The Complete Guide to Hiring a Copywriter

Jennifer Alimasunya
March 20, 2023

You know what they say about content in this day and age — it’s king. It is one of the secrets to increasing your business reach and influence in the virtual space and beyond. 

Want to attract more traffic? Create content.

Want to boost your engagement? Create content.

Want to increase your conversions? You guessed right! Create more and more content.

Written content is one of the viable formats worth exploring. A lot of folks love to read. For instance, statistics show that 77% of internet users read blogs. I mean, you’re reading this article right this minute. 

So how do you tap into this vast opportunity to reach an inexhaustible audience with your products and services using the written word?

Time to find a copywriter!

First, you need a writer, not just any writer, but a copywriter skilled in the art and science of using words to spur your audience into taking defined actions. Consider the copywriter the glue that holds everything together—sales, marketing, and client relationships.

With the value a copywriter contributes to the impact of your online presence, it is crucial to pay extra attention when hiring one. This article aims to be a guide to help you through the hiring process.

When should you hire copywriters?

If you asked me, I’d say right away. 

If you are reading this article, I guess you are at the point of deciding to hire a copywriter(and kudos to you for that). But if you still need some convincing, here are some signs that it is time to hire a copywriter to join your team:

  • You have been winging it, and now you need professional copywriting services to step things up.
  • You lack time to complete an entire writing project.
  • You are experiencing poor website performance and need an upgrade.
  • You need a fresh set of eyes looking into your content strategy.
  • You are just starting and need an outside-the-box thinker to launch your content marketing strategy.
  • Your marketing is missing a copywriter to bring their business strategy to life.

There you have it. If any of the above scenarios describe you, you need to hire a copywriter ASAP. A good copywriter is an investment for your brand. Get it right by hiring a skilled and experienced copywriter, and you will have an asset that impacts your brand positively in the long run.

Copywriters for hire!

Heads-up Recruiter!

Hiring a copywriter is not as straightforward as shopping for new office equipment. It even gets trickier if you are hiring one for the first time. Chances are, you may not even know where to start. 

In reality, it is not hard to find copywriters—anyone with a blog, basic writing knowledge, and a sleek profile can pose as a copywriter. The hard part is finding the ones who know their stuff.

No doubt, many people can put words together. However, only a handful are skilled in the art and science of writing to spur an audience to action. An unskilled copywriter can cause damage to your brand. Your job in hiring one is to sift through the mediocre crowd to find copywriters with the right skills to suit your copywriting needs. 

Try out this excellent method to hire copywriters worth their weight in gold.

Step one: sourcing for copywriters

in house female copywriters looking at a computer

Copywriters are not in short supply in the hiring marketplace. Knowing where to look and how to find qualified copywriters makes the difference. When it comes to sourcing copywriters, there are several options you can explore. Let’s discuss a few.

Google search

A detailed Google search works wonders with sourcing for and hiring copywriters. To get started, type in specific keyword-optimized job titles into the search query, and voilà—you will have several search results to comb through. Now you can start zeroing in on the copywriters whose profiles have caught your eye. 

You should take each prospect through a predefined vetting process, which will help filter the qualified candidates from the bunch.

Freelance websites

When hiring freelance copywriters, websites like Upwork and Fiverr are often the go-to place for recruiters to search. However, there are many more options available.

With a carefully drafted job post specifying the details of your project, the qualifications of the copywriter you are looking for, and in most cases, your budget for the project, you’ll have a ton of copywriters bidding for the position. Easy peasy, right?

An alternative would be to comb through the myriad of profiles until you find the right fit. In both scenarios, you’ll get a clear picture of how much vetting you need to do.

It is easy to find freelance copywriters on these freelance websites. The downside, however, is that there is no guarantee that you’ll get quality writing services for your money. The reason is simple. Anyone with a computer and internet access can create a profile on these websites posing as a professional copywriter.

Only through a thorough vetting process will you learn about a prospective copywriter’s past experiences and projects to determine their level of expertise. 

LinkedIn

While freelance websites are home to freelance copywriters, LinkedIn is more of a social networking platform for professionals looking for career opportunities and full-time employment.

