7 Questions You Better Ask Your Copywriter


Have you ever taken your car to get an oil change, only to decide four hours and forty dollars later that you would have been a lot better off doing it yourself? Well, you can get the same feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hire a copywriter.

If you want to have a smooth sailing experience, below are seven questions I highly recommend you ask your prospective copywriter before signing on the dotted line.

7 Questions to Ask Your Copywriter

Can I call you?

As an online business owner that works with many (online) marketing agencies and SEO firms, I primarily help my customers through email. It’s fast and easy. What’s not to love?

But when there’s a serious problem or an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, that’s what a phone is for. Don’t hire an online copywriter if you can’t get them on the phone pronto.

Do you provide keyword research?

No joke – there are copywriters out there that don’t do keyword research. It’s kind of like a chef opening a restaurant and asking you to bring your own ingredients. If he’s a really, really good chef (or writer), then maybe you’re willing to “bring your own ingredients.” But that’s pretty rare.

Either way, you should know what you’re getting into.

Will you publish for me?

Again, no right or wrong answer here. But, if you aren’t the most tech-savvy cookie in the cookie jar, then you might want to see if your copywriter can upload content to your blog or website.

Most copywriters and agencies will do this for you at a nominal fee. It takes very little time, but is a huge convenience factor for you, the client.

What’s your opinion on character limits?

Your copywriter should be informed and up-to-date on the latest Google character limits. Ninety two character long titles and 204 character long meta descriptions are going to get cut off.

Make sure your copywriter knows what’s up. Remember, they call it search engine optimization for a reason.

Can I see examples of your work?

Hopefully, you already have seen some writing examples. If not, be sure to ask. Some writers may pull the “I-have-NDAs-card” (non-disclosure agreements). Fair enough.

So can they write you some custom content?

Will you write all of my content yourself?

Here’s a dirty little secret about the writing game: A lot of it gets outsourced without the end-client ever finding out, especially the optimization work that is more or less “keyword stuffing.”

If you’re paying Mr. or Ms. Top Writer with this award and that credential, then you want to know that they’re the one actually writing it.

What guarantee do you offer on delivery time?

First, you shouldn’t have to hound your copywriter to get content delivered at a decent time. Second, you should have a guaranteed delivery date. Third, you should have a guarantee about what you’ll receive (discount, free work, etc.) should that delivery date not be met.

Things happen; protect yourself.

Have you hired a copywriter before and, if so, what questions do you wish you had asked?

Copywriting Photo via Shutterstock

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Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

9 Reactions
  1. “May I call you?” is a BIG question. If your communication is limited to email, that may minimize your ability to get your need and expectation clear as well as those of the copywriter too. Great article.

  2. It’s nice to know that charging extra for publishing is ok. I’m a new copywriter and I didn’t know what to do with the extra “offer” to publish it myself. Thanks!

  3. I’m not a huge phone guy. Email offers the benefit of not interrupting and allowing me to very deliberately choose my words. Unscheduled phone calls can be highly disruptive. For immediacy I prefer Google chat or Skype chat.

  4. Great article, and good questions, BUT…I know lots of quality copywriters who don’t do keyword research. I’m a copywriter, and I understand the tenets of SEO and keyword research (and can do the basics if I have to), but keyword research is such a specialty (crunching the numbers, analyzing the phrases and search volume, discovering the long-tails, etc.) that I recommend outsourcing it to SEO specialists. It’s an important ingredient, I agree. But the analogy I’d use is this: design/firms often outsource cabinet making since it’s such a specialty. Sure, they could do it, but… 🙂 Now, all that said, when I use tools like HubSpot, I can come up with keywords and map them to the pages I want to target on my own…but that’s a robust tool, and even then, I usually have one of the SEOs I know eyeball my work.

  5. Aime – these are great questions for clients to ask when looking for web content! However, I suggest you add an 8th question. When they want a writer to create marketing materials, such as brochures, newsletters, and sales letters, clients need to ask if the writer has experience with copy that sells.

  6. Small Businesses cannot rely on one technique alone. Good job of listing the most important ways to increase traffic to their websites.

  7. First, you shouldn’t have to hound your copywriter to get content delivered at a decent time. Second, you should have a guaranteed delivery date. Third, you should have a guarantee about what you’ll receive (discount, free work, etc.) should that delivery date not be met.