Our Guide to Vetting & Hiring Killer Copywriters

Table of Contents

If your blog conversions are consistently down, there are a million things you could dig into. Was there an algorithm update that caused your top-performing blog to drop in search results? Are you publishing topics that miss your audience’s search intent? Is there a new competitor dominating the SERP? The list goes on. 

Once you’ve exhausted this list, it might be time to evaluate your copy. Bad copy is one of the most overlooked conversion killers. It’s what keeps people clicking off sites because of its lack of credibility, value, authenticity, and quality (I could keep going). 

Great copy resonates with customers. It strikes a chord, whether it be funny, empathetic, or heartwarming. People searching online are constantly reading and consuming information, they’re more likely to stick around if what they’re looking at is engaging. 

At Uproer, this is something we pay attention to. Our ultimate goal is to help increase meaningful conversions for our clients, and content is a primary driving force. This is why we’ve developed a process for sourcing copywriters who can help us achieve this. Wondering how you can get started? Let’s dive in! 

1. Source Writers During Strategy Development

Whether you’re finding a writer for a client, or for your own business, the key is to give yourself plenty of time to find and interview writers. At Uproer, this starts during the strategy development phase of a client engagement. 

Our strategy development phase is 4 weeks long. During this time, we’re auditing the client’s site, identifying opportunities and formulating a strategic storyline that aligns with their business objectives. 

While we audit, we spend time finding writers that are a potential fit for the type of content the client needs. This gives us plenty of time to meet with writers, establish timelines, and conduct trial articles. That way, if the client opts in for our copywriting service, we don’t have to scramble to find a writer. We have everything in place during the audit strategy so that we’re ready for immediate kick-off after they sign. 

Our best work is done when we plan in advance, that’s why we give ourselves enough wiggle room when it's time to find a writer to partner with. We want to make sure all of our partners perfectly align with both Uproer’s expectations and our client’s. 

2. Establish a Sourcing Timeline 

To make sure we’re hitting all of our deadlines during the strategy development phase, we establish a sourcing timeline. Here’s an example of what that looks like: 

WEEK 1: Conduct research and outreach

WEEK 2: Set up 20-minute interviews with candidates (shoot for around 2-3)

WEEK 3: Have the writer complete a trial article 

WEEK 4: Confirm partnership with the writer, add finishing touches to the final strategy

It’s important to make this timeline clear for prospective copywriters from the get-go. We want to make sure they have availability and flexibility since our sourcing happens before we sign with a client. 

3. Use Slack Channels, Forums, and Social Media as Starting Points 

Writer referrals are great, but they don’t happen every day. When we’re looking for a new writer, we like to start sending outreach messages on public Slack channels, forums, and social media outlets like LinkedIn. 

Here’s what we include in initial outreach messages: 

  • Client’s industry, not the brand name (unless the copywriter is already familiar) 
  • Word counts
  • Number of pieces 
  • Due date and/or start date
  • Any prerequisites for the copywriter

We’ve found the best luck using Slack channels like Superpath and Women in Tech SEO to find talented writers. Here's an example of an outreach message we use:

4. Ask for Unpublished Writing Samples 

Writers will often send over published articles, sometimes on high-profile websites. The catch? More often than not, several eyes were on that article before someone hit publish. A published piece of work will never truly reflect a writer’s voice and skill. Because of that, we ask for unpublished writing samples. If there’s pushback, chances are it won’t be the right fit. 

5. Confirm Writers Are Willing to Follow an Outline

At Uproer, we’re not sending over a keyword to a writer and asking them to write a 2,000 word piece with no information. No writer is left in the dark, we provide everything they need to create a well-optimized article. Our outlines include external and internal links, Reddit insights, competitor notes, and more.

It’s crucial for writers to use our outlines, because they are the driving force behind what makes our content perform. We confirm they’re willing to follow our outlines during the preliminary interview.

6. Conduct a Trial Article 

For potential copywriters, we conduct a trial article before the start of the engagement to make sure it’s a fit on both ends. This gives us time to better understand the client’s voice and workflow, and for them to review our outlines and process. 

Sometimes we have more than one candidate for the role, which is a great problem to have! To make a decision, we’ve found luck assigning two copywriters the same trial article. Then, we choose which one we think is the better fit. 

7. Find Writers With Expertise in Specific Industries or Topics 

In the past, we’ve chosen strong writers who are willing to write anything, because they can be used across a wide variety of clients. This has slowly started to change over time as we partner with more tech-focused clients.

When we use more specialized writers, we receive higher-quality drafts, and as a result, more positive feedback from clients. This has been especially helpful with tech-focused websites. The articles we publish for these clients often need some expertise to write.

Of course, it can be difficult to source a specialty writer for every single client. If we need more insights for an article, we conduct stakeholder interviews to make sure the information we’re providing is accurate. 

8. Build a Stable of Loyal, Vetted Copywriters

In the end, we’re looking for writers who are just as passionate as us about helping our clients succeed. They understand our terms and business goals, and they’re self-starters who aren’t afraid to take on a challenging project. 

Good Copywriting is the Foundation for Content That Converts

Our copywriters are the building blocks for helping our clients stand out from the competition. We’re constantly refining our sourcing process so that we can partner with fantastic writers we can trust! To learn more about what the content workflow looks like for Uproer clients, check out our approach to SEO copywriting. Want to learn more about how we can work together? Let’s chat today!

Skye Sonnega

Skye Sonnega

Skye got her start in SEO and digital marketing while interning for a startup in 2020. At Uproer, she pioneered the SEO Analyst + Copywriter position and is the company’s first internal copywriter. After transitioning to a more SEO-focused position, she is passionate about finding ways to improve the way Uproer approaches content production.

See More Insights

SearchLite - Don't Sleep on Category Page Content

This month’s SearchLite intro was written by Content Manager, Skye Sonnega Hey everyone, We recently livened up this dull Minnesota winter with two fantastic additions to the Uproer team! Eric Davison joined as a Senior SEM Analyst, and Jenny Hudalla joined as a Content Specialist. These folks are bright, hardworking, Minnesota-local, and coming in

Read More

Sr. Manager, SEO & Operations

Dave Sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.