So, you want to hire a web copywriter. Why not throw in web programmer, graphic designer, corporate communications director, and marketing wiz as other bullet points to the job description? Surely, there are thousands out there who can step up to the plate!
Think again. Would you hire an accountant to also run your direct marketing campaign? Would you hire a salesperson to pitch in and manage human resources? Get the drift? Since starting my column I've heard from countless web copywriters who tell me in varied turns of phrase that web copy stinks because the people who write it usually aren't professional writers, but web programmers, graphic designers, and others with hyphenated job titles. As one frustrated writer says, "Companies don't hire writers because everyone thinks they can write, even when they can't."
So, let's say you're committed to finding a good copywriter. (Believe me, it's worth the effort.) Here are some tips to establishing a great working relationship and getting the results you want:
What else? Take a look at what ClickZ President and Chief Content Officer Ann Handley had to say in her column last week about the importance of a great content editor. Corralling, correcting, retooling, setting the tone, and schmoozing are critical tasks for the job of chief editor. Whether you take on that role yourself or assign it to a more talented literary taskmaster, don't overlook the importance of the assignment. It's the editor that takes the lead that writers will follow. (Hmm... and Ann didn't even promise me a bottle of red zinfandel for writing this!)
One more thing: Would you contact me if you find that talented combination of writer/web site programmer/graphic designer/window washer/childcare provider? I'd pay top dollar for that! In the meantime, I hope this helps you get the sparkling content your web site needs. Email me your thoughts.
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT