You know that putting out regular, quality content is critical to your business. And you’ve been trying your best to feed the beast. But it’s all… Just. Too. Much. You’re getting buried under a pile of content marketing to-dos – emails, website copy, blog posts, sales pages…
I hear you.
It may feel as if your competitors are churning out content left right and centre, but the truth is that they are just as overwhelmed as you are. In 2017, businesses wrote more than 2 million blog posts every day and 2.4 million emails every second according to Radicati Group’s February 2017 study.
Content overload is a problem of modern day marketing. Everybody is a publisher, the marketing industry screams.
But you’re thinking…noooo I just want to be a financial adviser or whatever profession you trained to do.
Even if you have a sizeable firm, you will find sooner or later that it is a struggle to create all your business copy in-house. Heaping the entire content burden on your marketing team could be a recipe for burn-out and even worse, crappy results.
Call in the Professionals
It’s time to bring in outside talent – professional copywriters who add value without adding to your payroll. A freelance copywriter will also bring a depth of expertise that you probably cannot match in-house, as well as a very useful outsider’s perspective on your business.
As the Content Marketing Institute reports in its study B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America: “Sixty percent of B2B marketers list producing engaging content as a top challenge… 57% struggle with producing content consistently… and 35% cite producing a variety of content as a top challenge. These are all problems a skilled copywriter can help solve.”
Hiring the Right Writer
Hiring copywriters can be a challenge. Some of you may have first tried the content mills and online freelancer sites which gleam and glitter with the promise of low rates and many options. However, though there are some good writers on these sites, it can be hard to find the diamonds in the rough.
For your marketing to be effective it should be consistent and part of a well-defined strategy. Your business will fare better with a professional copywriter who can work closely with your marketing team. A professional copywriter, if not already versed in your industry, will have the ability and the training to get up to speed quickly on your sector, industry language, business trends, challenges and so forth.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to work with a copywriter in a piecemeal manner. Every item of copy links to another. For example, a lead generation campaign will include at least a landing page, lead magnet and email marketing. These may be three distinct services, but they are interconnected and must speak with the same voice.
How to Spot a True Pro
A good copywriter will ask you in-depth questions before taking on a job. Rather than jumping to a conversation about rates, a copywriter should at least enquire about:
You should also interview the writer about his or her process. What are the terms and conditions of hiring this writer? Is there an agreement for you to sign? (there should be). How does the copywriter provide proposals, drafts and schedules? How will the copywriter work with the rest of your creative team?
What Type of Writing Do You Need?
True copywriting is known as direct-response copywriting – copy that is supposed to elicit a direct response such as a sale or a sign-up – e.g. sales pages, landing pages, sales letters, email autoresponders and online ads.
Content writing usually refers to editorial content such as website pages, articles, lead magnets and blog posts. This is content that seeks to inform, educate, engage and build brand authority.
If a freelancer claims to be a content marketer, then it means that they should also be able to advise you on content strategy and planning as it fits in with the rest of your marketing.
What Will It Cost?
Copywriters bill per day, per hour, per project and work on monthly retainer. Some advertise flat rates for each writing service. But in my view, it is better for the copywriter to get more information from you as to the type of project, your objectives, timeline and other key details, before attempting to price the job.
There is also a difference in fees between direct-response copywriting and content writing. As explained earlier, direct-response copywriting is writing that converts and as such it attracts higher project rates. In addition, direct response copywriters sometimes collect royalties (typically two to four percent of sales paid to the copywriter when a sales promotion runs its course). This is like a bonus on top of the up-front writing fee.
To help you budget properly for your investment in copywriting, please see below the current rates for some popular copywriting projects as compiled by industry powerhouse American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI):
2018 FEE RANGES FOR POPULAR COPYWRITING & CONTENT WRITING PROJECTS
|Site Content Audit and Report Boost||$1,500 – $,3000|
|Home Page Content: SEO and Sales-conversion Copywriting||$1,500-$3,000|
|Category Page Update: Rewrite the main web pages, such as About, Services, Subscribe.||$500 – $1,000|
|Case Study||$1,200 – $2,000|
|White Paper||$2,000 – $7,000|
|Ebook||$2,000 – $7,000|
|Autoresponder/Funnel Email Series||$100 – $1,000 per email|
|Copy Critique||$400 – $1,200|
|PPC/Adwords||$75 – $300 per ad|
|E-newsletter||$800 – $1,500 per issue|
|Online Sales Page||$5,000 – $8,500 + royalties|
|Lead gen Landing Page||$500 – $1,500|
|Article/Pillar Blog Post (1,500+ words)||$250 – $800|
|Video Sales Letter/Script||$5,000+ based on length|
|Short Online Video Script (e.g. explainer video, demo video)||$1,000|
|Press Release||$500 – $1,000|
Numerous studies and reports have made it clear that companies cannot afford NOT to invest in content. An important part of that investment is hiring a professional copywriter to help ease the burden of content creation, improve the quality of your copy and achieve better results.
As a lead generation specialist and B2B copywriter, I deliver direct-response copy (e.g. landing pages, video sales letters, PPC ads, advertorials, sales pages, email marketing, pre-sell pages); content writing (white papers, case studies, pillar blog posts, website content, ebooks) and content marketing (strategy, content planning, web content audits).
I’d also love to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Nkiru Asika, founder of LeadGenContent.com, is a lead generation specialist, B2B copywriter and content marketer. She helps B2B service providers taste the sweet victory of generating leads and building relationships towards the sale. She also loves God, old school hip-hop, jollof rice and all forms of tea. In her teens she was in a secret marriage to the late great Prince. So secret, even he never knew.