You’re a busy webmaster and filled with ideas so you’ve decided to hire a copywriter to produce your site’s content. This frees you up to focus on site development, marketing, and other tasks while leaving the writing side of things to the expert. However, you want to make sure that you and the copywriter that you’ve hired are both on the same page. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of a copywriter.
Share Your Vision
You know what you want to see on your website. You know if you want a formal or casual tone. You know what you want your site to look like in five years. Your copywriter may be the best writer on Earth but unless they know a bit about your vision for your site, they won’t be able to write text customized to your tastes.
Explain why you created the site, your desired audience, what type of services you provide or products you sell, and what you expect your typical customer to do once they land on your site. If you’re selling a product or service the writing should be different than if you are just providing information. The copywriter needs to know these things in order to create personalized content for your site.
In order to get the most out of your copywriter, you also need to focus on clear and concise communication. Lay out, in writing, exactly what you expect of the copywriter and at what intervals, for example three articles per week. It is important to be very detailed in this document and you should include not only how many articles per week but also the length of each article and how the articles should be submitted to you.
Some webmasters allow the copywriter to publish content directly on the site while others would like to have more editorial control over the document. Experienced copywriters will have worked with both of these situations.
Additionally, if you are a multi-person organization, assign one person in your company to be the single point of contact for the copywriter. The copywriter will then know who to go to if she has a question and will not receive conflicting information from multiple representatives.
If you are hiring a copywriter to do just that, write copy, then it is important that you provide the writer with a very concise list of topics. The more specific the topic is, especially when using important keywords, the better. In other words, if you want an article on long tail keywords instead of asking the copywriter to write on the broad topic of long tail keywords, ask her to write about “Optimizing your website for long tail keywords.” This will allow her to fine tune the document to meet your exact needs.
Consider a Style Guide
Most copywriters are familiar with style guides and while the Associated Press Style Guide is one of the most commonly used style guides in the industry, not all site owners follow the AP Style rules. By providing your copywriter with a style guide, you can ensure that all of the content on your site is formatted in a similar fashion. If you don’t want to see title case used, say so in the style guide. If you want to see a serial comma used in the text, say so in the style guide.
Using a style guide not only provides your existing copywriter the framework she needs to format her document, it is also useful when a new copywriter is hired. The new copywriter can simply adhere to your style guide and all of the content on your site will be formatted according to the same guidelines.
Hiring a copywriter is a great way to get your site’s content side flushed out while you focus on other details. Anyone can hire a copywriter but following these few tips will help you get the most out of your copywriter.