How it works, what happens and why…

Sometimes, when your embarking on something new, it can be a little daunting. And that certainly flies with engaging a copywriter like me, to help you with your website content or copywriting.

After all, you’re essentially handing over your ‘business baby’ to someone you may not know too well – and asking them to step into your shoes, to articulate your message. And that my friend, can be pretty scary.

You may be worried that…

  • The copy written will suck
  • The copy won’t sound like you
  • It won’t truly capture your message in the way you want it to
  • The process will be too time consuming, when you have other stuff to do
  • Having an outsider dig into your business might be too invasive
  • You may not be able to answer my questions.

You might also worry that it’s too big of a monetary investment – without a set guarantee of any tangible returns for your business.

All of this (and more!) is completely valid.

Yet hopefully, this article might just help give you some deeper insights into how I manage my copywriting processes, along with my creative process to ensure you get a great result.

Because it CAN be a huge investment for a smaller or newer business. And it CAN be tricky to trust an outsider to capture your tone and encapsulate the right messages for you and your business.

A great copywriter, however, should have great processes to ensure you feel supported every step of the way.

So, here’s what I do.

Enquiries & Quotes

First up – it’s likely that you’ll reach out to me with your initial enquiry.

You might let me know the type of copywriting you need – and in the case of SEO Website Copywriting – where it needs to go, what pages you need, how many pages you need etc.

Alternatively – you may simply send me your current website link and ask for my advice on what I think might need work.

Once we establish your needs, I’ll point you in the direction of the closest fitting package that I offer. If what you need doesn’t fit into my standard packages, I’ll provide you with either a rough ballpark figure, or a more precise quote.

(This is also where I assess whether or not you and I are a good fit to work together. I always ensure I feel as if I can help your particular business to the best of my abilities, or I won’t take on a project. Particularly, if it’s just not my area of expertise.)

Proposals & Terms

Once we’ve had a bit of discussion around what you need, I’ll prepare a formal proposal document, which outlines precisely what you’re getting and with an indication of timeframes and dates.

I’ll also send you my project Terms and Conditions document, so we’re all on the same page.

Sign-Off & Payments

If you’re happy to proceed – you simply sign both the Proposal and Terms and Conditions documents and return them to me.

If your project comes in under $1000, I generally ask for full payment upfront.

If your project is $1000 or more, I ask for 50% payment upfront and then the remaining 50% on completion of the first draft.

Of course – sometimes I might also offer a slightly extended payment plan, particularly if the package is larger and might take more time (such as a website build AND copywriting) so feel free to enquire about that if you need that option.

Scheduling

In order to schedule your project into my calendar, in concrete, I require:

  • Signed Proposal
  • Signed Terms & Conditions
  • Initial invoice paid in full.

I’m unable to schedule or begin any work until all of this is in my hot little hands – as this protects me, as well as you!

Questionnaire

Next – I send you my briefing questionnaire document, which you’ll need to fill out.

This document asks you all about your business, your target audience and what you need.

The more detail you provide here – the better the end result will be.

But don’t despair if you find it tricky! I can help you fill in any gaps.

Copywriting Commences

Upon the scheduled commencement date (and providing you’ve returned your questionnaire) – I get to writing your first draft.

My creative process here varies a little bit, depending on the client and the complexity of the topic.

Sometimes, I’ll start by preparing what’s called a ‘skeleton draft’. This is where I basically put all your pages into a Word Document – and then put in as many relevant dot points as I can, under each page, to send to you for confirmation, before starting the actual creative writing. This just helps to ensure I’m clear on the factual information.

In some cases, this may not be as necessary.

In other cases, I might end up drafting up one page, sending it to you for review, before continuing on to the other pages. This can be useful to check that I’ve nailed your tone and overall messaging – particularly if I haven’t worked for you before.

Other times, I might draft up all the pages at once (if you do indeed have multiple) and send it to you in one hit.

But I’ll always keep you in the loop as to what I think will work best for your particular project.

Delivery of First Draft

Once I’ve roughly drafted up your copy, I’ll send you a first draft to review.

Your copy can come presented in two ways:

  1. In a Word Document (with full content layout instructions)
  2. Visually mocked up, so that it looks like a real website.

Depending on the project and what you need, I’ll either provide just the Word Doc – or you’ll get the Word Doc AND the visual mock-up to review.

It’s wise to keep in mind here that first drafts are indeed just a first draft. Don’t freak out if you don’t think the copy is perfect or utterly brilliant at this early stage. The feedback and revision process will help iron out any kinks.

