There are thousands of copywriters in the market. They all have different levels of experience, ability, writing styles and ideas for your content. And their quotes will vary wildly—and not always according to ability.
It can be confusing, especially if you’ve not hired a copywriter before (or you’ve had a bad experience and want to avoid making another mistake). But website content writing isn’t something you can afford to leave to an amateur.
- Bad website content won’t turn visitors into clients
- Even average content means you’re leaving money on the table because you’re not converting every lead you could
At the end of this guide, you’ll know:
- Exactly what to ask a potential copywriter to sort the great from the average
- How to be certain you’ve chosen of copywriter who will grow your business
1 . Finding a website content writer: The most important questions of all
Of course this process is about you asking questions. But the most important questions to you are the ones the copywriter asks. More accurately, it’s about how many questions they ask you.
Imagine you asked two companies how much it would cost to build a road. Would you trust the one who told you “$10 million” or the one who said, “I don’t know yet. Where do you need the road to go? How wide? What sort of vehicles will be driving on it? How often do you want to maintain it?”
Great copywriters live for persuading people, so they want to know who they’ve got to persuade and what they’ve got to persuade them about. Without knowing that, they can’t know what will go into writing your website.
If they quote you to write a website without knowing much about you, you’re in for a cookie-cutter experience.
2. When it comes to copywriting, different is better than better
People won’t call you because you claim on your website to be the “leading”, “biggest” or “fastest growing” company in your industry. All your competitors are likely saying the same thing
What will persuade people to call is your point of difference.
The right web copywriter will have proven processes in place to work with you to identify your difference, the one that matters to your ideal clients. A great copywriter won’t just ask you what you want to say or write your website after only looking at a couple of your competitor’s website then writing something similar.
3. Silence is golden
To be persuasive in writing your website, a copywriter has to understand your business, your goals, your clients and your competition. It’s going to help a lot if they’re genuinely interested in you.
You can get a good idea of that interest if you wait a while after the first conversation. Do they follow up with a formal proposal? Do they call you to check in on the proposal?
If your prospective content writer isn’t interested in winning your business, how interested are they likely to be in you when they actually have it?
4. What to ask a potential website copywriter
When it’s you asking the questions, here are some you should be asking a copywriter:
- Do they have testimonials?
- What’s their experience?
- What's their process?
- How long will it take?
- How do they charge?
Website content writer experience
Every copywriter has a first client and you can always make the decision to be someone’s first, especially if you can work out a favourable price as a result.
However, weigh the experience of the writer in terms of the importance of your website to your bottom line. If your website is the first impression your potential clients will have of your business, you need it to be as professional as you are.
Your website copy could be the difference between whether someone calls you or they click away to a competitor.
Don’t get too hung up on getting examples of a copywriter’s work.
A copywriter may never have written about your particular product or service or in your particular industry before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the skills to do the job.
Good copywriters know how to work to understand your business, your clients and your goals. They know how to bring all this research together into persuasive copywriting. You’re employing a craftsman with the right tools, not someone who hammers out identical widgets.
Even if you can find a specialist in your industry, they might know too much about it. Specialsts often lose sight of what non-experts don’t know and what they need to be told before they can be persuaded to call.
5. How to pay a website content writer
Copywriters can charge by the word, by the hour, or by a fixed fee.
Charging by the word
The problem with paying somebody by the word is there's an incentive for the copywriter to write too much. You need someone who's going to be succinct. This is especially important for any writing that will appear online.
If you're paying by the word, there’s no incentive for the writer to distill their copy. because every unnecessary word they cut costs them time and money.
Charging by the hour
The potential downside of paying a copywriter by the hour is that they have no incentive to be fast or efficient.
Charging a fixed fee
Paying a fixing a fee gives the copywriter an incentive to write faster and—potentially—less carefully.
But this is the best of the three choices. It’s transparent and certain for both the content writer and the client.
The trick is to protect yourself by making sure you’ve qualified the copywriter to begin with. Follow the advice above.
- Does it seem like they care about you and your goals? (Have they at least asked what they are?)
- Do their clients say they pride themselves on doing a good job?
- Would those clients use the copywriter again or would they force themselves back to blind Google searching?
6. How much should it cost to get my website content written?
Copywriting is an investment. The first question you have to answer for yourself is what is the return on investment of having a professional write your website content?
Say if your website brings in customers who spend $500 a time, then every client who isn’t impressed by your website and goes to a competitor has cost you $500.
We’re not saying you have to spend $1 million on your website content, but it certainly means if you're thinking about going with someone who promises to do it all for $200, you're probably taking a big gamble on that.
- When hiring a copywriter, decide first how you want to pay – hourly, work or fixed
- Prepare questions to ask
- Listen for the questions you’re asked. Does it sound like the content writer will take the time to understand your business or are they going to stamp out something generic?
Ultimately what you invest in copywriting for your website comes down to how effective you want your website to be in getting people to call you. The cost of a great copywriter will look insignificant next to what an average competitor will cost you in lost business.