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  1. Dancin with the devil
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    A Good Copywriter


    -How do you know that you have found a good copywriter?
    -What makes up a good copywriter?
    -What do you look for when searching for someone or a company?
    -What kind of questions do you ask when interviewing or making a determination to find a copywriter?

    This is an arena that we have not dealt with and want to know how to find someone who will do the job right. I apologize for all of the questions but I am sure there are more that I left out. Feel free to add to the list as we may be interested in finding someone to write articles for us.
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    EGOL
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    -How do you know that you have found a good copywriter?
    Your lower jaw drops when you read their work.

    -What makes up a good copywriter?
    Deep content knowledge, experience with the topic, superior writing ability.

    -What do you look for when searching for someone or a company?
    You look for writing that they did on previous assignments.

    -What kind of questions do you ask when interviewing or making a determination to find a copywriter?
    Ask for a brief description of a topic area that you want her to write about. If she is the one you want her story will be clear, interesting.. and make you want to hear more.

    Actually, asking questions is really not the way to do it. You want this person to write. Some write better than they speak and some who can't write are really good talkers.

    Comments on this post

    • abilitydesigns agrees : to the point!
    • Faith agrees : Well written! :)
    * "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
    * "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL
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  5. Dancin with the devil
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    Originally Posted by EGOL
    Deep content knowledge, experience with the topic, superior writing ability.
    Does a copywriter have knowledge about everything or do you look for a specific copywriter for your topic? If I have several sites, is it feasible to use just 1 copywriter? I guess I'm concerned with how much knowledge one person can have on many different topics. For one person to know about cars, sports, politics, etc. enough to write deep content about it seems a bit difficult. I'm sure there are people who are well versed in many topics but are they difficult to come by?

    Originally Posted by EGOL
    Actually, asking questions is really not the way to do it. You want this person to write. Some write better than they speak and some who can't write are really good talkers.
    This does make sense and is a very valid point. Something we overlooked, thanks. You opened our eyes to a few things we didnt think about.
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    EGOL
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    Much of your decision on hiring a copywriter should be based upon the quality standards that you hold for your website.

    If you have an information site that is a reference source for academics and that you hope will attract .edu and .gov links then your quality standards must be extremely high. Any tiny glitch in the accuracy of the content can quickly get your site poorly reviewed on blogs. If you have a big problem then hard-earned .edu links to your site will be dropped.

    For a site like this you need nothing less than an expert on the topics that your site is about. Someone like a professor or advanced grad students. You can't get just anyone to write for a site like this. For many situations you can not even trust an undergrad major in that field -the reason is that they are weak on the content and not good writers yet.

    If you have a site that is casual information or entertainment education - that is not very technical then you can probably hire someone who has knowledge and experience in that field along with good writing abilities.

    The problem that you will have is that expertise and writing ability don't often converge in the same person.

    For non techinical subjects of where articles are more for entertainment than education or reference then you can hire a great writer.

    My sites are mostly technical information and I write almost everything myself. People without deep education will make serious errors in the content without knowing it. Many of the great content experts can't write well or are a bit sloppy in their wording so that misinterpretations of fact can occur.

    It is very hard to find a great writer with the expertise needed to satisfy me.

    For example, if you have a site like WebMD you don't want an English major writing the content - at least not without close collaboration and fact checking by an expert in the field.

    The bottom line is that you are writing content for the purpose of attracting links... so you need very high quality information written clearly. If you have that you have a chance to attract links.. but if it is poorly written or with lots of content problems then you just wasted a lot of money.
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    EGOL, your point is well taken, thanks! I happen to be a good writer (so I am told by quite a few people) and thought about writing. I do find it time consuming to get a result that is satisfying. My problem would be is that I am not knowledgeable with an array of topics. I know about certain things but the sky is the limit with what I could learn.

    My point is if I was to start writing content for websites, how would I be able to cover all the possibilities out there? How does one copywriter write for every topic that is thrown at them?

    I guess the key is to have a writer you feel comfortable with on a grammar and knowledge level. I was hoping that 1 person could write for various topics but by the looks of it, that doesnt seem possible. Then you have the sub-topics of your main topic.... I envy all of you who have copywriters...lol
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    EGOL
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    I am more of an author than an SEO.

    I have four university degrees and over thirty years of practice as a licensed and registered professional in my field. These provide an experience base for building a website..... but I don't venture very far from my expertise. Once I do that I am no better than a person who is simply a good writer.

    I would not consider starting a website for a subject outside of my limited content area - because I could not compete with the great content writers and content experts in another field.
    Last edited by EGOL; Jul 11th, 2008 at 06:01 AM.
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    It is nice if you can find a writer that is experienced in the field that you have but we ended up in a situation where we have a good writer who has access to a expert for questions, suggestions, interviews, etc. This arrangement works well for us. I would think this would be the the second most ideal situation but sometimes it is hard to get the topic expert writer unless you have the budget to pay for that.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : That can be a very good arrangement... the expert can proof read the writers work for content accuracy.
    • Lb1878 agrees : Wow, we cannot believe we never looked at it like this. Thanks for releasing our mental block.
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  15. Dancin with the devil
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    Originally Posted by graphical_force
    It is nice if you can find a writer that is experienced in the field that you have but we ended up in a situation where we have a good writer who has access to a expert for questions, suggestions, interviews, etc. This arrangement works well for us. I would think this would be the the second most ideal situation but sometimes it is hard to get the topic expert writer unless you have the budget to pay for that.
    Hopefully my last question with this but how do you deem someone an expert in a certain field? Is this a self proclaimed title or legitimate? You can PM me if you would like to take this off the thread. Thanks again guys!
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    EGOL
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    * published in a respected publication

    * undergraduate degree with honors

    * graduate degree

    * licensed professional in the field

    * long work history in the field

    * frequent speaker on the topic

    * teacher in the subject area

    Comments on this post

    • graphical_force agrees : All of these could make the person a expert in their field.

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