Copywriters are key players when it comes to marketing. They write the words in advertisements, commercials, and brochures. Increasingly their skills are used for website copy and that is the field I am going to talk about today. The field of SEO copywriting or writing for the web.
There are all sorts of social proof when it comes to hiring a copywriter for your business website. Klout isn’t always the most efficient measure, but it is one that many will look at without considering the context of the score. Remember to look at networks like LinkedIn to see if the writer keeps a professional profile and if they have any recommendations from previous employers.
Here are some questions you should ask the next time you need to hire an SEO copywriter.
1. Can we talk on the phone?
A copywriter needs to know more about your business. You are their best resource for understanding tone, voice, your audience, potential customers and more. Never email a potential hire with an email that says I need X blogs by X date for X $. We are professionals, and an email like this is probably going to go straight to the trash. Ask for a phone call and do a proper interview.
2. Can you write a sample? And/or provide samples of your past work?
Some copywriters do not like to give away samples. Simply because they feel that a client will steal the work and they will not get paid. If the person seems irritated let them know it is because you want to see if they will enjoy the work. Some topics are easier to write than others and that will vary from person to person. Asking for a sample allows you to see their writing ability and gives them a feel for what the work will be like. However, some of the best copywriters will not give samples, and you probably don’t want to eliminate them for your talent pool, so consider asking for past work on relevant subject matters.
3. Do you write for any particular niche?
In SEO, niches are everything.
You might want to hire someone who has written for your niche successfully in the past. You should look at their portfolio to see their ability to do research and write copy. There are good generalists out there too, so do not necessarily count someone out because your niche is new to them. You will be able to get a feel for their writing process when you talk with them on the phone, which you should always do.
4. Do you do SEO campaign tracking, community management, or social media management?
Some clients will ask me to do the above tasks for free along with my copywriting duties. Expect to pay for these extra services and ask your potential hire about their abilities before you need it. If a candidate has performed these taks before, this may indicate that he or she may have a stronger grasp on what drives results in copy writing.
5. What is your turn around time?
It is important to tell your potential copywriter what you expect from them, including deadlines. If a person will be blogging let them know how many you need per month/week. Ask them how long it will take them to write. Be upfront, and let the copywriter know if this is a one time engagement or if you will need them for several months.
Again, I cannot underscore how important the phone call interview is when you are considering hiring an SEO copywriter. I know email is much more convenient, but the call will give the employer and potential hire the chance to get a feel for each other. A simple email exchange is not enough to find out the information you need to make a sound decision.
Susan Silver is a contract copywriter with three years of experience writing for the web. She is a generalist that focuses on bringing the heart to her client’s stories. Susan is also a contributor to 12most where she focuses on the writing journey. Photo Credit RealWebSEO.
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