However, there are two ways to hire freelance copywriters on LinkedIn. First, you can publish job ADs detailing your copywriting needs and skill requirements. This way, qualified candidates can apply. The second option is to screen the profiles of prospective copywriters and reach out to them to see if they’d be interested in the position. Afterward, you can hire them after a thorough vetting process. 

Like freelance websites, the downside to hiring on LinkedIn is that you cannot ascertain the credibility of the potential copywriters based on their profiles. 

Referrals

two men in a cafe

Do you have friends and connections within your niche? 

If yes, then the good old word-of-mouth recruitment technique would be a great option to explore. Referrals work for hiring just as much as they do for a marketing campaign. 

It is as easy as reaching out to people in your network to see if they have worked with professional copywriters. The good thing about this method is that the people in your network can vouch for any writer they recommend.  

You can contact the recommended copywriter and arrange to start immediately or do another round of vetting to ensure they fit your copywriting needs well.

Not all copywriters do the same job

While you may think that professional copywriters are skilled at cobbling together any combination of words and making it look like the works of Shakespeare, that simply isn’t the case. Many copywriters specialize, meaning they have a specific skill set that makes them valuable to certain niches. Make sure you know exactly what you need from a content creation perspective, so you have the best chance of finding the right person.

SEO copywriters

These writers not only create high-quality content that is engaging, but they also optimize any blog content, website copy (including landing pages), and even social media content for search engines. Their skillset lies in the ability to incorporate relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and other SEO content tactics to write copy that helps your original content rank higher in search results. They also keep abreast of algorithmic changes and the latest trends in SEO.

Sales copywriters

Persuasive sales copy is what these guys do best. Sales copywriters encourage the reader to take a specific action, whether making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Masters of the compelling headline expect most copywriters of this ilk to use emotional triggers to highlight the benefits of a product or service.

Sales copywriters are also adept at writing unique product descriptions. This is especially useful if you run an e-commerce site with many items for sale. Repetitive product descriptions are a known turn-off for many consumers, whereas good sales copy is not.

Email copywriters

If you are struggling to engage your email list and making a meal of your sales pitch. Hiring an email marketing specialist may be just the ticket. Great at repurposing any content you already have into a friendly non-spammy message for potential clients is one of the most intelligent business decisions you can make.

Brand copywriters

These writers focus on creating compelling copy that aligns with a company’s brand voice, values, and mission. They understand the importance of consistency in messaging across all channels and work to ensure that every piece of marketing copy accurately reflects the brand’s personality.

Technical Copywriters

These writers are skilled in creating copy for complex or technical products, services, or industries. Usually, product specialists can take complex concepts and explain them in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to understand, which attracts your target audience.

Drafting a job description that attracts ideal copywriters

Besides knowing where to hire freelance copywriters, you need to draft a compelling job AD that would attract the ideal candidates for the role. You’ll need one if you explore the LinkedIn and Freelance websites options.

How do I write a good job description for a copywriter?

First, you need a concise picture of the right copywriter for you. This means getting to know their values and goals. Next, choose keyword-optimized job titles that clearly define the role you want to fill.

Be sure to include the following essential components in your job advertisement:

  • Include a detailed summary of your company— describe the aspects of your company that would help the candidates understand your core values.
  • Outline in detail the day-to-day roles and responsibilities of the ideal candidate.
  • Define the benefits that come with the role.

Step two: Assessment

employees discussing new ideas in front of a computer

After your job AD goes live on LinkedIn or any freelance website you decide to explore, the chances are that you will get a flood of applications from copywriters looking to fill the position. Your job is to look for specific details that make a good copywriter. Highlighted below are a few things you should assess during this stage. 

Work experience 

You don’t want to hire anyone simply because they displayed a copywriter profile online. Qualified candidates should be able to show their work experience and proven track record of productivity in a niche similar to yours. 

During the hiring process, you get to decide how many years of experience would suffice for the copywriting services you need.

Checking out the copywriter’s portfolio

We discussed earlier in this article how easy it is for people to create false or exaggerated profiles on freelance websites and Linkedin. One way to separate the mediocre from the professionals is to request and assess their portfolios of preferably published articles. 

You want to hire copywriters with a strong portfolio that confirms their writing skills. A portfolio assessment also helps you gauge the writing style to see if it matches your brand and copywriting needs.

