How to Manage an Awesome Copywriting Team (Part One)

When I started at SEOgadget back in July I was fairly green to say the least. In that time I am still learning but as well as being an SEO Executive I am now also Content Production Manager for SEOgadget. I have been given the opportunity to share with you guys some of the things I do in my role. This article is particularly focused on how to find, hire and manage a team of copywriters. This is the first of a three-part series, I didn’t realise when I started this article how much I had to say on this subject.

I would like to say a massive thank you to my copywriting team as they are simply the best writers you could wish to work with!

So let’s get down to business!

You have come to the realisation either through your own forward thinking (well done you) or as in the majority of cases through some unforeseen horrendous piece of misfortune that you need a copywriter; actually who am I kidding you need a few copywriters.

Cue a mad panic, a lot of scratching of heads and a long sigh as you think about how arduous this process is and how much you wish things could be easier.

So let’s make it easier…

Where to Start? Scouting For Talent

Map with Pins

This isn’t as hard as you may think, once you know where to look. If done right you will have a constant source of copywriters available to you as and when you need to strengthen up the team.Scouting can be done in many different ways some of which I am going to cover below. If you have a tried and trusted method that you use and I haven’t included please let me know!

Hiring a freelancer online

These are just some of the more well-known freelance sites.  Go have a look at the FAQ’s, have a read through the about page, check out the employer guides and the testimonials; if this is all to your satisfaction go set up an account and start either looking through the profiles or go post a job direct.

As you can see this is a similar set-up to internet dating (not from personal experience!) and just like internet dating you need to follow some simple safety tips. So here are mine for when approaching or advertising a job;

  • Check out their profile is it filled in?
  • What is their rating/score/review from previous employers?
  • Have they got a portfolio
  • Have companies got them on an on-going basis
  • When was their last job

Odesk Profile

Student Gems Profiles

Odesk have a very good resource centre here https://www.odesk.com/help/ to help you get started, but remember before signing up to anything always read through any of the resources to get a better idea of how each site works and what the protocols are when it comes to content that is written so bad you know even Karl Pilkington could’ve done better.

Elance Protfolio

University jobs boards

Find a University and look at their courses, if you really want to be specific get in touch with Student Union and enquire about how you can get a job added to their board-as easy as that! Guess what the beauty of this method is..you can find yourself not only students whose English is ace, you can get yourself a foreign languages student, and even find students who specialise in a certain topic all at a reasonably fair price! Also with the university doing checks on you before you post, students will feel they can trust you.

Social media

Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay just like Man City!

Twitter

Do you have a healthy amount of followers? If not does your company twitter account have a healthier number? Well there you go, throw together a little tweet and send it out there and sit back and relax as your followers retweet your tweet and the applications fly right in to your inbox!

You can also incorporate this into your Facebook and Google+ accounts to spread the word even further.

Now if you have done your social advertising right, you would’ve realised you need somewhere for all those copywriters to go and stick their details in.

Utilising your own website

At SEOgadget we have a copywriter application form which can be viewed here. This form was created using Gravity Forms.

You don’t have to follow our format; you can make this as playful as you like, much like our awesome job applications for example:

This is your opportunity to make the next stage a lot easier. You want to ask questions that will not only give you an insight into personality, rates of pay, portfolio but also their spelling and grammar!

Sifting the Wheat from the Chaff

Post Boxes

Is your inbox overflowing? Have your retweets gone stratospheric? You have viewed so many profiles that you don’t know what to do? GREAT!!

Assessing your goals

If you can’t face doing this alone get some help in, as all great managers have back room staff. If you selected your questions correctly earlier you will be able to use these to measure a freelancer’s profile to get as much information as possible. You need to stay focused on what it is you want from your copywriting team.

Footballs
Getting the right writers

Another thing to consider is that you may not want people who write articles that are humorous, you may need serious business writers, so anyone who has applied with experience in writing for celebrity gossip sites or articles to do with cooking isn’t going to be the one for you, no matter how pretty their profile or friendly they come across. By all means take a chance on a writer if they really stand out and their interests may include your target area but their overall portfolio doesn’t.

Cost of writers

Ensure you check out their pricing! Have they written per word or per article and is it fair? If it appears to be extortionate then look elsewhere, if it’s so ridiculously cheap I would be concerned over quality. It is now up to you and your number two to whittle it down.

Keeping this in mind you should have come to 3 neat piles; Want to Sign Up, Will Monitor and Not Good Enough.

Want To Sign Up

These are the guys that you want! Ahh the dream, what every site owner wants, a super fantastic writer who gets it and you don’t have to chase them up for re-writes…

Will Monitor

You can treat this pile as a back-up plan to the main wish list. These details you can keep on record and if you are clever:

1. Email all these guys

2. Tell them that you have selected them form all the submissions received

3. Tell them you were impressed and will definitely get back to them when you have work. You do not need to contact the freelancers from the hire sites just record their profile details for future reference. This way you have made them feel valued, and in these tough times when people aren’t even getting a response to an application, giving that person a response even if it is a no will make a lasting impression on them, so if you ever do require their services they will not have a negative memory of your lasting dealing with them.

Not Good Enough

I don’t care, you don’t care, just get rid!

I hope you enjoyed the first part as much as I did writing it. I will be posting part two over the next couple of days which will cover how to assess and evaluate your potential new copywriters.

I look forward to hearing what you think about my first post. Thank-you.



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6 thoughts on “How to Manage an Awesome Copywriting Team (Part One)

  1. Nice work Ally! Brilliant first blog post – totally looking forward to the next installment (and yes, I know I’m supposed to be on holiday but I couldn’t resist!) :-)

  2. seolactation says:

    available and in detail. Thank you.

  3. As someone who is going through the process of finding copywriters atm for the first time (and oh my god there are some STRANGE CVs and portfolios out there!) i found this very straight to the point and put my mind at ease a little bit in terms of how im approaching this whole hiring thing!

    keep up the good work :)

  4. Excellent post! It seems that managing content and the writers that produce it is a large part of SEO. Great guidance on how to assemble a team of copywriters! It would be great to have some insight on average cost for good relevant content.

    Cheers! :)

  5. Simon says:

    Im not looking for copywriters but still found this article useful as it can apply to anyone looking for freelancers. Good work.

  6. hyderali says:

    Nice Article Ally!!!

    You’ve written that you were an SEO executive & now Content Production Manager. Would love to know how your journey started from SEO executive with that how you get involved in content production manager. It seems managing both work wouldn’t be that easy though. Your post is really nice & I wish you can fulfill my wish too after finishing your 3part series.

    Thanks.

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