When you’re seeking a copywriter who will produce engaging, informative articles, press releases, blog posts and other marketing copy, be sure to study writers’ clips to get a sense of the flow they have in their work. Read these clips as if you were a reader who finds the article online and is interested in the content.
One rule of thumb in seeking the best writer for online copywriting is the frown test, which can help weed out writers who lack flow. If you frown or stop reading momentarily while studying clips from a potential online copywriter, the article may have problems. If the copy contains words you don’t understand, claims that are subjective rather than objective, abrupt shifts of subject, or implications that are subtle enough to make you stop and think momentarily, this may indicate points in the work where a reader could lose interest.
Readers are fickle and easily distracted; you don’t want to lose them halfway through. The Internet is a vast place filled with countless articles on the very topic a reader is searching for, and that reader may already have half a dozen tabs open with other articles. You want your article to be the one where she stops — at least long enough to finish.
When seeking online copywriting services, here are a few good things to look for in a writer’s work that may keep the reader around longer:
- A good tone. Look for a writer with varied clips who easily switches tone for each — conversational for blogs, authoritative for informational articles, entertaining for whimsical articles — while still producing engaging copy.
- Interesting tidbits. A surprising, amusing or sobering statistic or fact can catch attention and make the reader want to see more. Look for a writer who tells you interesting information you haven’t heard elsewhere.
- Engaging quotes. Entertaining or informative quotes from industry leaders or experts may pique readers’ interest.
- Good transitions. Moving on to the next paragraph should smoothly close one point and introduce another without an abrupt shift. If the work is disjointed, that may not be the writer for you.
- Seamless keyword phrases. Obvious keyword stuffing will turn readers off and have adverse effects on placement in search results. “Never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of the search engines,” says Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google.
“Don’t give your readers even the smallest reason to hesitate, because hesitation leads to abandonment,” Nick Usborne, an author and business consultant who lives in Montreal, writes in a blog post. You don’t get a second chance with readers, so be sure to select an online copywriter who has the best chance of hooking the reader right away.
Laurie S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.