Frequently Asked Questions

Learn how to buy content, what types of content we create, how we write, about word count, publishing, keywords, images, turnaround times, pricing and payments, a little bit about search ranking expectations and who you’ll be working with on a regular basis.

If your question isn’t here, please get in touch. We’re a friendly bunch and will respond quickly.

How to Order

To order articles, follow these steps:

1 – Read the below frequently asked questions. 

2 – Decide how many articles you need. (First time customers usually order 10 or 30 articles of 1,600 words each.)

3 – Decide whether you’d like us to provide content ideas, or not.

4 – Get in touch via service@copysmiths.com if you have more questions, or you’d like to chat in-person.

5 – When you’ve decided on your article titles and how many articles you need, we will send an invoice. Work begins after the invoice is paid.

 

Content Types

What article formats are available?

Within the blog article format there are 6+ styles. The most common styles that we produce for clients include:

  • How To Articles – How to Walk a Dog
  • List Articles – 7 Ways to Walk a Dog
  • Guide Articles – Quick Guide to Walking a Dog
  • 101 Ways – 101 Ways to Walk a Dog (this is an image-heavy article)
  • Buying Guides – How to Buy a Dog
  • Cost Of Articles – Cost of Owning a Dog
  • Statistics Posts – Top 49 Statistics About Dogs

We have developed templates for each content type. Each template has suggestions for layout structure and rich content that ought to be included.

The templates help our less experienced writers follow our training more closely, and ensure you get a better result.

Our more experienced writers get creative and adapt these templates to your project.

You can ask for your content to have exactly the same structure every time to maintain a consistent look across your website. It’s your choice.

Do you write landing pages, product descriptions, squeeze pages etc.?

No. We specialise in blog article writing only.

Do you write pillar pages and comparison guides?

Yes. We write long form articles.

Do you have content examples?

Yes. You can view examples of our work hereherehere and here

Writing

Does only one writer work on my articles, or is it a different writer for each article?

Multiple writers work on your articles.

We think that having many writers on your project is the best balance. Google values different styles, opinions, ideas and structure. 

However, keep in mind that writers naturally gravitate toward topics that they find more interesting than others, and they’ll keep picking up your article work. 

It is common for the same writers to continue working on the same batch of articles, but we don’t force this to happen.

Can I provide a brief?

Yes. We accept client background briefing documents that tell us who you are, what you sell, your target audience and tone of voice.

Can you write to my exact specification?

No. We don’t offer a custom writing service.

We are not able to accept detailed article briefs that contain your exact instructions. e.g. write this, do this, exactly like this

We have a tried-and-true Quality Content ‘recipe’ that complies with Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines and Advanced Blogger Guidelines.

Can I approve/make changes to the CopySmiths Brief before writing starts?

Yes. We produce articles briefs for our writers. You are able to make suggestions and course corrections before we start writing.

Can I request edits to articles?

Yes. We accept minor corrections to unpublished articles.

Just ask: We are able to provide you with a Google Doc for your review and changes before we publish to your CMS.

We accept 1 round of minor changes if we have mistakenly included the wrong product, or somehow gone off track.

When the article has been loaded into your CMS in Draft or Publish mode we are no longer able to make writing changes.

We are not able to make extensive changes or rewrites to your articles. You will need to work with a freelance writer or your in-house team if you wish to substantially rework an article.

Word Count

What is the word count for each article?

Regular ol’ articles are usually around 1,600 words, give or take 100 words.  In most cases, this is a sufficient volume of words to clearly explain the topic at hand, and not bore your reader to death.

If your business is in a particularly competitive niche, or your product is particularly complex, then you may need more than 1,600 words in your articles.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of articles ranking in the top search positions with only 700 words, and they will have competitors that rank with 3,000 words.

With CopySmiths you pay for the article, not the words on the page. This helps us to avoid filler content and concentrate on writing useful, engaging content for your readers and customers.

Keyword Optimisation

Do you use SurferSEO, Frase or Page Optimizer Pro?

Nope … not anymore! After using SurferSEO for well over 2,000 articles we have come to the conclusion that it’s not beneficial to our clients.

The short answer is that using keyword optimisation tools such as SurferSEO, Frase or Page Optimizer Pro results in keyword stuffing, which Google has explicitly stated not to do. 

The following screencast goes into more detail regarding our experience with SurferSEO and what we do to ensure we’re on track with user intent.

Publishing

Can you publish for me?

Yes. We publish to most CMS systems, including WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Joomla and Squarespace.

Can you give me a Google Doc, instead?

Yes. You can choose whichever delivery method suits you better. We can either provide you with a Google Document, or we can publish to your website and set to Draft or Publish. It’s your choice.

