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Why Hire a Copywriter (And How to Find a Good One)

Here’s a quick question for you:

What is the purpose of the internet?

Whoa! That’s a tough one—right? There are around a hundred different ways to tackle this question. Your answer is likely as unique and nuanced as you are.

For now, let’s fall back on some data. According to the Pew Internet Project, there are four basic purposes of the internet. Or, at least, four distinct ways in which the internet is used. They are:

  1. Communicating
  2. Gathering Information
  3. Making Transactions
  4. Seeking Entertainment

Whether your business focuses on one, two, or all of these purposes, we’d like to argue that it all comes down to quality content. It’s simply not possible to communicate, share data, sell goods, or provide information online without the written word. And your success likely depends upon your ability to write in an engaging way.

Sounds easy enough, right? After all, it’s not like you’re also trying to manage finances, analyze the competition, acquire and retain customers, and stay on top of the other million-and-one things it takes to keep a business afloat.

In other words, if content creation has fallen to the bottom of your to-do list, no one would blame you. But you won’t find the success you’re looking for online until you prioritize the way you communicate with your audience.

Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle this monumental project on your own…

Enter, The Copywriter.

*jazz hands*

Copywriting happens to be a topic we are passionate about. After all, we’re doing it right now. We also do it for the vast majority of our clients. Hours upon hours are spent behind our keyboards. We type, backspace, retype, throw our hands in the air, take a coffee break, and then sit back down and type some more.

Why?

Because we know that a perfectly worded sentence has the power to lure in a customer. And we want our clients to reap the benefits.

Good content takes time. And if time is something you’re short on, we recommend you hire a copywriter—or someone who is skilled in writing sales copy.

In our opinion, a good copywriter is akin to a mystical unicorn. It’s a person (or team of people) who can create content that your readers actually want to read. That can be a hard goal to achieve when considering how content-dense the online marketplace is.

Now, you might be tempted to cut corners and save dollars by tackling your content on your own. And we don’t want to discourage you from putting your passion into words—especially if you have the time and resources to do so. But there are several reasons you might prefer to hire a professional. Here are just a few:

Good Copy Takes Time

Do we sound like a broken record? We’re trying to hammer in this point because many clients don’t realize just how much time goes into a solid piece of copy.

From start to finish, a 1,000-word blog post can take weeks to complete. Brainstorming ideas, researching the chosen topic, writing the piece, and then taking the time to review and edit the final draft doesn’t happen overnight. If the topic requires you to schedule interviews, perform polls, or collect data, the overall timeline can easily become a month or more.

If, like many business owners, you simply don’t have that kind of time at your disposal, hiring a copywriter just makes sense. Plus, someone who writes copy full-time will be able to streamline and tackle the project in a more efficient window of time.

Remember, whether it’s you or your copywriter who puts in the time, the payoff is well worth the effort. Quality content helps you appeal to the right audience—the kind of audience that pays the bills. It also makes your website and brand more shareable, which will expand your outreach, boost your SEO efforts, and increase your sales.

Good Copy Considers SEO

Technically, Search Engine Optimization and Content Creation are two separate marketing techniques. But we believe you can’t do one without the other. At least, not well.

Thankfully, most copywriters have a foundational understanding of SEO and will write copy that complements your strategy. If you really want to hit the ball out of the park, you should look for a writer whose branding includes the term “SEO copywriting.” This will tell you that they specialize in content that appeals to both human readers and search engine algorithms.

Good Writing Doesn’t Always Make for Good Copy

You could be a best-selling author or an award-winning poet and then turn around and write terrible copy. Why? Because copy is its own difficult beast, completely separate from other forms of writing. A sentence that works well on the pages of your favorite novel will look clunky on a webpage.

Good copy is short and to the point. It’s also powerful, engaging, and value-driven. Copywriters understand this. They know that they have ten seconds or less to pull a reader in before losing that reader to the next interesting thing the internet offers. If their writing is wordy, difficult to skim, or overly embellished, it simply won’t make an impact.

For example, if ToasterTubs tried to attract an audience with this kind of content, they likely wouldn’t be the nation’s best-selling toaster/hot tub combo:

Welcome to ToasterTubs, the world’s premier establishment for purchasing high-end toaster hot tubs that tickle the fancies of those with even the most extravagant of tastes. Our products are produced of quality materials that transport you from your painfully average life to something luxurious, comfortable, and above all, expensive. We know that nothing would bring you greater fulfillment than to dip your toes into our sparkling waters, so please reach out to our extremely accomplished and gregarious consultants at your earliest convenience.

To some, this paragraph might appear well-written. After all, it’s grammatically correct, descriptive, and tells you how to learn more about the product. But it simply doesn’t read well online, especially for those users who want a quick and captivating introduction to the ToasterTubs brand.

Here’s what the ToasterTubs home page actually says:

Snappy and to-the-point. Just how we (and the majority of online consumers) like it.

Good Copy Is a Team Effort

Above all, hiring a copywriter gives you a third-person perspective. For most small business owners, the company is the end-all, be-all. While all that passion can be an asset, it can also blur your vision. A copywriter will analyze your content efforts and give you an honest appraisal of what is and is not working. If you’re looking for a fresh perspective, we recommend you hire a copywriter.

Building a strong relationship with your content team will only serve to strengthen the quality of the content produced.

What Makes a Good Copywriter

Of course, you can’t go hiring any ol’ Joe off the street who calls himself a copywriter. If you’re going to invest in a professional, you want to make sure you find yourself a good one. But what makes a good copywriter, anyway? And how can you spot one?

They Write Engaging Content

This first point is v, v obvious. But we’re going to say it anyway.

Don’t hire a writer unless you like the way they write. If you aren’t excited to see what they come up with next, your readers won’t be either.

Do your due diligence in the hiring process by asking for samples of the applicant’s past work. Or, present a writing exercise to see how their content might fit in with your unique brand.

They Know How to Solve Problems

A quality copywriter does more than just write. You want to hire someone who can see your products and services from the perspective of a potential buyer. From there, he or she will be able to create a content strategy that is emotionally driven and speaks to the mindset of the reader.

It’s also important that you find someone who can adapt their writing to fit your company’s voice. Better yet, hire a copywriter who can help you develop and nail that voice.

They Understand the Industry

The right copywriter will be constantly evolving their strategies. We don’t have to tell you that the internet is ever-changing. What catches a reader’s interest today might not work tomorrow. And the same is true for SEO. Look for applicants who appear passionate about copywriting and the industry you work in. That way, you can be sure that your ongoing content efforts stay in touch with current trends.

They Stay Flexible

You don’t want to hire a copywriter who is afraid to tell you what they think. After all, that would negate the value of a third-party perspective.

But don’t forget that you are the knowledgeable business owner in this situation. If your writer isn’t willing to hear your perspective, take constructive criticism, and let you have the final say, it may not be a good fit. Flexibility from both sides of the relationship is the best path forward.

One Last Note . . .

Once you’ve found a good fit, think of your copywriter as a valuable member of the team—even if they aren’t a full-time employee or are working for you on a contract-by-contract basis.

Keep them in the loop on how you feel about your content strategy, where you would like to go next, and other concerns that come to mind. Building a strong relationship with your content team will only serve to strengthen the quality of the content produced. You’ll all be better off for it.

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