Need Copywriting Services? Here’s What To Look For
Need Copywriting Services? Here’s What To Look For
Copywriting is as much an art form and talent as it is a science — good copywriting is, at least. Strong copywriting is simple yet credible. It elicits emotions yet provides solutions to readers’ problems. It has a clearly defined purpose and is error free. And, most importantly, it empathizes with the audience. Despite the fact that millions of copywriters and agencies claim to offer copywriting services, very few can actually deliver quality content. So, how do you find a team of writers that can create the type of content that does everything strong copy can do and then some? We have the answers you need.
How To Hire a Copywriting Agency
Finding just the right website copywriting services is a multi-step process. Once you’ve made the decision to work with a professional copywriter, you may be anxious to get started. We get it. However, remember that the content you pay for is the content that will represent your brand.
Great content says you care. Ho-hum content says you can get the job done, but another company can probably do it better. Bad content says you’re in it for the money. What message do you want to convey?
That’s what we thought.
You’re here because you do care and you want to find the best way to communicate that to your target audience. So, while it might be quicker to click on that top ad for copywriting services, try our approach first. The time investment you commit now can save you considerable headache and wasted resources in the future.
Things To Consider Before Investing in SEO Copywriting Services
Before you start shopping around for copywriting services, there are a few considerations you should make to guide the search process and to lead you toward the agency that will best suit your needs.
Identify Copy Needs
Attempting to hire a copywriting agency without an idea of the type of content you want or need is a lot like heading to the grocery store without a list. Sure, you may end up buying things, but once you get those items home, you may discover that you have no real use for them. Likewise, if you hire an agency without first identifying your needs, you may find that it doesn’t have the know-how or resources to create the type of content you really need.
Before you begin the search process, create a detailed description of the desired project and your expectations for it. You may already have a clear idea of what you want to do, such as revamp your website or start a blog, or you may just have a vague goal, such as increase your search engine rankings. By identifying your copywriting needs, you can drastically narrow the scope of your search.
With a detailed description of your goals, you can further narrow your search by pinpointing the types of content that will best help you achieve those objectives. Common types of content include the following:
- Website content
- Blog content
- Landing pages
- Social media content
- Online advertisements
- Product descriptions
- Email newsletters
- Press releases
- Sales pages
Sure, now you may only want to create one strong landing page that converts visitors into customers, but once you discover the power of great copy, you may decide that you need more. When searching for a professional copywriter, think about future projects.
Ideally, you should find a copywriter that can convey your brand’s voice. Once you find that writer, you can turn to him or her for all your copywriting needs and not have to worry about getting him or her up to speed on your style preferences or the nature of your business. Moreover, when you work with just a single company, you can count on it to deliver copy with a consistent voice time and again, which can help to strengthen your brand.
The fact of the matter is, money will play a significant role in your quest for website copywriting services. You need to determine how much you can realistically spend on content to make it worth your while. However, you should also be aware that with copywriting services, as with any creative services, you get what you pay for.
Copywriting is an investment. Yes, you will pay some money up front. However, bear in mind that quality writing services will end up making you more money than they cost you.
Superior copy can help you attract more leads and increase conversions, and the person writing it can help you focus more on other aspects of your business and give you peace of mind that marketing is taking place.
A la carte content writing services are a great way to budget for copywriting. With these types of services, you can pay for the articles, product descriptions, webpages, social media posts, etc. that you need, when you need them. However, if you know you’ll need ongoing content, managed services may make more sense. Regardless of your needs, set a realistic budget and shop around for services based on that number.
The Interview Process
Once you’ve established your copy needs, long-term vision and budget, it’s time to start looking for copywriting services. Assuming you don’t have a referral from a trusted friend, colleague or acquaintance, the easiest way to begin the search process is by Googling “copywriting agency.” From there, do the following:
Check Out the Agency’s Web Presence
An agency’s web presence can tell you a lot about it. You want to hire an agency that is able to deliver exceptional web copy that tells a story, engages and converts. The best way to determine if an agency has that capability is to check out its website.
In addition to giving you insight into the type of writing a firm is capable of, a website can also tell you a lot about the people behind the writing. What are their core values and beliefs? What makes them qualified to write for you? Who are their clients? What’s their favorite book, how do they spend their free time and do they have any unique quirks?
If the agency or copywriter uses social media, check out those channels as well. While a website can tell you the specifics of the agency, social media accounts can help you gain a better understanding of how that agency interacts with clients on a personal level. This could prove to be hugely important insight if you’re looking for a long-term partner.
Start With a Trial Order
Any professional copywriter has a portfolio to share or links to websites for which he or she created content. The same may also be true about an agency. Ask to see examples of previous work, if possible. Some agencies may be unable to share client examples due to the agreements those agencies have with their clients and the privacy of their content.
