A typical job ad for a copywriter includes a statement like this: "Must be able to write all types of content, from white papers to webpages to tweets."
Sounds good, right? Indeed, some freelance writers promote themselves as the one person who can take care of all your copywriting needs.
But that single-source approach may not in fact be the best way to serve your content marketing projects. Different project types simply have differing needs for a writer's knowledge, skill, and focus.
For example, consider the demands of writing a long-form project, such as a white paper, compared to the short forms of email messages and Facebook updates. It's easy to understand that writing white papers requires much more skill and experience than writing social media updates. Indeed, it may be better to hire a social media manager who has the necessary, basic writing skills than to hire a highly experienced writer who does social media as a sideline. Alternatively, social media updates and other short content pieces can be handled by a junior writer who adapts the long-form content developed by a more experienced copywriter.
What should you expect of a long-form copywriter? The factors below will help you evaluate the skills and experience of job candidates and freelance writers.
- Well structured, coherent presentation of all content in the document
- Appropriate use of multiple document elements to attract and retain reader attention
- Ability to tell a lengthy, multi-themed story without losing the reader's interest or understanding
- Content is tailored to address multiple audiences
- Clear explanations of in-depth, very technical subject matter
Another benefit offered by long-form copywriters: They are able to translate these skills across multiple content types, including technical white papers, product brochures, web articles, e-books, and customer case studies.
So instead of looking for one "do everything" writer, consider building a list of freelance writers who can best meet your needs for specific project types. You'll see the results in better content that is also better matched to its audience and purpose.
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