Can I review the article before you publish to my website?

Yes, easily done. We will email a Google Doc to your preferred email address. You can make adjustments or request changes via the Google Doc. When finalised, we can then publish the article onto your website.

This process is particularly useful if you’re a more particular person, haven’t worked with content production before, or want to add your own nuances to an article.

Is there an extra cost for the two step publishing described above?

No. Some people just feel more comfortable seeing a Google Doc before we create the article on your website, and that’s fine with us.

The only effect it has, really, is on our turnaround time as it takes an extra day or two to receive feedback/approval from you.

Can you blog weekly/monthly for me?

Yes. Buy a batch of 20+ articles and we’ll publish according to your preferred schedule. 

For example if you’d like to publish twice week then we will set your publish dates to each Tuesday and Thursday, or whichever days you prefer.

Order another batch of articles when you want to top-up your blog queue.

Google says “a frequently updated site encourages people to return.” So, if you’re unsure we suggest that you publish at least once a week.

Can you link articles to other articles in my blog?

Yes. We can place links in your new articles to other other articles in your blog. Before we begin work you will need to provide a spreadsheet with URLs and instructions.

We don’t edit links after the article has been published.

What is the by-line in the Author Profile?

We publish anonymously for our clients. The Author Profile is either your admin/own/founder profile, one of your staff writers, or a salesperson in your team.

Although we have niche experts in our team, we don’t publish their names or bios.

Article Titles & Keywords

Can you come up with ideas for me?

Yes. We will look at the products/service you sell, your industry and site categories.

Based on what we find, we’ll do a quick bit of keyword research and then write article titles for your blog.

You can edit, reject, change or approve your favourite article titles.

Can you choose keywords for me?

Yes. We can suggest keywords or you can provide your own list.  

However, please note that we are not an SEO agency. We don’t dive into your business or analytics to find unicorns. 

We use standard reports in Ahrefs (a popular SEO tool) to quickly pick keywords that are based on commonsense and low-hanging fruit opportunities.

We gather more keywords than you need, so you can make the final selection.

Below are the three ways that we research and find keywords for you.

Keywords: Content Gap Analysis

Usually, when you have an older website, we’ll start with a Content Gap analysis in Ahrefs. This means that we find your competitor’s keywords and then determine whether you’ve written about them before. We search your site (site:www.company.com “keyword”) to see if you’ve written about it before. If your most obvious competitors have written on the keyword, then this is often a good way to get started. 

Keywords: High Volume, Low Keyword Difficulty

We can look for keywords in your industry that have higher volume and lower difficulty. We usually set the benchmark to above 1,000 volume and below 25 keyword difficulty. The volume increases depending on your niche. E.g. parenting topics usually have 30,000 monthly searches so we set the minimum to 10,000 searches for these niches. 

Keywords: Long Tail, High Intent

We can suggest long tail keywords that have good user intent. These tend to result in lower organic traffic, but as we all know it’s not about having the most traffic. It’s better to have the best traffic

Graphic Design

Can you create custom graphics?

No. We don’t offer a custom graphic design service. 

However, we do include unique images. These are created by our in-house graphic designers, and produced specifically for your articles. 

You can ask us not to create images for your articles, or you can reject them before we publish. But, at this time, you are not able to request specific images or changes.

All images are available as Canva files if you wish to edit them with your own team. Just ask and we’ll send you the original files.

What’s the difference between visual interest and unique images?

Are photos added to articles?

Yes. We source images from your own website as well as from rights-managed stock libraries. 

We source images from non-competitor industry experts and give a no-follow link in the attribution. We don’t have a process in place to seek permissions.

We source screenshots/images from your social media channels and eCommerce store review sections to include as social proof.

Do you add Featured Images to my blog articles?

Yes. We source photos from the rights-managed Canva library or from your website.

Can I give you feedback and changes to the unique images?

Yes. If we’ve misspelled a word, used a feature incorrectly or perhaps chosen an old product photo then we can correct the image. We want your images to be factually correct.

However, for the moment, we don’t accept design changes such as moving elements, changing colours, adding or removing photos etc. We don’t offer a custom image creation service.

Can I see more examples of unique images?

Yes. In the below screencast we share more examples of unique images and the exact templates that we use across all articles.

You can expect to receive similar image types and layouts included in your blog articles, and more.
 

Turnaround Time

What is your turnaround time?

Quality content, crafted by skilled writers, takes time to produce. 

We are continually working on improving our turnaround times, but there is a limit if we want to maintain a high level of quality and a happy writing team.

