How freelance copywriters can help your business online

Digital360 on 29 June 2017

Your business needs copywriting. From sales copy on your website to posts on your company blog, having access to a skilled writer is essential to your digital marketing success. But should you outsource copywriting? Or keep it in-house?

On the one hand, there are benefits to keeping copywriting in-house. Working closely with a dedicated copywriter can build face-to-face working relationships and make your workflow easy to manage. On the other hand, hiring a freelance copywriter can help ease the workload and offer a fresh perspective.

To help you make the right decision, here is a list of questions to ask yourself and your prospective freelancers when it comes to outsourcing copywriting.

What to ask your team

'What is our experience?'

As your business grows, you may need to invest in more digital resources, depending on how your website is performing. As your business grows and your website gains traction, you will increasingly need to keep up with content demands. At this stage, your current team may be stretched, and you could consider bringing on a professional copywriter or marketer.

Alternatively, you might consider hiring a freelance copywriter to generate your online content. A freelance copywriter will have the experience and expertise required for writing online. Google prioritises websites with good, valuable content that conforms to SEO principles. Hiring a freelance copywriter is a fast way to ensure website copy is up-to-date and optimised for search engine algorithms.

'What is our budget?'

The decision to outsource copywriting may come down to your available budget. Projects with an on-going budget may need a full or part-time employee working in-house. One-off budgets are naturally matched with the flexibility of hiring a freelance copywriter.

Of course, not all freelancers are paid the same rate. Instead, they compete for jobs based on age, experience and talent. In this way, business owners and managers can choose writers that match their budget with the skills they need.

Reviewing copywriting budgets

  • If you have a large ongoing budget, then finding a permanent member of staff might be your best option.
  • If you have a large project budget, then you should be able to afford an experienced freelance copywriter.
  • If you have a small project budget, never fear, there are affordable freelance copywriters who are excited to get experience and ready to learn.

'How big is our web project?'

Often, the question of whether to outsource or not will depend on the size of your web project. For instance, if it’s a simple blog post here and there, then most medium-sized companies should be able to manage with their in-house team. Small businesses can try to manage this in-house, too.

However, if a project is ongoing or will take a large number of hours to complete, then outsourcing is often the way to go. Professional copywriters are equipped to handle large projects and are experienced in maintaining a consistent tone and style.

'How big is our organisation?'

If you are a small business or sole trader, you might be able to get away with doing the copywriting yourself. That is, if you can find the time. Sometimes, small businesses may need to employ a freelance copywriter to keep up with the enormous workload.

If you are part of a much bigger organisation, then there is much more at stake. Medium-to-large businesses cannot risk poor web content. Web copywriting is how larger companies communicate with potential customers online and generate new leads.

In this way, larger operations need professional content creators on board to ensure their brand and business goals are working together. A quality freelancer is a way to get these communications and copywriting expertise, quickly.

What to ask freelancers

'Do you understand digital marketing fundamentals?'

It is important that everyone who works for your organisation understands how to implement marketing fundamentals when publishing content online. So, when considering a freelance writer, it is important that you test their knowledge of some basic marketing principles, too.

Pay close attention to SEO – it's an essential part of digital marketing and copywriting. Your copywriter must understand the importance of SEO to your business and how to implement best practice SEO tactics. Headings, keywords, embedded links, are important SEO elements the copywriter will be in charge of.

Reviewing copywriters

Test freelance copywriter knowledge of the following copywriting terms:

  • A call to action (CTA)
  • A unique selling point (USP)
  • The distinction between a feature and a benefit
  • Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)

Need definitions? Review our glossary of common SEO terms

'Do you know the basic principles of web design?'

Today, copywriters must be more than wordsmiths. They must be able to use the most popular content management systems on the market like WordPress, Magento or SilverStripe. Ideally, they must also be able to understand the basics of HTML and CSS.

These skills will ensure headings, tags and styles are formatted appropriately. But more than that, a freelance copywriter with design and technical knowledge will mean they can work closely with web designers and developers, if need be.

Finding the right copywriter

If you feel that it’s time to start outsourcing copywriting, you have a couple of options. You could advertise for freelance writers on a job site. You could also search through networks like LinkedIn. Or you could hire a specialist recruiter.

Alternatively, you could hire a digital agency that offers copywriting services.

The perks of hiring an agency are that you won't have to spend valuable time and resources on trialling different copywriters. It's more than likely these agencies will have vetted and trained their copywriters – giving you access to quality copywriting, without the hassle of managing the project.

Need help with your digital copywriting? Talk to one of our digital marketing specialists about your business needs.