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Ask HN: Who's your ideal candidate for writing your product's copy?
5 points by asoli 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments
Let's suppose you're on the lookout for a copywriter for your product/ startup. What're the qualifications you want to see in your prefect hire?

1) Highly prefer someone who has at least a basic knowledge/understanding of the topic.

2) Years experience

3) Sample works

4) References

5) Pricing. Learned a while ago that a good copywriter doesn't come cheap. You definitely get what you pay for, and paying a little extra will provide a return on investment in most cases.

Pricing. Learned a while ago that a good copywriter doesn't come cheap. You definitely get what you pay for, and paying a little extra will provide a return on investment in most cases.

What do you pay for a good copywriter? What's an example of too cheap?

Throw out some numbers, please.

In my limited experience, depends on the topic for pricing. The more detailed or technical, the higher the price per word. The more writing experience the individual has the higher the price. Also, the amount of research and any reference sources will add to the rate in my experience.

The last writer I hired for several 2000+ word legal related articles I paid approximately $.22 per word. For this I also received a 1 paragraph summary and 4-5 sources.

On the flip side, I paid a writer approximately $0.10 per word for similar article. The overall quality of the work was poor and when I ran it through Copyscape several parts came up as practically copied word for word from other articles.

I have heard people paying anywhere from $0.20-0.35 per word for good quality. I do think a lot depends on how detailed/technical the article needs to be though.

Thank you.

People don't often realize it, but copywriters are salespeople. You need to have certain things to set them up for success.

- You need to know your budget. A copywriter worth their salt will not be cheap. Don't waste their time trying to hire them for less. If they ever accept it's a sign that they aren't that good to begin with (it's like selling a salesperson on paying them less).

- You need to know who you are selling to in general (industry and market).

- You need to have examples or profiles of prospects. A prospects list is best. A profile based on the traits of ideal customers is second best.

- You need to have your sales numbers to set baselines. Even if they are projections you pulled out of a hat.

Now, a good copywriter, will need to have a the following qualifications:

- They must know the industry and the market. They don't need to be total experts in the matter. But don't hire anyone that is an outsider. They won't be able to know which industry and market keywords to use when writing the copy.

- They must be able to sell. There are a lot of fake copywriters out there who are mostly bloggers that think whatever they write works. Make sure they can sell by dissecting their copy (ask for samples). Are objections raised and answered in the copy? Are they followed by an attempt to close?

- They must have samples or a website. Now, some good copywriters have ugly websites. Don't focus too much on the aesthetics. Read the copy.

- References or testimonials. One is not like the other. References > testimonials, but sometimes they can't give you references due to contractual agreements (NDA).

- Availability is something people dont usually consider but is important. Don't hire someone who doesn't have enough time to work on your stuff no matter what. Copy sometimes takes time to iron out (like code).

Good luck!

PS. Feel free to email me if you need copywriting or content services for tech products.

In many cases, you're better off finding someone with a deep understanding of customer psychology then a traditional writer. It's not about writing beautiful copy, so much as copy that inspires action on the part of ideal customers.

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