your writer created to see if it will engage readers like a sales letter. You need to draw new clients into your site with freelance work that looks and reads like a real professional created it.
Make sure your freelancer can develop content that gets found, sounds excellent, and converts your audience, and your investment in a copywriter will be well worth your efforts!
3. Write For Customers Based On Where They Are
Writing with the intent to drive more conversions is a great skill to have for any copywriter, but the best copywriters out there achieve such great results because they know how to write for the customer.
When writing an article, it’s essential that copywriters talk to the readers rather than talking at them. A great freelance copywriter should also know how to tweak their tone and delivery based on the target audience.
For instance, if the article is aimed towards millennials, then using slang or pop culture, references are appropriate. Conversely, an article targeting retirees should use more formal language and take on a professional tone.
Many copywriters specialize in different areas of online marketing. You should look for a freelancer who knows how to create great content for your company’s needs, including:
- Blog Posts: This content is often made to answer questions and geared toward people in the early stages of research. You should hire a copywriter who knows how to answer questions and rank for specific keywords.
- Press Releases: This content is usually crafted in a highly professional and more rigid manner than blog posts. The purpose of press releases is to brag about your company and share updates.
- Social Media Posts: Writing content for social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great ways to grow your brand and increase your content’s exposure. Your content marketer should know how to make catchy blurbs about your blog posts and other content to increase Organic Traffic.
- Paid Media Text Ads: Google Ads and other online paid media platforms are great ways to get your message read by the right people at the right time. However, your content writer needs to know how to get your news found from a PPC marketing perspective and get people to opt-in to your offer once they hit your landing pages.
- Sales Content & Landing Pages: Copywriting for the web is tough, and it is vital that writers know how to create copy that drives conversions and sales. Getting people to take action on your site is the ultimate goal, and your writer needs to know how to format content to get found and drive conversions.
Just like a natural conversation, your content needs to speak to your audience based on where you are talking, what you are discussing, and the context of the conversation — at the end of the day, knowing when to say what comes down to practice.
It may seem tricky at first, but experienced freelance writers develop a feel for tweaking their writing based on the target audience.
4. Understand Your Audience With Market Research
Market research is another essential skill for any great freelance copywriter. Providing useful information on an article should be the main priority, but it’s important that you have the market data to back your claims up.
It’s hard for readers to take you on your word if you don’t cite your claims, leverage statistics, and let actual figures back your strategy.
This is especially important when you’re attempting to write about a product to increase sales or generate interest. If you want the readers to trust you enough that they actually buy the product, then you’ll need first to conduct sufficient market research so that they pick up on your knowledge of the niche.
This ties in with the age-old rule of writing: don’t assume anything. If you’ve been writing for a specific industry for an extended period of time, then you might think that some facts are commonly known.
That shouldn’t stop you from explaining jargon or citing claims to statements — even those you would think are common knowledge. Sure, market research takes time, but great copywriters understand that the time investment is well worth it for the end result.
5. Get Content Found With Keyword Research & Optimizations
Lastly, knowing your fair share of SEO can go a long way when it comes to copywriting. Many beginner copywriters avoid SEO projects like the plague because they fear it’s the marketing equivalent of rocket science.
The critical thing to note here is that copywriters don’t have to become SEO experts just to leverage keywords in such a way that the content achieves an intended result.
If one plans on becoming an SEO consultant then yes, knowing the ins and outs of the Google algorithm is essential, but for copywriters, getting familiarized with good practices like including the primary keyword in subheadings and opening paragraphs is often enough to rank an article.
Another aspect of SEO that scares beginner copywriters is the keyword research phase. While this may sound like a dreadfully tricky task, it can actually be rather simple. All you have to do is take a look at which keywords are accessible in a specific industry and pick one to target based on how competitive it is.
Various online tools are available that show you the details of each keyword and help you pick one out. Great copywriters understand that SEO is nothing to fear, but rather, something to leverage.
What Skills Should A Copywriter Have?
Building a copywriting career is difficult, but as a business owner, you should know what skills to look for before hiring a writer for a specific job. Copywriting comes in many flavors, and you should know who you are working with before you hire someone for your start-up or larger brand.
It is important to remember that each writer will charge more for their services based on their experience, skills, and value. You should balance the needs of your project with your budget and goals before hiring a writer!
You can use the tips to help guide you through the process to ensure you get the best freelancer or in-house writer today!