Compelling copy is far from easy, but that doesn’t mean you need to break your budget to get a new website or email drip campaign. You can find an affordable copywriter who delivers on quality when you know what to look for and what to avoid. Here are the top red flags for choosing an affordable copywriter.
Lack of Writing Samples or Reviews
Writing samples let you get a sense for a copywriter’s style and provide proof that the writer understands the ins and outs of your industry or your target audience (or ideally both). It’s best but not essential if samples are in your industry.
If a writer can’t point to any content samples, however, it’s a major red flag. The copywriter could deliver great writing, but it could also be trash. If you’re looking for affordable copywriting to stick within a budget, you just can’t take the chance.
The same goes for reviews, which provide proof that an affordable copywriter delivers what you ask for when you need it. Any cost savings you’re netting from hiring an inexpensive copywriter go out the window when that copywriter is late with an assignment, leaving you scrambling to write something in-house, or pushing back a publication date while you scramble to fix shoddy copy.
Reviews should give you confidence that past clients liked the writing and would work with the writer again, and a writer who doesn’t have reviews may not have satisfied clients.
Spelling and Grammar Errors in the Writer’s Portfolio
You might not be a spelling and grammar whiz — that’s why you need a copywriter — but any writer you’re hiring should be proficient. If you spot a typo in their profile, run immediately. If they can’t proofread their own marketing materials, why would they proofread your blog posts?
Lack of Questions About Assignments
When a skilled copywriter takes on a new client, they have questions about the client’s mission, vision, needs, and niche. The answers you provide help the writer position the content so it dovetails to the needs of your target audience.
If you’re a dental clinic, for example, a writer will want to know if you specialize in pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or anything else.
Unless you’ve provide a comprehensive project brief, your new copywriter will want to check in with you for clarity before they get started. Someone who doesn’t circle back with questions should be a writer you only hire once.
Incredible Content Marketing Pricing
A white paper for $50? If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Look up pricing guidelines for the type of content you’re seeking, then compare bids to the average to get an idea of the rates. Just as better writing costs a premium, if something is so low that you can’t believe it, then you will most likely be shocked at the quality of writing.
Another risk of low-priced copywriting is duplicate content. Your website will be penalized if you post content that’s been copied from another website, and if a copywriter is charging a few dollars for a thousand words, they may be stealing content rather than writing original copy.
Inflexible Copywriting Contract
If a bid seems good, scrutinize the contract before you sign off. A reputable copywriter will be willing to make changes to the copy if it doesn’t suit your needs. An upstanding copywriter will give you adequate time to review the content and request changes — say, more than 48 hours.
A cheap copywriter may charge extra for revisions or place a cap on the number of free revisions they are willing to do. It may be worth it to pay more for a contract that’s more generous, because that covers you if the writing isn’t what you’re looking for.
How to Get Amazing Affordable Copywriting
By avoiding these red flags when hiring a copywriter, you will get cleaner copy that better suits your need. But there are a few hacks that will help you go above standard to amazing content that maps onto your strategy perfectly.
- The first hack is communication. The more information you provide your copywriter up front, the better the content will match your needs. Gather samples of writing you like, provide keywords, and give the writer your URL so they can check out your brand’s voice and mimic it.
- The second hack is streamlining content creation. You might need social media posts and copyright-free images to accompany your blog post, but these cost extra — and you’re already on a budget. Outsource blog post writing to an affordable copywriter and take care of the other content elements in house to get snappy, shareable blog posts on a budget.
- The third hack is to find a copywriting service that offers access to top quality writers, who have already been vetted for professionalism and writing skill. When you can sift through a preselected pool of writers, looking for the match of price and previous experience, you’ll save time over hunting for copywriters on bid sites. Time equals money, something many business professionals forget about when they’re seeking a bargain on copywriting.
Lindsey D enjoys learning new things, researching, and applying her writing skills to improve your web content and your web presence. She can work with you to develop a content strategy for your business or write high-quality content that follows your stated goals for increasing ROI, connecting to your target audience, boosting brand awareness, and more.