Many busy people want a blog on their website but don’t have time to write the content. If that’s you, here are a series of questions and steps to take before you request quotes for copywriting services.
Does your copywriter need personal experience with your product or service?
I’ve been hired to successfully write website, blog, and newsletter copy for clients in destinations I’ve never visited. I researched destinations and wrote copy to speak to the target audience and address the client’s goals. We measured open rates, number of clicks, and leads produced to determine ROI. I’ve also written copy for clients after a firsthand experience of a product or service. As a writer, the firsthand experience was more enjoyable but it isn’t necessarily a requirement.
Know your target audience
What type of client is the easiest to work with? What type of customer do you wish you could clone?
For example, a clear target audience for a yoga studio in Seattle is “single women, age 24-34, who live or work in Seattle, who regularly frequent gyms, and have a demonstrated interest in yoga.” Here’s an example of an unclear target audience for the same studio “people in Seattle who like yoga.”
Identify one to three goals of your blog
Let’s use my blog as an example, my blog has 3 goals.
- Provide helpful content to my target audience
- Demonstrate my authority on subjects related to my business
- Update my website with quality content, regularly to boost my SEO results
Identify word length
I recommend articles be a minimum of 300 words, and a max of 500. There are studies which suggest longer articles of 800 to 1000 words are better. Posts should be as long as they need to be and no longer. Cut the fluff.
In my experience publishing bi-weekly is best. Quarterly and monthly schedules don’t get the same traction as publishing bi-weekly. When it comes to blog posts it isn’t quantity over quality. It would be better to publish quality monthly posts than poorly written bi-weekly posts. I try to avoid weekly and do not recommend daily posts.
Think like a publisher and identify your topics
Create an editorial calendar based on your overall objectives. Include helpful content for your target audience. Your copywriter can wordsmith titles. You need to give direction for topics and a call to action.
Identify timeline and logistics
For example, “I have an editorial calendar and photo library. I want 2 posts a month. I want the first drafts of each article emailed to me on the 1st and 15th.” Be realistic about drafts, editing, and your schedule. When you get the first draft read it and respond with clear feedback. It’s frustrating to write copy, submit it and not hear anything back. It may take a writer a few attempts to nail your style. It takes time for a writer to make edits. Be reasonable with your expectations. Be a good client. Good clients are easier to write for.
Identify your assets
Do you have a photo or video library? Will you send an editorial calendar with an assigned image to use as the header of your blog post? Do you have a template for your blog?
Identify your brand voice
Copywriters want to know the tone you want your posts written in. Your business card, website, brochure, social media content, advertising, blog etc., should all feel and look like the same business. My brand voice is friendly, approachable yet professional. My target audience is small business owners and nonprofits. I don’t pursue large Fortune 500 corporations. I don’t write for the C-suite. Nike has an inspirational, powerful voice. A legal, medical, financial firm may use a formal tone. Identify if you want your posts written in first person.
Identify key words
Think about your website and key words you want to rank for. Don’t sacrifice the quality of writing for key-word ranking. You want helpful content that speaks to your audience. You also want effective content to boost your SEO ranking. Quality of writing comes first. Your writer should first write for humans, not for search engines.
Ask to see samples of the copywriter’s work
Don’t skip this step.
Some copywriters publish prices on their websites, most will need the details listed in this blog post before they can give you a quote for their services. Wondering about the going rate for a blog post? You can use websites like Crowdcontent.com or Thumbtack.com to hire a writer for as little as $50 an article but buyer beware. The cheapest solution isn’t always the right one. I recommend more along the lines of $100 to $150 per article with one, no more than two rounds of edits. Good copywriters are worth their weight in gold. A good copywriter can set your business apart from the competition.
If you need help with any of these steps let me know. I’m available for one free consult by phone or online Zoom, Teams, or Google meeting.