Hiring Someone to Write Copy for You

Hiring a Copywriter - Should you do it?

I understand why people hire someone to write the copy for their website that sells products. Or just in general, if you have a huge corporate business, it makes sense that you have a dedicated copywriter. It’s not going to be the CEO sitting there writing website content.

BUT

Am I the only one who doesn’t like the idea of an individual freelancer hiring someone to write copy for their service business?

Take a web designer as an example. They have a website geared towards their clients. It’s all about selling themselves and their services, right? Now if I were looking to hire a web designer, I’d browse through their website and try to “get to know” the designer a little. I’d listen to their “voice” and try to determine if we’d be a good match (not just design-wise, but also personality-wise). I think this is particularly important if you’re going to spend several hundred/thousand dollars and work on a project for 2-6 weeks with a person.

But wouldn’t you feel a bit cheated if you found out that the entire website was actually written by someone else and not by by the person you’re trying to hire? What if the personality you click with isn’t that of the web designer, but of the copywriter?

How do you feel about hiring a copywriter?

I’ll admit, I have ZERO experience with hiring a copywriter so I don’t know the process at all. Maybe I’m getting it all wrong. I’ve just always been a bit put off by the idea of putting someone else’s writing on my business site and services page. It doesn’t feel genuine and I’d feel like I was misleading people or misrepresenting myself.

What do you think?

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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17 comments

  1. I was just thinking about hiring someone to write my About page – I have a friend who does copyrighting for a living, she’s a freelancer like me, and lives in my neighborhood – I’m all for supporting local small businesses. My about page is old, the info. is out of date, and I’m (thankfully) too busy right now to put together something great – I’ve been thinking about redoing it since last Spring. I do have a blog where folks can get a good idea of my voice, and an online portfolio to get an idea of the types of work I create. I would feel kind of weird if someone else wrote all of my copy for my entire site, but that’s not the case.

    carrie @carrieloves recently posted: How To Enable Pinterest Rich Pins on your blog
  2. I do these on my own, because
    1. I can’t afford to hire one
    2. I’m a freelance writer.
    πŸ˜€

    I think they do it because they’re not good with words. But yeah, I totally see your point. I’ve heard about people having regrets working with copywriters because they were misled by their words. You posed an interesting question, Ashley. πŸ™‚

    Priscilla and her Books recently posted: Music Audio Stories: X’mas Edition!
    1. Haha it totally makes sense you’d do your own! πŸ˜‰

      I guess I just find it a bit icky when you’re in a service business where your personality matters because you’ll be working closely with someone. Having someone else (a different personality) write your content seems a bit misleading.

  3. This is probably the hardest kind of copywriting there is, which is why it’s the one kind I haven’t attempted before unless it was someone I already knew well. But from ghostwriting for our company’s CEO, I know how hard it is to write in someone else’s voice.

    I know other freelance writers who have spent up to ten hours JUST on tone interviews to make sure that the copy’s voice matches the entrepreneur/freelancer. That’s in addition to interviewing for information and the actual writing. For one page of a website.

    Because you’re right. If a client is pulled in by a website’s copy and then the person they’re working with sounds nothing like that, it affects the business relationship. But with a good copywriter and a willing client, it can be genuine. I’m sure there are a lot of people who’s website copy seems so perfectly “them,” but they didn’t write it. They just have a really great partnership with a really great copywriter. πŸ™‚

    Brittany recently posted: Facebook Doesn’t Hate You
  4. I don’t know, a service is a service. I have limited copywriting experience, but if I was running a business, I’d still want the best copy to hook in customers. My skills lie in web development, and I believe my site design will speak for my work. Who writes the copy should be irrelevant.

    I’m more than happy to hire another freelance copywriter to help me (if I could afford one that is, haha). But then again, I might just be indoctrinated from working in an agency. πŸ˜› Nothing I write will top that of a copywriter’s.

    Raisa recently posted: A Day in the Life
    1. It’s true that “a service is a service”, but that’s not all there is to it. Sometimes it’s not ONLY about the design work. A huge part of working with a client is ensuring that you fit well together. If you have major personality clashes, the project could be a horrible experience for both of you! That’s why I think personality matters.