If this is the case, the agency should be willing to do a small trial order of content so you’re able to see exactly the type of content it can create according to the specifications you gave. Be wary of an agency that forces you into a large commitment up front before any work has been commissioned or vetted.
Really read through the samples to see if you like the agency’s style of writing. Is the copy engaging? Is it easy to read? Does it inform and entertain, and does it motivate you to take action?
If you’re thinking about working with a copywriting agency that hires multiple writers, ask to see samples from different people. This can give you an idea of the type of writers the firm hires as well as of the firm’s overall standards.
Even if the writing is clear, concise and high-quality, don’t sign up for anything just yet. Though you want error-free writing, you also want writing that has personality or, more precisely, the personality of your brand. Though a professional copywriter has the capacity to change his or her voice to fit the tone of any company, you may just feel in your gut that a specific writer is not for you.
Ask for Client Reviews
Happy clients leave positive reviews, plain and simple. If an agency doesn’t have reviews up on its website, ask where you might find some. Feel free to also ask for references as well. An agency may have a contact list of clients who agreed to let prospects contact them. Current and past clients can give an honest assessment of the firm’s quality of work, customer service and processes
Ask About Processes
Every copywriting firm has its own processes, and you want to work with one that has processes you can get on board with. For instance, some firms ask clients to fill out a questionnaire, while others host interviews over the phone or in-person. Others, such as BKA Content, send over a brief form for the customer to fill out. Regardless of how different each agency’s processes are, you should be wary of an agency that doesn’t have a “get-to-know-you” step at the beginning.
The get-to-know-you step is crucial in that it serves as a way for you to teach the writer about your industry; convey your wants, needs and expectations for the copy; and provide insight into your company’s operations. Writers are not mind readers, and though the most professional of writers are adept at research, your input is far more valuable than what a writer can glean from your competitors.
Though the get-to-know-you process is the most important, there are others you should ask about and consider. They include editing and revisions, turnaround times on articles, keyword research and implementation, bulk ordering, among others.
Ask About Pricing
If you’re looking for help with a single project, getting a direct quote for that project may work for you. However, if you’re like many business owners who are in the market for copywriting services, you want to find an agency with which you can work time and time again. If this is the case, getting a single quote for a single project won’t help you with your budgeting. Rather, you will want to learn about the agency’s or writer’s pricing structure.
Like with many creative services, the pricing structure for copywriting services varies from agency to agency and from copywriter to copywriter. Some copywriters charge by the project, while others charge by the word. Some charge by the hour and base their numbers on how many hours they anticipate putting toward research, writing and editing. Some agencies will only give pricing based on a quote for your specific project. Still others, like BKA, have up-front pricing that’s easy to find. There is no right or wrong way to charge for creative services, but you should verify that a prospective company’s rates are reasonable, that they make sense and that the payment structure is consistent.
Of course, you should also make sure that you can afford a company’s pricing. Though the phrase, “You get what you pay for,” can apply when it comes to SEO copywriting services, don’t assume that the most expensive content is the best content. There are reasonably priced, high-quality copywriting services available on the market — you just have to know where to look for them.
Do the Personality Test
When you finally find THE copywriting agency, hopefully you’re in it for the long haul. To make this goal more plausible, the team you decide to work with should be one you enjoy talking to, whether via email communication, phone or both.
Additionally, make sure the copywriter, account manager or whoever you have ongoing contact with listens to what you have to say and respects your requirements. If you take your time to detail your copy requirements and expectations only to receive content that is a far cry from what you wanted, it can be frustrating and disheartening.
Unfortunately, there is no way you can really know if you’re being heard without receiving your first batch of content. However, if you like a company or a copywriter’s personality, that alone can be a good sign of a rewarding relationship to come.
Ordering Your Copy and Sealing the Deal
You finally found a content provider you’re excited to work with, so now what do you do? Though you’re almost at the finish line (or the starting line, depending on which way you look at it), you still have some work left to do.
Spell Out the Details of Your Project
As previously mentioned, your copywriter is not a mind reader. You can’t just place an order for a “Web page for home remodeling services” and expect the writer to make magic happen. Though the topic is a great starting point, your writer will need a bit more information to create a page that speaks to you, to your objectives and, most importantly, to your target audience.
Once you decide to invest in copywriting services, clearly detail your expectations and the type of style you’re going for. Tell the writer what you want the content to do. Do you want it to convert? Inform? Entertain? All of the above?
Who is the copy for? Is it for someone with a high level of industry expertise, or is it for the everyday consumer? Where do you plan to use the content? On your blog, in a technical manual or on your website?
The answers to these questions can dictate the tone and style the writer uses, so be specific in your order. If you have key points you want the writer to emphasize, such as your remodeling process or a specific call to action, include those in the notes.
