If you’ve never worked with a writer before, you may be nervous about what to expect.
By checking these boxes, you’ll have a better chance of getting the content you need.
1. Before you pay, nail things down.
Writers aren’t one-size-fits-all.
You’ll find that different website copywriters have varying styles and different ways of doing business. (Not to mention vastly different levels of experience).
Talk with several over the phone or by email to get a feel for which one you like best.
When you find the right one for you, formalize your relationship with a statement of work or contract.
Bonus points if your writer uses a creative brief—a short document that discusses content and tone—to make sure you’re both on the same page before you get started. (We do.)
2. Help your writer get to know your business.
Once you sign a deal, any good website copywriter will want to learn as much as he or she can about your industry, your competitors and your customers. We give clients a questionnaire to fill out that asks a series of baseline questions. What we learn in the answers will let us know that we can get started, or indicate that we need to keep learning.
3. Pay at least half up front, but set a firm deadline.
Expect your writer to ask for a 50% deposit before work is started on your content.
Don’t be shy about setting a date by which you expect the first draft; good writers thrive on deadlines and often procrastinate too much without them.
However, trust your writer if she says ßhe needs more lead time because of the length or complexity of your content.
4. Plan on some revisions. Bobody’s perfect.
Sometimes the first draft will be the only draft, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
A good website copywriter expects revisions—we look forward to them—so don’t be shy with your feelings about the copy.
Take some time to review the first draft and submit your comments, edits, questions, and requests.
We include up to two rounds of revisions in the prices we quote.
You don’t need to be afraid to ask for what you want during the revision stage.
Specific feedback will help your writer get a clearer idea of your needs and make it quicker and easier to get everything just right the next time around.
5. Take delivery of your completed work and make the final payment.
You may find other writers work differently, but we bill a week after giving you what we call the “first usable draft.”
Our rule of thumb is this—if you could conceivably post it on your website, you need to pay for it.
That’s not to say that revisions won’t continue to happen if necessary.
While the prospect of hiring a writer for the first time can be daunting, the process outlined here typically leads to a trouble-free experience. By working with a seasoned, professional writer, you can easily move through these steps again and again to get quality content that meets the needs of your business.
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