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Copywriter Interview Questions: What to Ask Before You Hire a Writer?

Just like there are many different approaches to working as a dietitian, there are many different styles of writing. The right writer for you meshes with your needs and style and helps to fuel your business success; the right copywriter interview questions can help you find your perfect match!

What is your process?

For my clients, I write their copy in a Google doc. I share the doc with them and we get to make edits and comments in the same, single document instead of trying to keep track of different attachments and versions. Much easier to keep everyone organized!

More info here about what it is like to work with me as your nutrition copywriter. 

Can I see samples?

Keep in mind that most writers will have samples on their website, so take a look there first. However, a lot of copywriting is ghostwritten. If there is something specific you’re interested in, just ask. A few of my own samples are here.

What is your experience in my niche?

Every niche has its own specific lingo, current research, common myths and so on. Having a writer who understands your clients and how you help them makes the writing process more authentic and true to your voice more quickly. 

As a registered dietitian who has had her own private practice and experience in a range of fields, I understand well the joys, struggles and mistakes of small business ownership. 

What is your strategy to optimize for SEO?

A lot goes into SEO, but it is learnable. You don’t need to be an expert in SEO if you’d like to delegate this, but I recommend learning enough to not be fooled by a dishonest person. 

SEO strategy starts with writing robust, high-quality content. It also includes things like 

  • Keyword research
  • Breaking text into short, readable paragraphs
  • Using bullets, headings, bolded words
  • Adding alt text and meta description

SEO also includes things beyond the web copy itself: is your website secure, does it load quickly, are other websites linking to your materials. 

Consistent blogs done well will lead to more traffic on your website. More traffic can lead to more members on your email list and then more customers.  

How do you channel your client’s voice?

Writing is personal. And it can feel really scary to hand over the reins to a writer. What if you aren’t a good fit? 

Your first step is to review the posted samples and see if the writer might be a good fit. Next, ask how they will channel your voice.

To me, writing for a client is kind of like playing dress-up. I get to know my client’s voice and style by reading their published works: blogs, their social media posts and emails. 

Next, I take time to copy that text by hand, on paper. Talk about old school! Copying my client’s text by hand helps my brain to internalize their voice, preferred words, pacing and how formal they are. 

What if I am not happy?

This is important: to know how your writer has dealt with miscommunications in the past. This is also why I recommend doing a test project first. This gives both the copywriter and the client the opportunity to see if they’re a good fit for one another.

For me, a test project is an interview all around. My client is looking at my first pieces and my process to see if I am a good fit for their business needs and goals. 

But the same is true for me: the test projects let me know if the client is a good fit for me and my business. I won’t be keeping clients who are not respectful of my own boundaries and my business. 

What is included or excluded?

Effective copywriting is a valuable skill set. Writers do not need to feel like they need to offer more than that if they don’t wish. 

No matter what your writer includes or not, it is important to be on the same page about it. For example, I offer royalty-free images with my blog posts, I do not make graphics to be pinned. 

How many rounds of edits are included?

Being on the same page helps to prevent miscommunications. It would be a high-maintenance client who wanted edit after edit. Expecting endless edits would negatively impact my bottom line, not to mention my mood. 

For my clients: projects come with two rounds of edits. And I have yet to have a client abuse that. 

What payments do you accept? When are payments due?

I do not believe that writers should ever write without a deposit; especially with new clients. Our words are our work. Once shared, they cannot be taken back. 

I require a 50% deposit to get started; this shares the risk. The second half of the payment is due once the first draft has been shared. 

How can I ask questions?

Email is for me! I became a writer for freedom and flexibility; I’m not interested in fielding phone calls or texts at off-hours. My clients and I communicate via email. When needed, we set up a time to call that suits us both. If you’re looking for a writer that you can call or text, make sure to ask during your interview. 

What is your typical turnaround time?

How fast will you get your first draft? And does your writer keep to their deadlines?

My turnaround time for most projects is one week. Writing web copy takes longer, as there is more interviewing of the client.

Do you offer a bundle discount?

Having a retainer or bundle discount benefits to both parties. The writer gets more regular business and gets to work in your voice for longer, vs. overextending their mental bandwidth. 

I offer bundle discounts to my clients in congruence with the size of the project. 

Beyond your official questions that you ask your writer, how does the vibe seem between you two? Does conversation flow – like on a great first date – or do things feel stagnant or off? Pay attention to your energy as you chat. 

Also: what questions are you getting asked? It is my goal during phone calls with potential clients that the client is speaking more than I. I am listening to their goals for their business, how they’re working to get there and what their pain points are. The more I understand what makes them tick, the better I am able to suggest effective writing plans. 

The right copywriter interview questions will empower you to find the perfect writer for you and your business. 

If you’re ready to delegate writing, please make an appointment to meet with me. I’d love to learn about you and your business!


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Hi! I’m Holly Larson – registered dietitian and nutrition copywriter and copywriting mentor.

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