When should you hire a newbie SEO copywriter?

In the last post, we discussed how there are different “types” of SEO copywriters — newbie, intermediate and expert. Today, we’ll talk about the newbie SEO copywriter — when she’s a smart hiring choice, what work she’s qualified to do, and the kind of time that you’ll have to spend to keep her on track.

Profile of newbie SEO copywriters:

All SEO copywriters were here once upon a time. Newbie SEO copywriters are eager to learn, excited about their new career choice and ready to tackle most any client (although they’re only ready for a chosen few.) Some newbie SEO copywriters have a sales writing background and they’re simply expanding their skill set. Others are brand-new to the writing life. Both types of SEO copywriters can perform small-scale writing tasks for a more competitive (read: cheaper) price.

These folks may not know HTML — and anything code-related may be scary. They may outgrow this phase, but some newbies will never get past this level. As such, most can be relied on for only the most basic of tasks. That’s OK.

No, newbie SEO copywriters should not perform keyphrase research, choose keyphrases, write crucial sales pages or put their nose in your strategy business. They simply don’t have the experience to do it well. Big brands would typically not benefit from a newbie hire. However, because they are less expensive than their more experienced brethren, newbie SEO copywriters are often a great alternative for small businesses.

Newbie SEO copywriters are good for:

  1. Blog posts
  2. Forum posts
  3. FAQ pages
  4. General articles
  5. Some product descriptions (if they are more experienced and with supervision)

Sometimes, a more experienced newbie SEO copywriter can:

  1. Perform keyphrase editing
  2. Create Titles, descriptions and keywords tags (only if they have HTML experience)

The issue with newbie SEO copywriters is that they don’t know what they don’t know. You’ll pay a lower cost, sure — but you’ll be spending your valuable time training your writer and looking over her shoulder. If you don’t have that kind of time (or if you have limited SEO knowledge) an intermediate-level SEO copywriter would be your best bet.

There is one other important upside. Sometimes, you can find the perfect newbie who learns fast, invests herself in your business and turns around accurate work, quickly. If you can find that “diamond-in-the-rough” SEO copywriter, hang on to her. My previous Director of Search Strategy was a diamond-in-the-rough. Leslie Carruthers, owner of The Search Guru, was another. Both women are absolutely fantastic at what they do and have helped me tremendously.

Need a writer with more experience? We’ll be talking about Intermediate-level SEO copywriters in the next post. Stay tuned!