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Copywriter FAQs

 

How can I help you? Find all the answers to my most frequently asked questions

What does a copywriter do?
Copywriting is often the umbrella term used for writing that is created for marketing purposes. Although there are differing views in the industry regarding whether content writing and copywriting should be separated, they’re usually considered the same thing. When they are separated, the general view is that copywriting is used as a means of driving action, whereas content is created to build relationships, authority and trust. 

Copywriters, in the broadest sense, write with a specific client goal or action in mind. For example, a blog’s goal might be to drive organic traffic to a website. A press release, on the other hand, could be to heighten brand awareness and trust.

Copywriter services include writing SEO website copy, blog articles, case studies, whitepapers, landing pages, PR materials, social media posts, award entries, brochures, email newsletters, advertisements and product descriptions. 

Often writing for the web, copywriters need to be SEO savvy, with a good understanding of the latest Google algorithms and their clients’ search terms. They should also have a good grasp of their clients’ USP, key messages and tone of voice.

A copywriter’s job is not just to write. They also need to be thorough researchers with the ability to grasp complex topics quickly to write with clarity and authority on a range of subjects. Being able to do this often comes with many years of copywriting experience.

Why hire a copywriter?
Most people can write. Right? But not all businesses have the time, skills or resources to turn words into results.

Although business owners and employees may be able to write well and are subject matter experts, very often they can be ‘too close’ to the company to be objective. 

Employees and business owners often find it challenging to take a step back and look at content from a customer’s perspective. This can lead to content that is littered with industry jargon and created with the assumption that the reader knows and loves the business just as well as they do. 

They also might not have the specific copywriting skills and experience needed to write content that drives action. Words can be incredibly powerful, so when it comes to creating written content for your business, very often it’s best to bring in the experts. 

Experienced copywriters cut through the jargon and write clear, engaging content that is written specifically with the customer in mind.

Where are you based?
I’m based in my home office in Wokingham, Berkshire. If you’re not local to me, that’s no problem. Copywriting is one of those roles that you can do pretty much anywhere. While some copywriters work in-house, for agencies or for third-party companies, the majority of freelance copywriters work from home.

I have worked with companies all over the world, including in North America and India and achieve great results primarily via email or telephone.

That said, I am happy to meet new clients or have regular updates with existing clients in person. Alternatively, I am happy to talk to clients via video conferencing. I charge by the hour for external meetings, plus travel costs.

What is your availability?
As with all successful freelance copywriters and content writers, I often have numerous projects that I’m working on or have in the pipeline. Some copywriting jobs are time-sensitive, while others are not. I will always try to accommodate clients, but ideally ask for two weeks’ notice for copywriting and content writing projects. 

Having hired copywriters before in various senior marketing roles, I understand that often copywriting work needs to be done ‘yesterday’. I will always do my best to help, whether I can accommodate your request myself or point you in the direction of another experienced copywriter. So, please do get in touch

How long will my copy take?
Copywriting projects differ in their complexity and as such the time needed to complete them also varies. Smaller copywriting projects, such as writing short blogs or press releases, can usually be turned around within a day or so, depending on my availability and the amount of information given to me by the client.

More complex copywriting projects may need in-depth research, interviews, or information from the client. I will always work as quickly as possible and will agree on a deadline during the initial creative brief. I also prefer to quote on a project basis rather than a day rate – so you know it’s in both of our interests to complete the project as quickly as possible.

I understand that sometimes businesses need a quick turnaround for content so I will always try to accommodate last-minute requests. It’s commonly asked in my copywriter FAQs, so do get in touch if you have an urgent request.

What if I need to cancel a project?
I understand that sometimes projects are cancelled as company priorities and/ or direction changes. For the cancellation of projects that I have already started working on, a cancellation fee of 50% will be required. A fee of 75% will be required once the initial draft is sent.
What if I need to change the initial brief?
If a project changes considerably, we can discuss the impact that this will have on time and cost. If the brief is only tweaked slightly, this will likely be included as a reasonable revision with no additional cost incurred.
What information do you need from me?
During the initial brief, the more information you can give me the better. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also ensure you get content that fully meets your needs.

Before giving you a final quote, I will ask you to fill in a briefing document, where I will ask questions such as the purpose of the content, who your target audience is and what your key messages are. 

If the copy will be posted online, I will also ask for information on your preferred keywords or phrases. Alternatively, if they have not yet been determined, I can advise the best keywords and phrases to use. 

The briefing document can be emailed back to me, or I’m equally happy to discuss this over the phone. Many clients comment that filling out the briefing form is a useful exercise. It helps them clarify their own ideas on what they hope to achieve with the content.

What’s the difference between a copywriter and a content writer?
Copywriting is often the umbrella term used for all writing created for marketing purposes. Generally copywriting and content writing are considered the same thing, yet some copywriters, content writers and marketers separate the two. That’s why this question often appears on many lists of copywriter FAQs.

