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The Copy Chick
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Fingerfood, post: 100451 wrote:
I have a few questions about engaging a copywriter for website content incl product descriptions.

I would like to know how to brief a copywriter but also how much or few information/notes a copywriter would need from me.

I’m pretty bad at writing such content and interested in getting help but need to know how it works.
How much would it cost (I imagine this depends on how big the project) and how a copywriter charges (by words?).

Thank you in advance!

Hi Mel,

You’ll probably find each copywriter is a little different, but a clear line of communication sure does help!

When I’m approached by a new potential client, I’ll either send them my brief – which asks all the questions I need to know about the company, the product/service, the audience, the desired outcome, etc. – or I’ll have this conversation over the phone or in person (depending on the circumstances).

The more information supplied at this stage, the better understanding your copywriter will have of the project (which will save you time, money and misunderstandings).

When it comes to actually WRITING the content, you can supply as much or as little as you’d like, but obviously the less you provide, the more your copywriter will have to research and that will cost.

I try to get my clients to provide at least a rough outline or bullet-point information for each page so I have an idea of the kind of information they want included.

I offer various pricing options depending on what the client needs, from a simple proof, edit and tweak, to researching a project completely from scratch. Obviously a page that only needs a few edits and tweaks will take far less time to write than one needing significant research and drafting.

With an hourly rate as a starting point, 30 minutes work to produce 1 page vs 3 hours work to produce 1 page will give you an idea of how much (and why) the pricing will vary for the same amount of content.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

One other thing I would like to add is PLEASE don’t leave the copywriting until the last minute. We don’t just sit at our keyboards and type X amount of words p/minute and PRESTO! the work is done.

Between initial research, the first draft, time to let the draft sit for review before sending to the client, client reviews, making any changes needed, second client reviews and production of the final copy, it can take quite a bit of time – even for a single page.

So often clients have spent months getting the design of their site done then expect the content can be produced within a few days. For good quality, original content, most copywriters will need at least a few weeks for a decent sized website.

Again, I hope that all helps!