Copywriting versus Writing
I've had a few people ask me to do copywriting for them recently. My short answer is no, sorry.
But why? they ask me. You're a writer.
Just because I can draw, doesn't mean I can paint.
As editing and proofreading are different, so are copywriting and writing.
Copywriting is an art form. You can develop your skills, but like any master of an art, you're born not made. Some people just have the gift of the gab, they are in touch with their audience and market trends. They know what is going to move people.
I can tell a story, no problem, but close a sale through copy, I get a bit squeamish. It's true. I have to hand the gun to my copywriter and tell them to fire. I just can't do it.
If you've hired a writer to do your copy, be extra critical of the end result, because it won't have the pizazz of a true copywriter. No matter how hard they try.
When you hire a copywriter, and read their work, you need to take yourself out of the equation and imagine you're seeing 'the widget thing you want to sell' for the first time, and see where and how you're moved.
A test of a great copywriter is when you read their letter to the very end, right down to the P.S. and you're sorry it's over because you want more. You may not want the product itself, but that guy, sure had a way of talking/writing - whatever.
Don't ask for a sample of their work because it will have a slant to the client it was written for. Instead give them a brief of your product and ask them to write an angle say 250 words on how they would approach it. Then see how you fit with the copy artist - which is really what they should be called.
Getting traffic to your site - a costly PPC campaign, getting good copy to actually sell your product - priceless.