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Why good copywriters are hard to find - and bad ones hurt your business

Why good copywriters are hard to find - and bad ones hurt your business

Writing is a commodity. The barriers to entry are extremely low – anybody with a blog and motivation can get their work published. It's why certain companies pay junior writers a pittance or get their services for free – there’s always somebody out there who's willing to replace them and work 'for the experience'.

On the other hand, good writing is incredibly important and a powerful means of expression. You've got novelists who can spellbind you, newspaper columnists who caninfuriate you, and copywriters who can sell to you – simply with the power of words.

In the digital marketing world, writing is still crucial. Whether you're talking about search engines, email or social media, the messages that get written and read matter. But content come from everywhere, from many a huge number of channels – how do you stand out from the masses?

That's where a good copywriter comes in. It's not just sitting down and hammering a few words – the good ones will take time to know the client they are writing for, understanding the business and making sure they push out a message that's interesting enough to rise above the hubbub.

But there's more. If you're talking about a digital copywriter, you're looking for content creators who really understand whatever platform they're using and how effective they can be. They also need to have a thorough understanding of marketing strategy if they're going to be effective.

A good digital copywriter needs to be multi-skilled and willing to take on anything. You've got short-form copywriting that needs to be done such as email sales letters, advertising copy and e-commerce web pages. And increasingly copywriters need to use the skills of a journalist by writing blog posts, articles and case studies.

They need the experience of working with demanding clients, and the thick skin to deal with criticism – content that may work extremely well for one client may not work at all for the next one. These skills you won't find in the average writer making pennies on a content farming site.

A good copywriter can make money for you. A bad copywriter can actually lose business by denting your reputation with spelling or grammar mistakes on a website, or a complete misunderstanding of what your requirements are. Do you dare take that risk?