Let the Trials Begin!
You know the saying “Try before you buy” – Well this applies to copywriters too! You want to make sure they can walk the walk not just talk the talk. You may find it useful to read the first post How to Manage an Awesome Copywriting Team (Part One).
So what is a Trial?
A trial at SEOgadget consists of writing a test article, in a set time and when we receive it we will read and decide whether they will get signed up or turned away.
Test Article Tips:
This should be an article that you would like to publish (this way the exercise has been cost effective). Do not use anything that is business critical. Content that is required by link builders immediately, or for clients who require a sign off or content for a new site, company press releases, articles for your news site and anything else that is important to your business on a critical level. If this writer turns out to be a complete Juan Sebastian Veron (a massive flop), you are now left with a dilemma of either:
a) An angry Link builder
b) Not Impressed Client
c) Behind on deadlines
d) Annoyed contact (awaiting an article that will now need a re-write)
e) An angry Manager
f) Delayed Website launch
g) Out of Date News article
h) Or worse still all of the above
My key tips for a successful trial are:
Check availability with them to do the trial (test piece). You may find they now have a full time job, left on holiday, or have decided not to take part.
The email doesn’t have to be anything fancy just a quick hello, are they still interested and what’s their availability. Ensure they realise that they were selected from a whole host of other candidates (inflate their ego), and that you liked their profile/submission (more on why this is important later).
The Trial email:
This email should be set in the same manner as you do with your existing starting 11 (or however many you have) copywriters. Ensuring you keep things structured and simple means your writers will feel much more confident working with you.
At SEOgadget I have a way in which I manage the content from receiving the ideas from the team to how it then goes out to the copywriters.
I have a very basic set up in EXCEL where I have set up a table that looks like this:
I have further columns to the right in which I have the link builders name and the copywriter who this is assigned to. Simple filtering of the table, a quick copy and then paste into an email-that’s all you need to do. All the information is there for the copywriter in a nice clear layout. The reason we ensure we give as much information for each article is to limit the need for rewrites, writers asking for extensions as they don’t understand or just ending up with something completely off topic!
Once you have put your email together ensure that you tell your potential new team member that you are really looking forward to reading their article!
The Results Are In!
Its judgement day and a few things can happen:
1. You wait all day and nothing; you then give them the benefit of the doubt and think if it comes tomorrow its fine.
2. it’s in your inbox on the date agreed – now that’s what I’m talking about.
If a person is late with their article and hasn’t told you a reason or notified you, read their article and no matter how good it is due to lateness let them know that you will not be taking them on board at present.
Well what can I say, other than make sure you mark them off your database and make a note as if in future someone else on the team is looking for copywriters they know who to avoid!
Try to give them feedback on why you think they are not suitable for your company, do not tell them they are rubbish and should never bother writing again! You never know they could go onto be the most influential blogger ever, the greatest writer or could be unhinged and may decide to do some mud-slinging via the internet to your lovely brand and personal name.
This writer not only got the article in on time, they followed instructions and asked questions where needed and have produced a stunning piece of writing that has got you under the collar.
Before you email them back telling them how awesome they are you need to check their work over and over; after all this could be a special report, a how to guide or even a piece content for link building that will be going on your site or somewhere else. It will not be good for your reputation to be associated with poor spelling and grammar and overall poor quality. If you need to get someone else to check-that could be fellow team member, friend or partner.
Always make sure the content is unique!
Well that is easy, there are plenty of great tools out there and one of our favourites is Copyscape. But here are some others for you:
Thanks for reading Part two of “How to Manage an Awesome Copywriting Team”, part three will be out in a couple of days and will cover how to integrate your new writers with your existing Copywriters, and what to do if there are any problems.
Thanks for reading this post and I would love to know what everyone thinks of the first two parts so far.