How Agencies Can Hire Top Freelance Copywriters

Jessica Kandler

Jessica is a content marketer at MySiteAuditor, a white-label SEO audit tool that helps digital marketing agencies generate leads and sales. Get her new content updates on Twitter at @mysiteauditor.

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Many digital agencies struggle to fulfill their growing need for high-quality copywriters, but don’t have the resources to hire full-time, in-house writers. Finding great freelance talent can be tricky, but here’s how to find and hire the best.

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 Content Marketing is Driving Demand for Freelance Copywriters

  • 62% of companies today outsource content creation
  • 9 in 10 organizations market with content
  • Marketers, on average, spend nearly ⅓ of their budgets on content marketing
  • 42% of marketers cite lack of human resources as a key barrier to content marketing
  • Even though 62% of marketers blogged or planned to blog in 2013, only 9% of U.S. marketing companies employed a full-time blogger
  • 83% of companies report hiring for content marketing is “somewhat difficult” or “difficult”

Top Copywriter Traits

  • Strong portfolio
  • Good personality match
  • Knowledge of SEO + social media
  • Collaborative and works well with an editor
  • Meet deadlines
  • Can take feedback and criticism
  • Follows direction
  • Has flexible rates
  • Specializes in your industry

Don’t hire freelancers who:

  • Won’t quote you before hearing your budget
  • Who say they’re qualified solely because they have an english degree
  • Who don’t respond in a timely way
  • Who “borrow” from others or plagarize
  • Who make obvious spelling and grammar mistakes

3 Quick Tips for Interviewing Copywriters

1. Assign a short copy test or edit test
Ask the candidate to produce a short piece or edit a paragraph with spelling and grammar errors.

2. Have strict application guidelines
For those who don’t follow all directions completely, immediately filter them out.

3. Ask the right interview questions
Have a two-step interview process: conduct a phone screen, then, if possible, meet in person or have a second longer phone conversation.

10 Interview Questions To Ask When Hiring a Top Copywriter

1. Can you provide live links to your writing samples?
2. What is your research and writing process?
3. Describe 3 SEO copywriting best practices you employ in your writing
4. What blogs or publications do you follow for copywriting resources and information?
5. What is your copywriting experience?
6. How do you make sure you meet deadlines?
7. Does your schedule allow for my project needs, and what is your expected turnaround?
8. What do you know about my business and industry?
9. Do you have the software and tools necessary for my project at your disposal?
10. Are you able to include images with your content, and do you have a sense for what images are relevant to a piece?