Choosing a Copywriter

Copywriters come with many skill levels, talents, and experience. Choosing the best copywriter for your business will depend not only upon your needs, but also upon what you can afford to pay. But what do you look for when your company is small to medium-sized, and you simply don’t have that “BIG BOY” budget?

Writing is a skill that is learned and perfected, based upon someone’s natural ability to write and his willingness to constantly study his field. Many men and women consider themselves both freelance writers and copywriters based on the simple fact that they have their own websites and newsletters, have been praised by friends and family, and have sold a few pieces to other webmasters.

Technically, they are writers! But, are they the “type” of writer you are looking for? While there are many great writers and copywriters on the Internet who deserve a shot at being successful, not everyone is the perfect candidate for the job.

When looking for a copywriter for your business, consider the following:

• What’s the quality of work on his own site?

• What’s the quality of the work on his client’s site(s)?

• If you handed over a bunch of notes, could he make sense out of those notes?

• Does he ask questions to make sure he understands your needs?

• Is he willing to make changes quickly and cheerfully?

• When he speaks with you, does he make you feel important or inferior?

• If he’s writing for the web, can he add keywords and phrases in your copy, so that it still makes sense?

• Is he a yes man or will he thoughtfully discuss why your thinking won’t fit a piece and why?

• Does he offer suggestions that complement your piece and/or make it stronger?

• Is he reliable?

• What timeframe does he offer when getting your work done?

• Are his copywriting rates feasible and are they spelled out in clear detail?

• If the copywriter has never written for your industry before, do you have the patience to work with this writer until he has an intimate familiarity with your business and its terminology? If yes, does the copywriter show enough potential to warrant your time and money?

Once you’ve had a chance to interview copywriters based on the above questions, you’ll need to help your copywriter do his best job, by making sure that you have given him enough background information to understand your project. Information such as:

• Any published marketing materials

• Interoffice company memos

• Notes from business meetings

• Technical letters and product specs

• Your marketing plan

Above everything else, you need to make sure that you and your copywriter have the right “chemistry.” If you find your relationship tense, or always formal, you may want to find another copywriter. After all, success comes from “teamwork.”

So how much does a copywriter charge? Current rates vary from as little as $12.50 an hour (new writers) to well over $300 per hour! It’s true you get what you pay for, but if you’re company budget can’t afford to pay $100 or more an hour, you can still find a qualified, affordable copywriter to meet YOUR company budget.

Utilizing a more affordable copywriter may simply require a bit more of your involvement in exchange for a lower rate. You may need to provide more information so that the copywriter’s primary duty is to finesse the language and create dynamic text that will appeal to your intended audience–even if he doesn’t come to the table with a thorough background in your particular field.

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