Land New Web Copywriting Clients
With 1 Question

With more than a trillion web pages out there on the Internet, it’s no wonder that companies of all types and sizes are struggling these days to get noticed online.

Just ask anyone you know who works for a company with a website.

Really. Ask them!

It’s a great way to begin the path to a possible new project.

Asking questions is my most effective strategy for getting work from new business connections, and if you give it a shot, I’m confident it will be for you too. Even better, it’s easy to do.

First, find out who the person works for and encourage him or her to talk about the business a bit by asking a few basic questions, such as:

  • What does the company do (if it isn’t obvious)?
  • How’s it going in today’s economic climate?
  • What are the big challenges now?

Then, once the conversation is flowing along and you’ve gathered some insights about the contact, you hit them with this question …

“Is your website generating enough business for you?”

This single question can work wonders — because you’ll likely hear the most wonderful response you could hope for as a professional copywriter:

“Not really. Our website isn’t working as well as we expect it to, and we can’t figure out why.”

Ding – Ding – Ding! A winner!


Because this response is LOADED with potential business for you! It opens the door to a conversation that positions you as a mega-hero your new connection may need right now.

Let me explain.

As we know, freelance copywriting success comes from two components:

  • Mastering copywriting skills that drive sales results.
  • Getting the right clients who value your services.

I assume you’ve been working on the first one – becoming a skilled copywriter. So let’s address the second component.

I’m pleased to say that it’s easier than you think to get the right clients who value your services … especially when you come across ones whose websites aren’t working very well.


Because you can turn around and offer a brilliant solution to your new connection: a Site Audit that focuses on how well the website’s content performs.

(Note: There are all kinds of website audits, and many look at the technical performance such as broken links, etc. For our purposes here, I’m talking about auditing the web content.)

A web-content Site Audit establishes you as a professional consultant and guide’s needs in a BIG way

A web-content Site Audit is basically your professional review of how the content (copy) performs across the pages of a website to:

  1. drive traffic to the site, and
  2. drive sales activities or help the client achieve his or her marketing goals.

So first, you look at how the content reads … how it guides people through the sales process … how clear it is … and how it drives action.

And then you offer your recommendations for fixing the content areas that aren’t working too well — by using your copywriting skills.

See how that works to get you new clients?

Your recommendations are your golden ticket, because most companies need your skills to fix their sites!

What’s not to love about that?

So now, you’re probably wondering …

How to conduct an effective Site Audit

Most copywriters follow this type of approach (as I do):

  • You’ll review the website’s messages to uncover strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
  • You’ll determine how “user-friendly” the website is – how easy it is for visitors to find the information and products or services they need, guided by content.
  • After that, you’ll take a look at how the website performs in search engines such as Google and Bing. For instance, when you type in the most relevant keywords for your client’s business, does the website appear on page 1 of Google results? Or is it invisible?
  • Finally, you’ll examine the competitive landscape for your client, looking to see who (a) currently performs better than your client in search engines and (b) has appealing web content.

By following these four steps, you’ll find the clues that help you set your client apart from the competition — using your copywriting abilities!

Once you’ve gathered your findings, you present them to the client along with recommended actions for improving the content.

And … ta-da! You collect your Site Audit fee and then offer to provide a proposal for making the corrections you suggested. Another project opportunity. And so it goes!

For me, the Site Audit process has always generated more work with my clients — and more pleased clients, to boot. I expect the same thing to happen to you.

Here’s a new resource if you’d like to know more about offering professional Site Audit services

If you’re not familiar with the steps I gave you above, check out my new AWAI program, Site Audits Made Simple. I’ve pulled together all the tools and techniques I use to conduct successful Site Audits and walk you through how to do it in just seven simple steps.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you’ll need to know, including:

  • The best practice criteria for measuring web-content success …
  • 5 critical components of web content that actually works …
  • 31 aspects that can make — or break — a website’s success in mere seconds …
  • The best way to demonstrate how your client stacks up against his or her competition …
  • How to recommend content improvements your client will embrace …
  • Secrets to creating a powerful “show and tell” report …
  • How to present your report in a clear and helpful way so clients immediately ask, “When can you start writing the improvements?!”
  • Plus, a list of 50 different copywriting opportunities you could offer your client once you’ve won them over with your Site Audit report.

Best of all, you won’t have to figure it out yourself. Check out this easy-to-follow guide and apply your newfound knowledge right away!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: April 1, 2010

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