Finding a great copywriter can be difficult, especially given that there are very few certifications that grant credibility in the field. Anyone with a computer could potentially set up a quick site and brand themselves as an “expert copywriter”.
This can be frustrating, but it can also be a very good thing. More providers in the market can drive the cost down overall, but it also has a way of consistently separating out different skill levels. The only way to tell for yourself is by hiring one. If they’re a good fit, you’re golden! If not, here are three red flags to watch out for.
1. Tone Issues
Businesses need to come off a certain way, even (and especially) in their copy.
Whether you’re sending out emails or having website content written, the tone by which you reach your audience needs to be consistent.
For example, now-famous Dollar Shave Club has a specific demeanor and tone that we’ve come to know. You probably wouldn’t expect your local Divorce Lawyer to sound like them (that would be quite entertaining though to say the least!).
The point here is to first decide what your messaging and tone ought to be, then hire a copywriter that can consistently exude it through their use of copy.
Not sure how to help your writers understand the tone of your brand (or your client’s brand)? Here’s a free SEO Content Style Guide template.
2. Sloppy Grammer and Speling
See what I did there? It kind of hurt my brain to leave this subheader, but it proves a point. Website visitors notice. If they encounter distracting writing errors, it doesn’t matter how beautifully the site is designed, they’ll be turned off and probably won’t return.
We’ve all had the experience of calling customer service and speaking to someone that we can’t understand completely. It can be a huge turnoff, so why do some companies hire copywriters who clearly don’t have a good command of the English language? If your content is in Spanish, hire a native Spanish speaker. If it’s in Portuguese, hire someone who knows Portuguese perfectly. You get the idea.
Don’t Fall for the “Cost Trap”
Sometimes we fall into the “cost trap”, thinking that we’d rather have lots of low-cost content so that search engines have pages and posts to index, but this is very short-sighted thinking. If the only purpose of the content is to fool Google, this route may work; but if you’re looking for any kind of engagement that would lead to conversions, this is not smart. Each piece of content should help users make some kind of decision:
- Read More
- Make a Call
- Fill out this Form
- Download my E-Book
- Visit Another Post
- Like a Facebook Page
If you have a set purpose in mind for each piece of content that is written, you would never want it to be subpar. Even if you could only afford one really good piece of content each month, in my opinion, it’s totally worth it in the long run.
Your copywriter should lay out very clearly what their turnaround times should be, their pricing, and overall expectations. Aside from obvious emergencies, these standards should be maintained professionally. If there is a drop in quality, work being submitted late, or constant need to correct grammar, it may be time to try another freelancer or copywriting service.
What Makes a Good Copywriter?
You may be wondering how to find great copywriters to begin with. While there are many platforms for finding writers online, what matters most is whether you know what you are looking for in a copywriter.
An effective copywriter will understand how to capture the tone and message of your brand. That is, they will know how to appeal to your target audience in order to increase conversions.
They will be professional, thorough and skilled at following directions. Everyone hates it when they hire a writer but end up having to re-write the whole piece of content. Get a feel of your writer’s ability through examples and reviews.
Finally, a fantastic copywriter will bring great results every time. You won’t have to be left guessing what quality of work they will return to you each time. They will always be on point.