COPYWRITING FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you’ve never worked with a copywriter before (or even if you have), you may have questions about how it works and what to expect.

I’ve put together some FAQs that might help but if there’s anything I’ve missed, do contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

Just click on the question to view my answer!

1. I'M GOOD AT WRITING, SO WHY WOULD I PAY ANYONE ELSE TO DO IT?

Many of my clients are amazing writers. They’re articulate, passionate, engaging people who love what they do. However, they also recognise that copywriting is a different type of writing and something of a science. Copywriters like me have spent years studying and learning through practise how to use words in a way that makes people take action after reading them. We know about compelling headlines, storytelling, developing a tone of voice, what calls to action get the most clicks (and where to use them) and more.

Also, many business owners find that they’re too close to their business to see it through a new customer’s eyes. The curse of knowledge can be a nightmare for them because they know so much about what they do that it’s hard to simplify their message. A copywriter lends a fresh perspective.

In my experience, copywriters are detailed researchers. They will learn about your business, your clients, your industry, what your competitors are up to, etc. and use all of that information to craft your content. While this is something that you may be able to do, research can be time-consuming. Many people choose to hire a copywriter so that they can concentrate on other tasks within their business.

2. HOW DOES THE COPYWRITING PROCESS WORK?

Different copywriters might have different approaches but this is what I’ve found works best. When you contact me about your copywriting or blogging needs, I will find out a bit more from you about what you need, including how the copy is going to be used, where and what your goals are for it. I’ll also ask whether you have a deadline in mind or whether you’ll need me to liaise with a web designer, for example.

With this broad overview in place, I will put together a quote and potential timeline for producing the copy. I’ll also send you a copy of my Terms and Conditions. Although this might seem a bit formal, it’s to make sure that we’re both on the same page about what’s expected from the outset. I find this helps everything run more smoothly moving forward.

Once your project is booked in, we’ll book a time for a chat on Zoom or over the phone. This is what I call a “Discovery” call where I find out as much as I can from you about your business, your clients and what the copy needs to achieve. This call is helpful because I’m able to hear you talk about your business in your own words. I hear how you speak, what you feel passionate about, and I’m able to start weaving this into the tone of voice for your copy.

If you’ve had more than your fill of Zoom calls recently, you’re a person who prefers to write a brief or you’re an introvert who would do anything to avoid the phone then hello, kindred spirit 🙂 I have a briefing form that I’m able to send to you to fill out.

Just let me know what works for you.

With the initial Discovery call in place, I then go away and do more research, if needed, and start work on the first draft of your copy.

3. WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT YOU TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE COPY?

Amendments are an inevitable part of the copywriting process. I will never get precious about them!

Once you’ve received the first draft of the copy, I’ll ask you to read through it and let me know if there is anything you would like me to tweak. Thanks to the initial information gathering I do, amendments are typically small changes, such as a word here and there or a slight shift of emphasis. The most important thing is that you are happy with the end product. 

You’ll then need to send the amendments back to me, either in the Word document or over the phone. I’ll make the changes within 24-48 hours and then send the copy back to you for approval. A second set of amendments is included in the project fee just in case.

The one caveat is that if the project significantly changes at your end and you need me to rewrite to reflect the change in direction then this would need to be treated as a new project with a separate quote. I would still need to invoice for the work completed on the previous version.

 

4. WHAT DIFFERENCE COULD HIRING A COPYWRITER MAKE TO MY BOTTOM LINE?

The answer to this question depends on your business and the purpose of the copy. With blogs, for example, the impact of hiring a copywriter is that you can grow your reputation as an expert and extend your organic reach via Google and social media. You can also give your potential and existing clients extra value, encouraging them to buy from you when they’re in a position to do so. With the right website copy, it should help to drive enquiries and sales.

At the same time, copy doesn’t work in a vacuum. It needs to be complemented by good design, the right lead magnets, consistent branding and marketing, good customer service and more.

Still, here are some real-life examples from my clients about how working with me has helped their bottom line.

One client is a counsellor. When she came to me, she had been struggling to secure bookings for her private counselling services. Within a couple of weeks of launching her new website, her diary was fully booked weeks in advance.

Another client is an SEO specialist. The blogs I have written for her have contributed to her receiving numerous awards. She is also regularly invited to appear as an SEO specialist in round-up blog posts, growing her reach across the world. Her increased reputation and income are now giving her the means to create a membership club, online courses and outsource to a greater number of suppliers.

With a third client for whom I’ve written blogs for the last six years, I suggested moving her blog over to a ‘hub and spoke’ model in 2019 and implemented this across all of her articles. As a result, clicks through to her website quadrupled from 7.7k to 28.7k within the next 12 months. Her blogs also appeared in searches 1.17 million times in 2020 compared to 300k in 2019.