Provide a Background of Your Company
Just as important as the details of your project are the details of your company and the products and services you offer. Without a clear idea of who you are as a company, what values your brand holds near and dear, and what sets you apart from the competition, your writer will struggle to create impactful content that truly speaks to your target audience. Some things your writer should know about your brand are as follows:
- What you do and who you do it for
- Your company history
- If you have any awards, certifications or accolades
- Your unique selling proposition
Though most writers will agree that having only a topic is sufficient for blog posts, just as many will agree that having a brief company overview can go a long way toward crafting compelling and authentic website content.A brief company overview 🗣👂 can go a long way toward crafting compelling and authentic website content. 💯 #ContentMarketing #Marketing Click To Tweet
Let Your Writer Have Creative Freedom
While it is important that your writer has the information necessary to do the job correctly, you should know that there is a fine line between being helpful and being overbearing.
We know, we know … We just told you to be specific in your order, but too many specifications can stifle creativity and interfere with the writer’s flow. Something writers won’t tell you but almost all feel is that nothing is more frustrating than trying to write a 500-word page with a 20-page style guide to use as a reference. When a writer has a lengthy style-guide, you can almost guarantee that he or she will pay more attention to trying to meet the requirements than to producing clear, concise and engaging content. You can also almost always guarantee that when this happens, the client will be dissatisfied with the result.
Moral of the story: Explain your objective, produce some samples of content you like, then let your writer take over. This is the best way to ensure your writer produces incredible copy.
Get a Written Agreement
You’ve taken the time to detail your specifications and to equip your writer with the information he or she needs to produce outstanding content. Protect your time investment with a written agreement. A written contract can ensure there is little room for misunderstanding and can give you peace of mind that you will receive the copy you want, when you want it and for the price you and the agency agreed on.
If you follow the advice in this article, the revisions you make will be relatively minor. However, if you have feedback, don’t be afraid to share it with the writer or account manager. The goal is to establish a long-term partnership between your company and the copywriting agency. As with any partnership, this requires some give and take. By providing feedback early on — whether it’s in the form of constructive criticism or praise — you can help reduce the need for revisions on future projects and, hopefully, get to the point where you can trust the copy to be just right every time.
Shopping for SEO Copywriting Services – FAQs
If you’ve never worked with a professional copywriter or copywriting agency before, you likely have a lot of questions. This is normal because the relationship between a brand and agency is a unique one. Having been in the business for 10 years, we are familiar with the most frequently asked questions regarding purchased copywriting services and we hope to give you some answers.
1. How important is it that your copywriter has direct experience in your industry?
Though it is helpful to work with a writer who has previous experience writing copy for your industry, it is not necessary — in most instances. (If your industry is highly technical, that’s a different story.) Most professional copywriters are skilled researchers and writing chameleons, and you can count on them to produce copy that is informed and in line with industry guidelines.Most professional copywriters are skilled researchers 🧐 and writing chameleons 🦎, so you can count on them to produce copy that is informed and in line with industry guidelines. #Copywriting #Copywriters #Marketing Click To Tweet
It should be worth noting that if you worry about this challenge, it helps to work with a copywriting agency such as BKA. We have writers from many diverse backgrounds and can find the perfect writer to suit your specific needs.
2. Who owns the content a copywriter produces?
Though ownership comes down to the wording of your contract, in most cases the client owns the content. As a client, if you paid for the content, it’s yours to do with as you please.
3. Are there “add-on” charges for copywriting services?
Yes, there can be add-on charges. Again, this depends on the exact wording of your contract with the copywriter or agency you hire, but at BKA, we charge an add-on cost for extra items such as meta descriptions, title tags, social media posts, stock photos and editing. All these extras require additional time on both the writers’ and editors’ ends, and we want to ensure that everyone is fairly compensated for their efforts.
4. What if you don’t like the finished product?
If you equip the writer with adequate information and take time to clearly explain your expectations, you’ll likely be thrilled with the finished product. On the off chance you are not, though, BKA will resolve the issue in one of two ways. If the revisions are slight and/or if the writer clearly deterred from your notes and style requirements, we will ask the writer to revise the piece at no extra cost to you. However, if the revisions are extensive and the result of a change in project specifications, we may charge you an additional fee for the additional work.
5. How much do SEO copywriting services cost?
The costs of hiring a copywriter varies drastically from company to company. However, most writers charge in one of two ways: By the hour or by the project. With an agency such as ours, it’s typically easier to charge by the project.
Have More Questions? Contact BKA Today
Hiring website copywriting services is an investment and one that, if selected with great care and consideration, can pay off dividends in the future. We get that you may be hesitant to hire just any copywriting agency, though. If you have more questions, or if you want to learn more about our processes and writing services, feel free to reach out to us today.