Team compatibility

The ability to work well with a team is vital for the success of your copywriting projects. For instance, a copywriter who needs help integrating with a team may not deliver optimally on assigned tasks that involve team collaboration. Such a lack of compatibility can affect the productivity and output of the entire team.

There is no way to deduce if a potential candidate is a team player from a resume or portfolio. This assessment is done better during the interview stage, where you can ask all the questions.  

Writing assessment

One way to assess the skill set of the candidates you are looking to hire is to request that they complete a writing assessment. This step is optional but highly recommended. The test could be to write a few short blog articles, some emails, some marketing copy, or website conversion copy. This assessment also helps you judge each candidate’s attention to detail and adherence to the guidelines. 

Step three: Interviews

two women having a conversation in an office

By now, you should have several resumes sitting on your desk. The next and most crucial step in the hiring process is interviewing the prospective candidates you have lined up. This stage is where you do most of the heavy lifting. 

You can decide if you want to conduct your interviews in a designated physical location or a virtual space—this option fits perfectly for remote hires. The key to an effective interview is knowing the areas to cover and the right questions to ask.

Here are a few crucial areas to touch on during your interviews.

Time management

You should ask questions along the lines of time management. It is a vital skill every freelance copywriter should have up their sleeves. With accurate time management, your copywriter can complete several tasks within shorter periods without compromising quality.  

Feedback management

Not everyone handles constructive criticism and feedback well. You want a freelance copywriter who can receive constructive criticism with a willingness to learn and adjust rather than sulk and respond defensively. You can ask them how they received and handled harsh feedback in the past during the interview.

Writing process

You will do well to inquire about each candidate’s creative writing process. This will give you an idea of how they handle content planning and research. A defined writing system shows that they have a working structure, not a haphazard process.

Common interview questions 

Besides covering the areas highlighted above, you can also include the following questions during the interview process:

  • How do you handle tight/missed deadlines?
  • How do you optimize your copy for SEO?
  • How do you deal with writer’s block?
  • How do you overcome writing challenges?

Step four: Budgeting and offer

laptop computer sitting on desk with a hand using the mouse and a purple journal sitting on top of it.

Congratulations! You are now in the last lap of the hiring process. At this stage, all you hiring managers must have concluded the interviews and selected a reputable freelance copywriter out of the bunch.

However, you will need to get out of a few more administrative tasks the way first. At the beginning of any working relationship, you must clarify your expectations. You need to ensure everyone agrees on the terms of work before you make an offer.

Budgeting

Before giving your new hire an offer, one crucial aspect to consider is cost and budgeting. In reality, you should consider this at the beginning of the hiring process. This way, you can align your budget with the pricing obtainable on the market.

The cost of hiring a copywriter will vary depending on different factorslevel of expertise, years of experience, deliverable types, and specialty. 

With your budgeting sorted, you can now get to the paperwork.

Handling the paperwork

Like every other hire, you need to draft a contract outlining your agreement with your new freelance copywriter. Typically, this contract stipulates the terms and conditions of the offer plus the agreed terms of service. 

Having both partiesyour agency and the new hire— sign a contract is crucial in the long run. Failure to do so can lead to potential disputes when issues arise in the future.

What should the contract mention?

Some of the details that your contract with your new hire should contain include:

  • The names of both parties to the contract.
  • A detailed description of the copywriter’s scope of work.
  • Compensation and terms of payment.
  • The effective date of the contract.
  • Benefits and liability inclusion or exclusion, as the case may be. 

Bypass the hiring process

As you may have already figured, hiring a freelance copywriter is anything but a walk in the park. Aside from the challenges you may face along the way, there is no guarantee that the copywriter you hire will be a good fit for your agency.

You can put in the work and keep your fingers crossed or bypass the entire hiring process and still have a highly vetted, world-class copywriter join your team.

The answer? Two words, Quickly Hire.

Outsourcing the best copywriters to start-ups and small businesses

Quickly Hire is a managed marketplace that matches reputable copywriters with trusted companies for profitable, ongoing collaborations, saving you the stress of a lengthy hiring process. We leverage our years of hiring experience to help our clients get the right fit for their copywriting needs. 

With this service, you can say goodbye to the stress of sourcing, assessments, and interviews. And let’s not forget the paperwork. 

In essence, we do all the heavy lifting for you.

Book a consultation call to have one or more of our fully-vetted copywriters join your team. 

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