Search Console screenshot

 

5. HOW CAN YOU CREATE A TONE OF VOICE THAT'S UNIQUE TO MY BUSINESS?

Part of being a good copywriter is the ability to craft a clear tone of voice that resonates with the target audience. This is the persona of your brand. It could be empowering and uplifting, friendly but informative, professional and ambitious – it really depends on what will click with your clients.

As I talk to you, I’ll be building up a picture of how you communicate. I can even glean great insights from your emails or past social media posts. I will listen to the words you use to describe your business, especially when you sound the most enthusiastic and passionate about it. I’ll also think about how your customers might talk about your products and services. I have some brilliant tricks for doing this!

Throughout the writing process, I’ll be thinking about your brand values too and using them to influence the words I choose.

Above all, I want your clients to feel that human connection so they feel they’re buying from someone who gets what truly matters to them.

 

 

6. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT?

I approach blog writing in different ways for different clients, depending on how much support is needed. You may already have a list of blog topics in mind (just no time to write them), in which case I can take those topics and turn them into blogs.

On the other hand, you may feel completely lost about where to start. In this case, I will have a chat with you about your business and clients and the main topics it would make sense to feature on your blog. From that, I can do various bits of research looking at popular topics and trends in your industry, top keywords, reviews, social media content and so on. Armed with this information, I can put together an editorial calendar that ties in with what’s happening in your business.

7. HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU COMPLETE MY PROJECT?

The answer to this question really depends on a few things. Typically, I am booked two to three weeks in advance (sometimes more), so I may not be able to turn something around this week.

It will also depend on what you need from me – for example, copy for a whole website would take much longer than a blog – and how much research is involved. These best thing to do is contact me.

8. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?

My prices will depend on what service you need. You’ll find my rates on this website, so it’s best to look for the service you think you need.

If in doubt, please contact me and I can give you a quote for your project.

9. WHY DO YOU CHARGE PER PROJECT?

Copywriters tend to charge in one of three ways: By the project, by the day/hour or by the word. The Pro Copywriters Network has put together a helpful article about typical copywriting rates and their recommended model is to charge on a per project basis.

Over the years, I’ve tried different pricing models and I prefer to work on a per project basis for a number of reasons. For a start, I think it’s the fairest option for both parties. Everyone knows what the job will cost from the outset, so there are no hidden surprises. A project fee is less about time spent and more about value and outcomes, complexity, project type and more.

I think there are a few problems with charging an hourly fee. From your perspective, it’s natural to want the work completed in the shortest amount of time to lower the costs, but fastest doesn’t necessarily mean best. Or, if it does, surely best shouldn’t mean cheapest? A more experienced copywriter will be able to complete most jobs much quicker than a novice, but does that mean they should be paid less because of their experience? Also, when work is charged per hour, it’s common for people to worry that the job is unnecessarily being stretched out to be worth more. Per project pricing takes away this concern.

Of course, I do understand that some companies insist on paying a day rate, in which case mine is £350.

Finally, I never use a per word rate (unless, perhaps, for proofreading).  Some of the most powerful copy ever written consists of a handful of carefully chosen words. The writers may have written 100 different versions before landing on the perfect combination. All of that work takes time.

One of the most successful ads ever written was by David Ogilvy for Rolls Royce. The headline was just 18 words – “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” – but it was the brand’s longest-running and most successful ad. People are still talking about its influence 65 years after it was written. Can you imagine if Ogilvy had been paid by the word?!

Per word pricing is often used to negotiate unfair prices and typically works out to be lower than the UK’s minimum wage. It’s a no from me.

The most important thing to me is fairness and transparency. I think an upfront quote provides this.

 

10. DO YOU NEED A WRITTEN BRIEF?

Honestly, how you brief me is up to you. Some people love to provide a written brief (and I have a form I can send you to help). Otherwise, we can chat via email or Facebook Messenger or we can book a Discovery Call on Zoom or over the phone. I’ll be lead by what works for you.

11. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE AS A COPYWRITER?

I’ve been a copywriter since 2001. Before that, I did a degree in English Literature and Language (including modules on writing for the media). I then worked in the marketing department of Channel 5 Television for five years, before becoming the in-house copywriter at Nottingham Trent University. I went freelance in 2003 and have worked with more than 250 small businesses. Some of my clients have been with me since I launched, which I think is a testament to what I’m like to work with and as a person.

12. CAN YOU WRITE COPY THAT GETS MY WEBSITE FOUND BY GOOGLE?

Writing for websites is all about balancing what appeals to your customers with what matters to Google (SEO).

I’ve spent years ghostwriting for an award-winning SEO specialist and applying my knowledge to other clients’ blogs and websites. I know what works and what doesn’t.

Above all, I always write for human beings. If you put your clients at the heart of everything you do, your SEO will improve too.

GET IN TOUCH

Have any questions about my services or anything at all? Feel free to drop me a line in the contact form or email me at:

EMAIL: emma@thefreelancecopywriter.co.uk

BUSINESS HOURS: Monday – Friday 9-5

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