How to evaluate a copywriter

karen-goldfarb-adv-003-bathIf you’ve decided to outsource some or all of your marketing writing, you want to ensure that the copywriter—or writers—you hand your projects to are skilled at what they’re doing.

Here are a few pointers to help guide you to finding the right writer.

  • Pay attention to their emails. A good marketing writer should come across in their very first email to you. They may not use all the copywriting bells and whistles, like bolding and subheads. But their writing style should be friendly, conversational and professional at the same time. Obviously, typos are not on order.
  • Make sure their copywriting is conversational in its tone. Good writing sounds a lot like a live conversation. It’s got a rhythm. We speak in sentence fragments. Start sentences with “and” and “but.” We break a lot of English class rules when we talk. A good copywriter does the same to make it easy for you to follow along. Using “you,” “I” and “we” a lot in the copy is a good sign.
  • Look for personality. You’re not looking for dry content or marketing so make sure the writer’s personality—or the personality of their client’s brand—shows through in what they present to you.
  • Keep the fluff far away. There’s a difference between writing conversationally and writing fluff. Conversational tone means easy to read. Fluff means there’s no content and the writing end up being mainly for show. That’s obviously not what you want.
  • Ensure the facts are there. Good writers ensure you back up your claims with facts. That means they ask a lot of questions. For example, if you’re promising you’ve got the top aloe-based facial cleanser, your copywriter will want to know why you can make that claim. Does your cleanser have more aloe in it than the other guys’? Is it better quality aloe? Why can you make this promise to your audience? You want your writer to support your assertions with facts.
  • Look for good formatting. Short sentences. Paragraphs of no more than 5–6 lines. Subheads, italicizing and bolding to break things up and emphasize important areas. Use of bullet points to call attention and continue to break up large blocks of copy. These are all signs that your copywriter knows their way around marketing writing.
  • Notice the call-to-action. All writers worth their title use calls to action to sum up your marketing effort and ensure that the reader is asked to do something. That something is whatever you want it to be: follow up with you. Click something. Pass something along. Download a white paper. You name it, your writer should be asking the audience to do it.

Want to discuss your copywriting needs or cover more about what makes a writer the right resource for you? Feel free to email me. (See, there’s that all-powerful call-to-action.)