If you’re considering using a copywriter, whether for your business blog, feature writing, or longer social media pieces, but aren’t quite sure how it works, here are some of the questions I’ve been asked, that might help you decide the best route forward for you and your enterprise.
- I’ve signed up, what happens next?
Most copywriters will start by learning about your company. Whether that means reading through your website, looking at any hard copy marketing materials you have, talking to you and your team about your business and why it’s different from competitors offering the same product or service, a good copywriter will immerse themselves in your business world.
Once they have a good knowledge of your offering, they will ideally then create a schedule of content ideas – a plan as to what you could be talking about on your chosen medium and when. This plan may need to be flexible as new things crop up and priorities change, but it is useful to create visibility and transparency about work that has been completed, is in progress or is in the pipeline for a future date.
2. How do you know what I want to say?
By having an informal chat up front, copywriters can glean all the information they need. What seems ‘every day’ and ‘not exciting’ to you is often gold dust from a marketing perspective. It’s hard to see it when it’s your own business, but a third party looking in can see all the benefits you have to offer.
Of course, some input from you will be required, but it shouldn’t be a hassle for you to pass this information across. For example, perhaps you work it into your working week or month, to jot down some thoughts about what you would like your company to be talking about, depending on what’s cropped up throughout the week. This shouldn’t be an extensive essay, just some scribbled notes or typed bullet points of headings or topics you would like your copywriter to explore on your behalf. For example, if you’re a yoga business, perhaps a client asks for advice on which yoga postures they could explore to help them sleep better. If you make a note of it and fire it off to your copywriter, they can place it in the schedule and when the time comes, research that topic and write a post for your approval.
3. What if I don’t like something you write?
No problem! Whilst I have come across a few copywriters that are precious about their work to the point they’d rather not make any changes, most of us are happy to work collaboratively because we understand that each piece of writing needs to reflect your business and your values. It’s very unlikely you would find yourself in a situation that you need a complete re-write, because hopefully you will have seen samples of your copywriter’s work before engaging them and you will have approved the subject matter before writing even commences., but if their writing style consistently isn’t working for you, or you feel you are having to have too much input, it might be worth looking around for someone else to replace them. Working with a copywriter is meant to make your life easier, not harder!
4. Will you publish my blog posts for me?
Every copywriter will be different but on the whole, if you have found someone that offers a copywriting service for business blogs, they will be happy to post your blogs too. They may need a bit of training on your particular blog admin system, but for a small amount of effort up front, you could be saving yourself a lot of time in the future. And if you’d rather keep control of posting the blogs yourself, that’s fine too. A good copywriter will be eager to work with you in a way that suits your business and fit in with the way you like to work.
5. Do you supply images?
Again, each copywriter will offer a different service when it comes to supplying images with the posts they write. Some have subscriptions in place with image websites such as www.shutterstock.com, so can usually find something suitable to accompany written pieces. Some may not use a subscription service but are happy to check on royalty free sites for images such as www.pixabay.com or www.pexels.com. These searches may or may not be fruitful depending on your line of work and how specific the search.
Do bear in mind though, that some feature articles or blog posts will require photography or imagery from you. If you want feature posts on your blog to introduce your team for example, or you want to highlight a new product offering, you will need to take on responsibility for sourcing those photos yourself.
6. Can I check copy before it goes live or is printed?
You should absolutely check any copy that has been ghost written for you before it goes live on your site or is printed in a magazine. At the end of the day, it’s your business being promoted, and you must be happy with how you’re being represented. Hopefully, when you have found the copywriter that works best with your business, it will be a quick read, and all will be well. Worst case scenario, you spot a couple of minor tweaks you’d like to make before the piece is published.
Again, if you find you are constantly making considerable changes to the writing you are presented with, it probably means you haven’t found the right copywriter just yet. Do keep looking because we all have different strengths, specialisms and interests that we can bring to the table.
7. Can I change my package at any time?
Of course! Some businesses use copywriting services to complete ad hoc blog posts or feature article writing, in which case this won’t be relevant. However, if you are looking to partner with a copywriter for your features or business blog for the long term, you may be concerned about signing up for a set amount of work each month, for example, two features a month, or four blogs a month. There shouldn’t be any need to worry about this as most copywriters are flexible with their output as long as they have some notice. So, if you sign up for four blogs a month and you find this is too much for you, talk it through with your writer and they will more than likely be able to switch you onto a different package. You may need to alter your contract with them, but this should be a perfectly reasonable request. Similarly, if you agree to two features a month from the outset and find you have plenty more to say, ask if they have the capacity to take on more. If the answer is no, you may be able to find another copywriter to supplement the work.
These are some of the most common questions I have been asked when I start working with a new client, but if you have any other questions about outsourcing your business blogs to an external copywriter, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to help.