  5. I think it really all just depends on the company or business. If it is something that has nothing to do with writing, then I would say fine, go ahead. But if you are an author or freelancer, (something that specifically requires that you write as a service), then my expectation would be that you also wrote the content for your website.

    In that event, I would feel cheated if I found out that you didn’t write your own content and yet you expect me to hire you to write mine. That just seems weird.

    Chinye Vivian Oseji recently posted: Under Wraps: Keeping Your Masterpiece Secret
  6. Writing your own copy only makes sense if you a) write well, b) can write well fast and efficiently, and c) know how to optimize for calls to action and conversion.

    I know some business owners whose writing fails to capture their personality because they’re better speakers. They hire someone to make sure their website reflects who they are. Sometimes you need another person to help you clarify what you’re all about. Some people hire copywriters because it’s faster to have someone else do it for them.

    Most copywriters go through a process where they talk about you, your business, and your brand so that whatever they write reflects you. You also get revisions if you don’t feel what they wrote works. The thing is, you’re usually one of the worst people to write about your own stuff because you know it, but don’t always know how to communicate its value in a way that makes people buy.

    That said, it’s sketchy if a freelancer writer had someone else write their website copy. But I’ve also seen online businesses who need the help of a copywriter — or at the very least, an editor.

    Amanda @ On a Book Bender recently posted: A Special Top Off Tuesday {Lance by Christi Snow}
  7. I have never thought to hire a copywriter but when I first made my website and had to write an “about” page I got my fiancΓ© Charlie to write it for me, luckily for me he had a degree in journalism and he knew me (of course) so my “about page” was able to sound professional but still me.

    Georgie @ What She Reads recently posted: COVER PALETTE : FROSTFIRE
  8. I think I’m unfair on this point because I am a writer and could never imagine someone writing for me. But, I’ll pay someone to setup my author website, because I suck at graphics & design. And technically it will be the graphic designers personality that shines through on that website, not mine. But I’d hope people look at it and see me, because while I didn’t design it, I did pay for it, approve it, and answer all the questions that inspired the designer to go that direction. And ultimately, they’re buying my writing not my design. So I think I’d say the reverse for copy writing on a designers page – they may not have written it, but its their ideas and they approved it, they just aren’t a good writer. And ultimately I’m hiring their design not their words. But what works in theory may not work in practice, so I have no real idea. Great post, got me thinking.

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: The One by Kiera Cass
  9. I’ll start off by saying that I’m biased to begin with, because I’m a brand copywriter (whose services include web copy). The main misconception I often hear about copy is that as long as you can write well and sound professional, then you’ve got the green light to write your own.

    The truth?

    Copywriting is less about writing and more about understanding the psychology of your audience. Sure, a professional copywriter is like a chameleon and knows how to nail down his/her clients’ voice, but copy should be told from the reader’s point-of-view, not the biz owner.

    Good copy is not centered around you; instead, it frames who you are around the deep seated needs & desires of your prospects. Effective copy not only emotionally speaks to their wants, but it nullifies most objections and skepticism that are racing through their minds when they’re evaluating your services.

    Stellar copy should also position you to stand out from your competition, so that you are your audience’s only choice, but that’s more branding-related than copywriting-related. (However, it is extremely important.)

    I understand why you feel that hiring someone else to express who you are is icky or fraudulent. But any professional worth his/her salt is a chameleon and knows how to adjust his/her writing to echo your voice and yours alone. (And he/she won’t stop until you’re ecstatic about the end result.)

    The bottom line is that getting your tone right is really minor when you consider the bigger copy picture. Ideally, your words should attract your dream prospects and pre-sell them on working with you long before they pick up the phone to call or fill out your contact form. Your copy should do most of the heavy lifting for you so that all you have to do is sign your new clients and build your relationships :-).

    Hope this helps, and Merry Christmas!

  10. Hiring a content writer is a perfect choice when you want to optimize the content of your website. Yes, there’s a possibility that you can be cheated by the person you hired. That’s why you have to be careful and be a professional when hiring a good writer. Don’t worry there are many sites where you can find a good writer and a tough one. And also there are many tools you can use to check if the content they write is original and not a copyrighted.

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