17 May

The 7 Secret Steps to Find, Hire & Keep a Killer Copywriter


Recently, I set out to answer the “how much?” question definitively. There are a lot of copy pricing guides out there. And after reviewing a half-a-dozen of them, I discovered they were arbitrary at best and misleading at worst.

how to find a good copywriter - catchphrases

4 Tips to Find the Best Copywriter for Your Business

The heart and soul of your direct mail campaign is the sales piece copy. Unfortunately, writing brilliant, interesting, and persuasive copy is not an easy task. And it’s often not fully appreciated by the people who pay for it. New mailers especially tend to focus on the campaign details of cost, scheduling, and locating mailing lists. Getting the copy written can often be almost an afterthought.

I think part of the reason for this attitude is that most people think that anyone can write sales copy, and it shouldn’t take long for someone to throw together some ideas. They don’t realize that good writing takes real skill, and the better the writing, the more effortless it appears. Don’t make this mistake with your direct mail campaign!

Great copywriting doesn’t call attention to itself (“Aren’t I clever!”). Great copywriting gets readers focused on the message, and then deftly carries them along on an emotional journey – cleverly disguised as the presentation of facts – until it delivers them at the choice point (to buy, or not to buy), ready to make a commitment.

Your copywriter must select words and images that represent you, your values, and the excellence of your product. You and your copywriter have a creative relationship with a common goal, and selecting someone who can help you bring your vision to life is critical to the success of your campaigns.

Step 3: Don’t Hire an SEO Pro

The days of copywriters touting SEO expertise are over. In fact, they’re long dead. I’ll even go a step further and tell you not to worry about SEO at all when you hire a copywriter. If there are keywords that need to be included in certain product descriptions, then hand off a list of those keywords and tell your new writer to “keep them in mind”.

Hiring a solid copywriter with knowledge of SEO is better than hiring a self-professed SEO writer.

Nothing is an inspiration killer more than a long, strict set of words that a writer simply must adhere to. If you’re looking for awesome copy, don’t hog tie your writer with a long laundry list of SEO requirements. Apart from working in a single keyword phrase at some point, give them the creative freedom they need to produce incredible copy!

Step 6 & 7: Conduct a Two-Part Edit Test

The First Test

Tests don’t have to be a series of hoops that a writer has to jump through. It doesn’t have to be complex or super taxing test either. The edit test should be a practical application of what you’re hiring someone to do.

If you plan on finding someone strictly to handle email campaigns, there’s no need to have them write product descriptions, come up with ten unique product names and create copy for a homepage banner in an edit test. By focusing on specific tasks you’ll need done, you’ll get a better handle on how strong their skillset is for what you need.

The Second Test

A great copywriter is key. A great copywriter, editor and collaborator is even better.

Once you receive a completed test back, offer feedback on what they can do better. Have them go back to the drawing board and see how they can alter their writing according to your suggestions. Can they execute against your instructions? This is a great test not only for their writing but to see how they deal with (and respond to) constructive feedback.

A great copywriter is key. A great copywriter, editor and collaborator is even better. After you’ve been able to bat ideas and suggestions back and forth with a possible writer, you’ll get a sense of how well they can write and how well you can work together.

Step 2: Know where to look for a copywriter

OPTION 1: Find copy you like and reach out to find the writer

Most of your favorite online businesses have a team of copywriters who help produce the incredible copy you see. And while some of the time they are full-time employees and don’t have the bandwidth to take on new projects, they are often freelancers.

Screen Shot 2017 12 21 at 10.12.47 AM

OPTION 2: Play the Kevin Bacon game

Have you heard of that game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? The theory goes that every person in Hollywood can be connected to Kevin Bacon by six people or less. (Fun fact: I’m only two degrees away, as a good friend of mine trained dogs on set with Kevin once!)

Great copywriters know great copywriters. The referral Ramit sent me above? It didn’t end up being the right fit for me at the time. But, I connected Shane to a colleague of mine and they walked off hand-in-hand into the sunset.

OPTION 3: My “Ace in the Hole”

The difference between this forum and others is that it’s a paid site. This keeps out the “copywriting!? I don’t know what it is, but I bet I can do it” crowd. Both business owners and copywriters have to pay a fee to join, but it is well worth it for both sides of the table.

How to Pick the Best Copywriter for the Job?

  1. Less research – every article needs research. A copywriter that reached Diamond in League of Legends will need less research on “How to play mid lane in 2021” than someone who never played the game.
  2. Faster delivery of an article – less time spent researching, means quicker completion of the project.
  3. Lower price – most freelance copywriters charge based on the amount of research needed and the amount of work they had to put into the project. Thus, an expert on a certain topic will put less effort into preparing the content.
  4. Guaranteed quality – someone with a deep knowledge of a certain niche won’t make significant, substantial mistakes when writing blog posts or sales page descriptions. Serious business owners want to make themselves look like experts for both the browser and customers.

Freelancer or Full-Time Employee?

serp result change

revert scale

  1. A freelancer will cost more per hour or per word but hiring them is less binding. If you decide on a full-time contract, you can’t end the agreement whenever you want. Meanwhile, with a freelancer, the deal is usually short-term.
  2. A freelancer can be an additional support for a full-time copywriter. Whenever are in a desperate need of extra content, the job can be outsourced.
  3. You have more control over a full-time worker. If the copywriter screws up the project, they just walk away. If your employee makes a major mistake you can hold them accountable. Also, you can try to guide your copywriter, teach him to become a great content creator, and watch over him. It’s an investment.
  4. Point number 3 is a double-edged sword. When your content writer gains more experience, they will demand a raise with time. In terms of money, freelancer’s price is more predictable – you always have an idea of how much they will charge.

The Skill Level

If it’s well done and up to date, it will pay great benefits for years. If it’s done poorly, you might as well take the money and give it to a homeless person. You will have the moral benefits of doing a good deed.

The Price Point

Via Platform or Directly

news lead

The Recommendation

The Destruction of Freelance Market

Even a Perfect Copy is Not Enough

It’s like buying medicine. If it doesn’t help, it means it is useless medicine, and you only wasted money. In the heat of the moment, it doesn’t matter that you are allergic, your organism doesn’t tolerate the active substance, or your bad diet neutralizes it.

How much does a good copy cost?

Prices should be evaluated individually for a specific project. Poor copies start working from ,01 per word. Good ones take more than .10. The best ones will not even consider writing for less than 800 per word.

Where can I hire a copywriter?

What should I look for when hiring a copywriter?

Full-time workaholic with four years of experience in Content Writing and Copywriting. Creating texts that bring sales, content that’s worth reading, and paying attention to detail is his key to provide quality and results. On-page SEO enthusiast and voice-over in his spare time.