What Makes a Good Writer?
With hiring a copywriter, there are many qualities and skills to consider for the perfect fit. We’ve gathered insights from 12 industry professionals who shared their top qualities and skills to look for when hiring a copywriter. From SEO-friendly content writing to strong communication skills, these experts provide valuable advice to help you find the right talent for your team.
- SEO-Friendly Content Writing
- Connecting with Target Audience
- Punctuality Matters
- Creativity and Dynamism
- Emphasize Creativity
- Using Action Words
- Logical Flow in Writing
- Teamwork and Collaboration
- Powerful Communication Skills
- Wide Vocabulary
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Attention to Detail
SEO-Friendly Content Writing
A quality that I look for when I hire a copywriter is their ability to write SEO-friendly content. This is important because content that is SEO-friendly will rank higher in search engine results, which will lead to more website traffic.
SEO-friendly content is also more likely to be shared on social media, which can also drive more traffic to your website.
Connecting With Target Audience
As a marketing manager who has worked with many copywriters over the years, I’ve found that the most important quality to look for when hiring a copywriter is their ability to understand and connect with your target audience.
A great copywriter should be able to put themselves in the shoes of your ideal customer and understand what motivates them. They should be able to craft a copy that speaks directly to your audience’s pain points, desires, and needs, and ultimately encourages them to take action.
To assess a copywriter’s ability to connect with your target audience, I recommend asking them to provide writing samples that show their experience writing for similar audiences. You could also ask them to provide case studies or testimonials from clients in your industry.
Ultimately, hiring a copywriter who can connect with your target audience is key to creating effective, engaging copy that drives results for your business.
Punctuality. As a freelance copywriter who works with digital marketing agencies, I’ve had countless clients tell me that their previous copywriter often missed deadlines, didn’t communicate vacations, and left the company scrambling to meet its own client deadlines.
A good copywriter will never miss a due date, will let you know immediately if a due date isn’t realistic, and will communicate updates along the way to reassure you they are working on it. They should also respond to emails and communicate deadlines back to you when accepting an assignment to acknowledge it.
Creativity and Dynamism
Look for creativity and dynamism when hiring a copywriter. They must be able to think versatilely, keeping the target audience in mind. This quality or skill is essential for a copywriter to transform businesses, attract customers and readers, and bring quality and reliable information to engage the target audience.
As the production of content copy involves the most diverse themes, focusing on the most diverse audiences, without creativity or dynamism in ideas, the copywriter can compromise the campaign results. In addition, the copywriter must have a keen eye for proofreading—a more than desirable characteristic to produce quality copywriting.
Apart from the obvious (excellent writing skills), for hiring a copywriter, the most important quality you should look for is creativity. Creative copywriters have an eye for making the mundane interesting and drawing readers in with captivating language.
They know how to use humor, sarcasm, irony, and other writers’ tools to make their message stand out from the rest. Creativity is also essential because it allows them to come up with new angles and topics that can keep readers engaged long-term.
Use Action Words
Verbs bring writing to life. Using action words is the key difference between engaging and mundane. They can transform any type of writing into something people want to read.
When hiring a copy or content writer, see how they’re using verbs. Aim for action words (e.g., express, exclaim, run, instruct, introduce) rather than passive terms (e.g., do, is, are, get, have). Action words pull the reader in and make them a part of the content. If the writer is constantly using passive terms, the purpose of your copy is likely to fall flat.
Logical Flow in Writing
Grammar is important, but grammar can be fixed. The logical flow of writing is something more challenging to teach. If someone can organize content and present it logically, that person has a skill that makes them worth hiring.
If you read through a few samples of the applicant’s writing, you should be able to observe if they built a logical argument that compels readers to take the action you desire that will help build your business.
Without logic, you’ll lose your audience. Logic draws readers to develop trust and loyalty.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Copywriting is as much about teamwork as it is about experience and expertise. While the general notion is that creative people are also difficult to work with, we have been fortunate to work with helpful and accepting copywriters. Since we know as much as the copywriter about what we need for marketing and advertising success, it is crucial that both work in tandem with each other for effective results.
Despite the copywriter’s vast experience in their field, the process also has our team coming up with brilliant ideas that help us achieve our goals. When we work with someone who welcomes these directives and tweaks their work accordingly without hesitation, we know we have a dependable resource willing to think along the same lines as us.
Powerful Communication Skills
Copywriting can be a time-consuming job, and as an employer or client, waiting for a copywriting project to be done can leave you antsy. When hiring a copywriter, you’ll want to look for someone who is prone to keeping up the lines of communication.
Prompt and frequent communication will allow you to feel much more at ease with knowing the status of the work you’re waiting for.
For many clients, this can be an enormous weight off their shoulders during their otherwise hectic days. Strong communication is a minor consideration that is appreciated when working with other professionals.
When you’re interviewing for a copywriter, hire somebody with a wide vocabulary. You want them to really capture the essence of what they’re writing about, and a wide vocabulary is extremely important.
Test their vocabulary in a written format, as some people struggle with speaking but have a wide written vocabulary.
Flexibility and Adaptability
There’s no denying that copywriters must possess a wide range of writing skills, from research to crafting interesting stories. But what often gets overlooked is the ability to be flexible and adaptable with their work—the skill of being able to switch quickly between different content and switching up writing styles. This is an essential characteristic of any successful copywriter.
A good copywriter should be able to transition from short-form blog posts to long-form eBooks easily, from web copy to marketing emails, and more. They should also be comfortable adapting their writing style depending on the audience they’re trying to reach—from casual language for a younger demographic to technical jargon for B2B audiences.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is crucial for copywriters because it ensures that their writing is error-free, consistent, and on-brand. A copywriter who pays close attention to every word and phrase can catch grammar and spelling errors, and inconsistencies in messaging, and ensure that the tone and voice of the writing match your brand’s identity.
In addition, a copywriter who is detail-oriented can also help you avoid costly mistakes, such as publishing inaccurate information or using copyrighted material without permission.
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