Hands with red nails typing on laptop


Hiring a copywriter to write copy isnt the right decision for everyone

For every business owner thinking of writing their own copy, there’s a copywriter somewhere telling them not to.

Usually I’d be that copywriter. Because when business owners write their own copy, they often make mistakes.

But today, I’m reflecting on something that happened to me. And how that situation might have worked out better if I’d given the client what they really needed rather than what they said they wanted.

Some clients need a mind-reader

I mean, it would be so cool if copywriters could read minds, but that’s not really what copywriting is about.

Is this your card?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

When it came to their copy, my client knew exactly what they wanted to say and precisely how they wanted to say it. The problem was, I didn’t — and I couldn’t climb inside their head to find out.

Cue endless changes. Hours spent on the phone, meticulously going through the copy line by line. Debating every sentence. Agonising over every word.

It was excruciating for both of us. Like pulling teeth with no anaesthetic.

After it happened, I spent a long time mentally bashing myself and wondering what I could have done differently.

But I conceded, nothing I could have done would have made any difference. Because whatever I’d written, it wouldn’t have matched what was in my client’s head.

Some clients rewrite their copywriter’s copy

Not all clients go through the changes they want with their copywriter.

Some wait until they get the draft of their copy, then rewrite it in their own vision. This might be less confrontational than an excruciating phone call, but it’s still a waste of time and money.

Handing over control might not be best for you

If you want to keep complete control of your copy and you think you could write it yourself, asking a copywriter to write it for you is never the right decision.

Even if you’ve chosen the copywriter yourself. Even if you like their style. Even if you think they’re the perfect match for your project — it will still be a disaster.

Because unless that copywriter comes back with exactly what you’re imagining, you’re going to be disappointed.

If you’re a decent writer and you know what you want to write, it would make more sense to get the support you need and do the writing yourself.

Not all copywriter services involve writing copy

Say what now?! Isn’t that literally the job description?

Well, yes, technically. But it’s estimated that we copywriters only spend 20% of our time writing.

The other 80% varies according to the type of copywriting, the project and who else is involved.

Here’s an idea of where that other 80% goes.

Things copywriters do, besides writing copy


A large proportion of our time is spent on research

  • Client research — talking to you and reading your brief
  • Subject research — looking at your area of work and your products/services
  • Customer research — to build a profile of your ideal customers
  • Voice of customer research — looking at how your customers communicate and the language they use
  • Competitor research — to see how your competitors are doing it, so we can differentiate your business
  • SEO keyword research — to help the performance of your website or blog content
  • Image research — for more creative and conceptual projects.


  • Creating content plans
  • Planning website structures
  • Structuring the copy/content
  • Planning the elements of a campaign.


  • Coming up with creative ideas
  • Developing concepts and storyboards
  • Briefing designers, illustrators, photographers and other creatives.


  • Critiquing
  • Copy editing
  • Proofreading.

Copywriting support for people who don’t need a copywriter

Copywriters can support you in many ways that don’t involve writing.

Here are a few examples.

Writing tips and advice

You’re a competent writer, but you’re not accustomed to writing the thing you’re about to write and you want some professional advice before you start.

Most copywriters have a blog where they post tips and advice for free. I called my own blog ‘A resource for the resourceful’ because it has tips on writing, editing, content writing, and communicating with your customers.

Content planning

You want to write your own blog content, but you need some help to decide what you should write about.

A content writer can help you by developing a strategic content plan. This will help you attract your ideal customers by giving them the content they’re searching for online.

My ‘Write it Yourself’ content planning service includes the strategy, content plan, article ideas and SEO article outlines, so you can write your own content with confidence.

SEO editing

You’ve written your own web copy or blog content, but you don’t know how to optimise it for the search engines.

Some SEO copywriters offer SEO editing as well. They’ll research the best SEO keywords for you to use, then edit them into your copy. SEO editing could also include things like SEO page titles, meta descriptions, blog post excerpts.

I offer SEO editing services for both blog posts and website copy. You’ll find details and pricing on my website copywriting page.


You’re planning to write your own copy/content, but you’re not sure what should be included, the order it should be written in, or how it should be set out.

A copywriter can help you plan out a structure for what you want to write, whether it’s an article, advert, web page, poster, flyer… or anything else you can think of.

Copy critique

A copy critique can be useful before you publish a piece. But it can also be helpful if you have a piece of published copy that hasn’t been hitting the mark*.

The critique is pretty much as it sounds, a professional analysis of your copy/content with ideas and suggestions for improvement. For example:

  • Is your headline compelling enough?
  • Have you explained the problem well enough?
  • Is your offer clear and enticing?
  • Have you outlined all the benefits?
  • Do you tend to waffle a lot?
  • Are you showing proof of what you’re saying?
  • Is the structure and flow working well?
  • Is it interesting and does it keep you reading?
  • Is the copy convincing and persuasive?
  • Have you got the tone right?
  • Have you included a call to action?

*Note: there’s a whole host of reasons why your online copy might not be performing as well as it should and they’re not all to do with the quality of the copy.

Copy editing

You’ve written your copy and you’d like a professional to give it a thorough check.

Many copywriters also provide copy editing services.

A copy editor will look at the copy objectively to make sure:

  • The messages are clear, with no ambiguity
  • It reads well and makes good sense
  • There’s no waffle or wordiness
  • It’s consistent in tone, style and content
  • The information and sources are correct
  • There are no dubious claims
  • It’s structured properly and flows well.


Your copy is almost ready to publish, but you’d like someone to give it a final check for:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Layout, formatting and style
  • Consistency.

Some copywriters offer proofreading services. But a professional proofreader is often a better option in this case. Proofreaders are more technical in the way they look at the copy, which means they can spot mistakes more easily.

Don’t be tempted to trust the spelling and grammar check on your computer — they often get things wrong!

Need some help to write your own copy?

Maybe I can offer some assistance.

I’m Jenny Lucas, a highly skilled SEO copywriter with more than 20 years’ professional writing experience.

If you’re thinking of writing your own copy or content and you’d like some help, I can offer a range of copywriting support services that will help make your writing the best it can be.

And if I can’t help you myself, I may be able to recommend someone who can.

To find out more about me, visit my website. Or, alternatively, get in touch and tell me what you need.

Photo by Matt Glover Photography

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