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Copywriting: How does freelancer really get the understanding needed to write on *this* topic well?

Community Guru
Ruth B Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
21 of 28


I the advice given here is all great stuff. Yes, a professional should be able to "know what they don't know" and then ask you about it. It may work out better if you look for people who have the potential to create the sort of copy you need. 


For example, if you specialized in blockchain, you might look for a broader tech writer. Their samples should indicate that they have the capacity to understand blockchain well, when compared to someone without any tech industry/writing experience. 


If you feel like you really have something specialized, then an interview once the research is done is what I normally request as a writer. Especially in fields where different processes and perspectives are differentiating factors among competitors. 

Active Member
Bruno G Member Since: Jun 26, 2019
22 of 28

Do I just not have the right person hired? Are there freelancers on upwork that really know how to do that, that know exactly what questions to ask me that are easy for me to answer, so they can write those magic words?  Or is it my job to basically tell them what to write, and /or how do I teach them what they need to know?


How have others made this work really well, for a client that is really busy?
I'd like to make sure my expectations are realistic, and everyone ends up happy.

Lots of posts but not many answers, so here's mine.


You hired the wrong person.

You're right that you don't need any type of writer but a specialised writer. I'll add that you need a sale copy writer experienced in writing long/short form ad, email, newsletters, squeeze pages etc.


No you should not have to babysit freelancers who are (supposedly) familiar with your industry or topic.

There are some good writers out there (I found one yrs ago in a previous life of this site) and expect to pay $4-500 for a long form good converting page or too.

Imo it's harder to find these people now that you can't see the projects board list. Unless the link is now hidden somewhere.

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
23 of 28

Yes, this was what I was going to say. Sounds like your copywriter just isn't the right fit for you. That happens. There are many professionals out there who can dive into new topics and figure it out quickly and give you what you want/need. Others lack the experience to digest and become fluent in a topic quickly. They aren't bad, just lack experience or skills and are lower career level. If their experience happens to be in your field, it may work out. If it's a new field for them, probably won't be a good fit. 


I'm not a copywriter but a grant writer, which also includes writing copy. Example: A neuroscientist asked me to work on a grant with him. I have no experience in neurogenomics, but I have experience with these grants and with medical/science research. I am comfortable getting up to speed quickly, and he is also aware that I will need his assistance with some technical content. It's a give and take. It's unlikely he will find another neuroscientist who is a grant writer, because other neuroscientists are, you know, doing neuroscience research. 


So there are some give and takes you have to consider when hiring a writer. There are writers who are specific to your field, who can run with the topic quickly. There are those that are used to switching to new fields and figuring it out quickly. There are those that won't come up to speed quickly. Regardless, you will have to spend some time collaborating (at the least reviewing and giving your feedback to make sure it's what you want). But it sounds like you are spending far more time than is reasonable for what you want and need. 


Maybe on the next round of hiring make sure they have direct experience writing for your industry and also talk about the process and how you would like it to go, and how long you want it to take. The more specific you are about your expectations, the more likely you will be to match with a writer who will meet your needs. 


Community Guru
Alexander B Member Since: Mar 30, 2017
24 of 28

Read your posts JP.


If you want to know whether a freelancer is worth their hourly rate, check out their job history.


99% of the copywriters and marketers with hourly rates over $100/hr actually get paid way less than that.


I hate those commodities with a passion. 

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
25 of 28

As a writer with a published rate of over $100 p/h I beg to differ w/ Alexander B's erroneous statement.


All of my current open hourly jobs reflect the rate of $125 p/h or $135 p/h.  Why the $10 difference?  Because the start dates of those hourly jobs reflected my hourly rate when I began the job.


Yes, I honor old rates for clients when the work is consistent, I know and like the client and the project ... and because I find it the right thing to do.


My fixed price jobs are based on my estimate of the number of hours needed X my published hourly rate.


The other professional writers and editors I know operate on exactly these principles.  And almost all of the writers I'm referring to have rates of $100 p/h or more.


Alexnder, please do not make generalized statements - especially when you have no idea of what you are talking about. Spreading false info wins you no points ...just a lot of disgust.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
26 of 28

Wendy, I give you a multitude of kudos for your post. I am not a writer per se, but the excellent writers I know all bill at or in excess of $100 per hour, and they are worth every penny.


I wonder if "stirring the pot" by posting uninformed drivel is the New Thing.  Hopefully not, as it's terribly unprofessional at best.

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
27 of 28

Seriously, my hourly rate is kind of meaningless. I've worked for more and for less. I certainly have a minimum that I won't work for less than, but sometimes I take jobs near the lower end of what I'm willing to accept because I'm interested in adding that project to my portolio. For me, my hourly rate is kind of there for people who might invite me to their project, so they know the ballpark range of what to expect. Listing it certainly isn't a guarantee of the rate or anything else. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
28 of 28

Alexander B wrote:


99% of the copywriters and marketers with hourly rates over $100/hr actually get paid way less than that.


Do you make up statistics out of thin air in your client work or just your personal communications?