What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the process of creating ‘copy’ (i.e., words) that aim to sell a product or service. You’ll see examples of copywriting everywhere you go – from your email inbox to bus shelters and newspapers.

A good copywriter will understand that your product or service needs to solve the customer’s problem. It’s not about showing off how fantastic you are – it’s about putting your brand in the customer’s shoes and alleviating their pain points. Think ‘you’, not ‘we’.

Strong copywriting will also reflect your tone of voice without scaring the customer off. It should be fun, compelling and convincing. Find out more about our approach here.

Do I need a copywriter?

You need a copywriter if you have a product or service to sell and no in-house resource to sell it! Often, the product developer will be able to talk about their product for hours. But that doesn’t mean they can turn this into words that will sell.

A good copywriter will listen to all of your points and communicate them in an accessible, friendly way. They will showcase the benefits – not the features. For example: new Ford with air conditioning. Nope. Stay cool with personalised climate control. Yes.

Is copywriting the same as content writing?

Copywriting is not the same as content writing. You may find many different opinions on this – particularly within the copywriting community. We like to think of it like this: copywriting comes under the umbrella of content writing.

The purpose of copywriting is to persuade or sell. Content writing, on the other hand, might have any number of purposes. It might be to educate people. It might be to inspire them. It might be to make them laugh.

All of these can translate into different formats, such as blog posts or whitepapers. And they may end up indirectly selling, too – for example, a whitepaper may convince a B2B decision-maker. A blog post may get you to the top of Google.

We offer both copywriting and content writing. With our combined background in journalism, digital marketing and computer science, there aren’t many bases we can’t cover. See for yourself.

How does content writing help businesses?

Content writing helps businesses enormously – from selling products to reaffirming their brand values. When you put together your content strategy, you should ask yourself two questions: what are we trying to achieve and who are we trying to reach?

We can look at the benefits of content writing for business with the ‘marketing funnel’ in mind:

  • Awareness: a well-researched blog post might help your website rank higher on Google
  • Consideration: a whitepaper can give you the chance to show off your industry expertise
  • Conversion: a strong landing page with benefits-rich copywriting can sell your product
  • Loyalty: a compelling email campaign to subscribers will have them coming back for more
  • Advocacy: an established tone of voice and brand values will help people recognise you and tell others about your brand.

With a multi-pronged approach, you can capture customers at every stage in the process, using distinct content formats or ‘channels’.

Is content writing part of digital marketing?

Content writing is absolutely part of digital marketing. You may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’. This is more relevant today than ever before as search engines look for markers of quality. Consider Google’s ‘Expertise, Authority and Trust’.

While our content writing services also apply offline, there are multiple digital channels where content is key. From social media snippets to long-form blog posts, content is essential for finding you more customers online.

What is SEO copywriting?

The term ‘SEO copywriting’ is a contentious one – some may say that all content should be written with SEO in mind. SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which means we are tailoring our content to meet search engine guidelines. This helps us to ‘rank’ better on pages such as Google’s results pages.

Copywriting in the main may be for fun. Think of brands such as innocent, whose copy empathises with the reader but doesn’t necessarily discuss the product. “According to a recent study, there’s a one in two chance your mind is on something else while reading this product.” Lots of fun, but it’s hardly going to help innocent rank on Google for fruit smoothies. But then, if it’s on product packaging, does it matter?

SEO copywriting can still be fun, but it will have targeted keywords woven in naturally. You may see it often in landing page briefs – from short keywords such as “data centres” to long-tail keywords or questions such as “what are cloud data centres?”.

Either way, copywriting needs to be human, and it’s what we do best.

How to choose a content writing service?

How you choose your content writing service is up to you, but we can recommend a few tried-and-tested tips to make sure you get a good deal:

  • How do they demonstrate ‘social proof’? Have they got reviews or a ProCopywriters profile?
  • Do they have any specialised qualifications that might suit your niche or content in general?
  • Is there a portfolio on their website showcasing a range of different copy styles?
  • Are they clear in how they communicate their service and the benefits to you?
  • Have you had a good response from them after your first contact? Are they friendly?
  • Are they transparent about payment terms, delivery dates and amends?

All of these will help you to determine how much value you get from a copywriter. Try not to think of it as a price tag but an investment. Your landing page may cost X, but could it bring in thousands of customers for years to come?

Look at the big picture and make sure you get on well with your copywriter! This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

How much do freelance writers charge?

How much freelance writers charge depends on the project itself and their level of experience. Everybody has different pricing models. Some charge by the word (generally frowned upon but sometimes helpful) while others offer a day rate (good for agencies). Some may charge a project fee, which can help to protect you both against ‘scope creep’. Some may offer a retained service, for example, X number of blog posts at X words per month.

We are very flexible with our pricing but we are honest. We are not the cheapest but this is justified by the end product you receive. As a guideline, we base our fees on the ProCopywriters Annual Survey. At the time of writing (August 2022), our day rate starts from £400+VAT based on this benchmark. But it all comes down to your project, the time it takes and the value you’ll get from it.

What kind of brief do you need from us?

Every copywriter appreciates a good brief – it helps to prevent mistakes and miscommunications between us and the client. But we also understand that every client has their own briefing process and level of expertise. For example, an SEO agency might know more about their targeted keywords than a small business.

As a guideline, we’d love it if your brief could include:

  • Content format and rough length (e.g., landing page at 800 words)
  • Keywords to target if any (we can also bolt on keyword research if you wish)
  • Audience and intention (e.g., increasing downloads from B2B decision-makers)
  • Structure (optional – some agencies, for example, may write out headings)
  • Deadlines (up to two weeks is ideal please!)
  • Reviewing process (approval by committee is cumbersome, so we may have to factor in extra time for amends if it goes through many people)
  • Any tone of voice guidelines you may have.

Of course, this is in an ideal world and we appreciate there may be gaps. Often a quick call to fill in the gaps can help kick things off, then we can get the ball rolling from there. The better the brief, the quicker the delivery!

Do you work on retainer?

We do offer retained content marketing services, for example, X number of blog posts per month or bespoke packages. We can discuss these with you on a call or via a written proposal. You’ll receive a contract to sign with our terms and conditions, then we can get going.

Do you charge for copy amends?

As a rule, every piece of content we produce includes one round of free amends. After this, we charge for amends on a sliding scale, for example, amends to 10 per cent of the copy would incur an extra 10 per cent of the original charge. We can keep amends to a minimum with a strong brief. It also helps if you’re upfront about how many people will be reviewing the copy.

What are your payment terms?

Our payment terms are 30 days from receipt of the invoice. Of course, we are freelancers and we always appreciate invoices being settled earlier. That may even bump you up the list of our favourite clients!

Late payments are subject to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. We will add late payment fees in line with this.

All work produced for UK customers is subject to 20% VAT. We also charge a deposit to new customers. This helps us to build a strong relationship from the start and ensures you get the best service.

Why should we work with Katie Lingo?

You should work with Katie Lingo because you get an honest, friendly and high-quality service. We’re completely transparent – you’ll be dealing with Katie or Craig, not a robot or unnamed freelancer. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with clients. It’s as much about the banter as it is the standard of work.

Naturally, this is backed up by years of experience dating back to 2012. With Katie’s qualifications in marketing and journalism, plus Craig’s qualifications in computer science, we’re ready for anything. If you need any more convincing, please feel free to read our reviews or go through our portfolio. You can also add us on the socials if you want to get to know us a bit more. We can’t wait to meet you!

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