NOTE: It’s at this stage that you’ll receive your second, 50% invoice (if applicable) – and it’s payable within 14 days of delivery. If payment is not received in time, the legal copyright to your copywriting remains with me – and you’re legally not allowed to use it.

Revisions

Next, you can send me any feedback or changes either using ‘Track Changes’ within the Word Doc or by using a video recording tool, such as Loom, within the visual mock-up. Whichever option works best for you is totally fine by me.

Keep in mind though, that the faster you can provide these changes, the faster I can deliver your final copy and we can meet any agreed deadlines.

All projects include a minimum of two rounds of revisions – to ensure you’re totally happy with the final result.

Final Draft

Once I’ve made all your revisions and everybody’s happy – I deliver your final, proof-read draft.

Again, this may just be in a Word Document (which will include all Meta Data and relevant layout instructions to help you or your developer to implement the copy on to your actual website).

Or I may provide it within the visual mock-up – which allows you and/or your developer to ‘see’ the copy and replicate my proposed design/layout onto your actual website.

The visual mock-up uses a special online software, and your mock-up will be available to view indefinitely – so you don’t need to rush or panic to copy it across.

Sign-Off & Completion

I’ll then provide you with a Project Sign-Off and Feedback document, which finalises the project.

Providing full payment has been made, once you sign this, copyright for the content transfers over to you – to use as you wish.

Your Next Steps

So, that’s my job done. And hopefully, you’re pleased with the result (or will be!).

But for you, there’s still one final thing to do – and that’s to upload your new copy/content to your website – and make it ‘live’ to the world.

You can either do this yourself if your tech savvy – or you can send it through to a web developer to implement for you.

Once that’s done – you share your new and improved website to the world. Hooray!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of businesses do you work with?

As my business name suggests – I’m The Rural Copywriter. That means, I help agricultural businesses, as well as just about any business that’s located regionally, rurally or remotely.

I specialise in helping ‘bush businesses’ because I am one. I know the ‘country scene’ and how a rurally based audience is vastly different to a city-based audience. I also know more about your unique rural challenges as a business owner, than perhaps a city-based copywriter might. That’s a definite plus as I can totally ‘speaketh your language’ 😊

Do you work with city-based businesses ever?

Yes. Sometimes, I certainly do. I have a wealth of experience across so many different industries (so not tooting my horn, but totally am!) which means I can just about write for ALMOST anyone. I have experience within finance, real estate, technology, legal and so many more.

So, if you like my style and really want to work with me, even if you are in the ‘city’ – just reach out. I’ll always be honest and tell you whether I think I’m the right person for your business, or if there is someone else who might be better suited.

I also spent 13 years working in the ‘corporate world’ working for large organisations and companies in big cities. And I originally came from Melbourne. So, best of both worlds here.

How do I choose the right copywriter for me?

Read their blog posts and social media posts for starters. And read through their website.

We all have a slightly different style and tone to our writing, so this will give you a good feel.

Our websites will generally say what we specialise in, who we like to work with, and what we offer. But tone and style and personality fit – are equally as important.

Do you guarantee any set results?

This is a tricky one, because there are lots of variables that might have an impact on whether or not you see any change to your website ‘statistics’ or sales, as a result of new copy.

Yes – with better copywriting, you’re much more likely to connect with your target audience and therefore generate more sales. And, with an ‘SEO Copywriter’ it’s likely your rankings will improve, so you’ll end up with more organic traffic from Google.

However! Because people are such fickle and emotional creatures(!), and the world is forever changing in multiple ways – its not always as simple as uploading new content and watching your website traffic and sales go through the roof.

SEO is also dependant on lots of other different factors, some relate to the technical setup of your website – plus, you just don’t know what your competitors are doing at the same time to optimise their websites.

In a nutshell – results may not be immediate, and they may not be measurable in a concrete way. However, looking at your statistics over time (say 3 months after implementing your copy) might give you more accurate answers (nothing is ever instant). Then, you need to keep checking your stats and talking to your target audience – as copy is never ‘set and forget’ – it constantly needs to be reviewed and refined, over time.

Still have questions?

I completely understand if you’re still feeling a little nervous about engaging a website copywriter – if it’s not something you’ve embarked on before.

And chances are, you still might have a few questions.

I promise though, I don’t bite (much).

You’re welcome to contact me anytime, with any question. No matter how big, nor small it might seem or be.

I try my absolute hardest to be an open book. I aim for full transparency and strive to guide you every step of the way.

That said – I’m only human too. I certainly can’t promise to be perfect at all times. That’s is just plain realistic. And I don’t expect you to be perfect either. Chances are though, we can muddle through it together – to ensure you get the fantastic copywriting and result you need for your business.