8 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Freelance Copywriter

In today’s struggling economy, retaining a full-time copywriter can be cost-prohibitive for many small- to mid-sized businesses. But if you think shelling out a regular writer’s salary will hurt your bottom line, neglecting your content altogether can have an even more detrimental impact. So what’s the solution? More and more businesses have found that outsourcing their copywriting needs to a freelance writer can be a viable way to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of their content. Remember, though: a copywriter who isn’t a good fit for your needs can wind up doing more harm than good for your business. Before entering into a contract with a writer, be sure to ask these crucial questions:
When can you complete the job? This is a tricky one. While you want your content to be turned around as quickly as possible, you also want your provider to take the necessary time to craft it to your specifications. Also, be wary of writers who are available right away and promise a turnaround time that seems too good to be true. A good writer will most likely have a solid client list, resulting in at least a small wait time.
What are your rates? A colleague of mine once said that when evaluating bids for a project, he automatically eliminates the lowest and the highest quotes. There’s some wisdom to this. Rock-bottom prices often require a sacrifice in quality; strive for a comfortable balance between expertise and value. Also, the answer to this question should be arbitrary. A good copywriter will usually charge by the project, rather than by the word, page, or hour.
What do you need from me? Be wary of the copywriter who doesn’t have questions about your project. To achieve your desired results, he or she will have to be well-attuned to your business objectives, your target audience, and what you’re trying to achieve with your writing project. Before writing a word, your provider should become an impromptu authority on the topic at hand — and that will require some legwork.
Do you have a website? If the answer is no, this isn’t the writer for you. If a provider is going to help you boost your online presence and help drive more web traffic to your site, they need to have a basic familiarity with Internet marketing strategies and web writing — and without their own site, they’re lacking in those areas by default.
Do you outsource? If you contract the services of a copywriter, it’s assumed that he or she will be doing the actual writing for your project. If they plan to farm out your assignment to a junior writer and take a portion of your fee for themselves, they should let you know that your project will be completed by someone else on their team.
What’s your policy on revisions? It’s a rarity for a project to arrive in your inbox in perfect condition. There will almost always be at least a few changes required. Most professional copywriters include at least one or two rounds of revisions with their quote. If not, find out what they charge for change orders.
Will you sign an NDA? The answer to this should always be yes. An experienced copywriter should have no problems signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which states that all work provided and purchased becomes your sole property and will not be published, sold, or copied by the writer after completion of the project.
How will we communicate? There should be more than one answer to this question. In addition to email, a writer should be accessible via phone, Skype, or live chat. Obtain as many contact details as possible, and ask about the writer’s typical response times for inquiries. Ideally, your email or phone call should be returned within a 24-hour period.

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