In such instances, copywriting is considered to be the art of writing persuasive copy that compels the reader to take action. That call to action could be to buy a product, download an ebook or sign up to a newsletter. The best copywriters will be able to create a sense of urgency to drive action. In a nutshell, it’s sales copy.

Content writing on the other hand is the art of writing content to inform, educate and entertain a reader. The aim of content writing is generally to form a relationship with the audience with valuable content that reaches them along each stage of their buyer journey.

Content writers spend a great deal of time researching, have a thorough understanding of SEO and can advise a company on fresh content ideas and the ideal distribution channels.

I am experienced in both copywriting and content writing and generally use the term copywriting as an umbrella term for both.

What is your writing style?
I write in many different styles, depending on the company I’m working with and the purpose of the content. My style is adaptable and I will always take into consideration my client’s preferred tone of voice.

That said, I’m a firm believer in using plain English and avoiding jargon and buzzwords where possible. I’m also a big fan of using story-telling techniques in content, where appropriate, to help businesses better connect and engage with their audience.

I also advise clients to share insights that may challenge the status quo. This helps develop the business’ position as a thought leader and can help create the tension needed to prompt the reader into taking action.

What industries do you specialise in. Do you have any experience in my industry?
I am a copywriting generalist – rather than a copywriter with a specific niche.

I’ve worked with a wide range of businesses in both the B2B and B2C arenas, across a wide range of industries including the retail, technology, telco, fintech, health care, transport and professional services industries.

From nuclear energy, angel investment and financial technology to retail trends, parenting and beauty – you name it, I’ve probably written about it.

The subject matter doesn’t have an impact on my ability to create insightful, engaging content. That’s where research and a thorough briefing process comes into play.

What happens if I need to share confidential information?
This is a common question in copywriter FAQs, but there’s no need to worry about sharing sensitive information. 

As a copywriter, confidential information is shared with me regularly. I treat all company information with the utmost confidentiality.

How much do you charge?

I quote on a project basis so that you’ll know what your project costs upfront. The overall cost will take into consideration the length and complexity of the project and the detail of the initial brief. The more detailed your brief the better.  

I choose not to charge by the word, as I do not feel that would be in the interest of my clients, nor myself. Some words are worth more than others: a strapline, for example, might take me a day to perfect; a simple SEO focused blog might take a few hours. It’s all relative to the project and the brief.

While many copy mills charge by the word, very often the content is littered with repetitive, flabby, meaningless content to bump up the price – that’s not me. I much prefer to spend time creating well researched, insightful and valuable content. I depend on repeat customers for my business, so I will always make sure my work is of the highest standard.

Although I prefer to quote for each project, my day rate is £275.

Can you work on a retainer basis?
Yes – I am happy to work on a retainer basis with clients that require regular copywriting, content writing, content strategy or public relations support.

Ideally, deliverables will be agreed each month in advance. Where that is not possible, a set number of days or hours can be agreed and I will let you know what can be achieved in that time. If you’d like to discuss working with me on a retainer basis, please get in touch.

What if I'm not happy with the first draft?
That’s no problem; edits and additions are part and parcel of being a copywriter. To minimise risk, especially in terms of the messaging or concepts for more complex projects, I will create an outline of the key areas I will focus on in the project before writing. 

Most of the time, I get it right. But, on the rare occasion that I don’t, I will schedule a call to discuss. Or, you can email me your feedback and I will implement the changes needed.

I will provide two revisions within the remit of your initial brief to ensure you are completely satisfied with the content you receive. This will be provided to you as the first, second and final draft.

Do you offer any other services or collaborate with other freelancers?
I offer services right across the PR, marketing and social media fields, so do contact me if you’re interested in any services that I haven’t listed on the services page.

I also work with numerous other freelancers, such as graphic designers, website developers and videographers and would be happy to source or collaborate with other freelancers on your projects. 

Will you write a sample for me?
I’m afraid not. If you’d like to see examples from my portfolio, get in touch and I will be more than happy to send them to you. 
I want to work with you - what next?
Great – let’s do this! See the contact page for more information on how to get in touch. 

I’ll get back to you within 48 hours via email, but usually much sooner. If your project is urgent, feel free to call me on 07590990448. 

After initial questions around the project and timeline, I’ll let you know of my availability and a rough cost estimate before sending you a briefing document. Once I receive the full brief, I can confirm the final cost of the project.

Depending on the project, I may create an initial outline of my recommendations in terms of content for you to approve, to ensure minimal changes.

I ask for a 50% deposit for all new clients; no deposit is needed for regular clients. 

How does payment work?
For new clients, I request a 50% deposit upfront; for returning customers, no deposit is needed. Payment can be made via PayPal or via bank transfer. Once a project is completed, I will issue an invoice with 7 days to pay.

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