When you order a batch of articles this is approximately what happens in terms of timing.

Day 1 – Batch volume agreed. Invoice sent.

Day 2 – Invoice paid. Keyword research commences.

Day 4 – Keywords approved. Ticket creation commences.

Day 5 – Tickets all pushed into our queue. Writers notified.

Day 6- Writers start to pick up the article tasks.

Day 10 – First article is submitted for Editorial review.

Day 11 – Editors finish proofreading, sub-editing and quality control on first article.

Day 13 – First article is scheduled into your CMS.

Day 14 – Second article is scheduled into your CMS.

Day 15 – Third article is scheduled … etc.

We schedule to whatever cadence you prefer. So, we can schedule weekly, monthly etc.

Everything is essentially loaded into your CMS as it is completed. We can either set to publish or draft. Your choice.

Pricing & Payment

Is there a setup, account management or other costs?

No. We charge a flat rate for articles. All costs are included in your batch invoice.

Can I split my batch between different websites and projects?

No. A batch of articles applies to a single website or project that is usually on the same topic or theme.

Can I get a trial article?

Yes. You can order a single piece of content. We don’t offer a free trial. If you’re unsure please view examples of our work herehere and here.

Can I get a discount?

Yes. Articles are priced in batches. When you order more articles then the price is reduced.

The batch price is only applicable per paid invoice. What this means is that you can’t order a batch of 50+ articles and pay for it in two invoices.

Can I get a locked price for future batches?

Yes. You can lock in a price as long as you order a minimum of 10 articles per month. Payment must be received before the end of each month in order to qualify.

Please note that we do reserve the right to retract that price.

Can I get a refund?

Yes. If you are deeply unhappy with an article that we have produced then we can provide a refund. 

Most clients prefer that we simply pick another topic and the article is rewritten.

Of course, you will not be able to publish a refunded or rejected article, or any part of it, on your website.

Did the price on the CopySmiths website just change?

Yes, quite possibly. As demand for our service increases we are gradually increasing our content prices.

However, your price tier stays the same – within reason – at the time you purchased. So, if you’ve been referred by a friend, you might see a different price than what your friend is paying.

We are flexible and open to discussion; just get in touch.

Can I cancel an article or switch to another keyword/topic?

No. When your article has been paid for and briefed into the article queue, it’s not possible to cancel or switch to another topic.

Your payment signifies that you are 100% ready and committed to proceeding with the articles that have been ordered.

What are the payment terms?

We invoice for the full amount of your batch before any work starts. Once we’ve received payment we commence work.

How do I pay?

We send an invoice.

You can pay via Wise, PayPal, credit/debit card (+bank processing fee) or by direct bank transfer. 

How do I order?

Email service@copysmiths.com or use the contact form. One of our Account Managers will be in touch to help you get started.

Search Ranking Expectations

When will I see SEO results?

Google says “Write well and often.

We have noticed, time and time again, that when someone publishes often their organic traffic, ranking and backlinks naturally increase.

You need to keep publishing content, at least once a week, if you want to see positive SEO results.

Do not expect to publish 20 articles, sit back and be rewarded by Google. It doesn’t happen. Only when you publish often will you see a noticeable effect.

If you do publish frequently …

Your articles will usually start to change Google rank between 2 weeks and 6 months from the publishing date.

Large, successful websites with 100s of already-published articles and high domain authority will see their articles rank sooner and higher, usually within 2 and 8 weeks from publishing. 

Whereas newer, smaller websites that have only just started their blogging adventure will see some action anywhere between 2 and 6 months from publishing.

Why isn’t the content that CopySmiths wrote ranking and gaining more organic traffic?

Many factors, including Page Experience, will affect an article’s ability to be indexed and ranked by Google.

For example, if you haven’t linked to your blog or articles from your homepage or Collection page, you won’t see a positive change.

If your blog content is hidden several layers and categories in the depths of your website, you won’t see a positive result.

If your website has dodgy backlinks, you won’t see a positive result.

You need to ensure that your entire website, not just the blog, has the best chance of being indexed by Google.

If you are worried that you might have an indexation or serious SEO issues, we can refer you to an excellent SEO agency who will provide you with expert advice.

Account Management

Who will be looking after me?

You will be working directly with either Ivan or Natasha, depending on your niche and content requirements. 

Ivan is an award-winning poet, runs poetry slams in Kenya, and is a TED speaker. Highly creative and an exceptional writer, he will look after your questions and requests with kindness and generosity.

Natasha has a degree in Marketing, excels in developing creative ideas and can multi-task like a demon. She is highly energetic, loves challenges and content creation.

How often will you be in touch with me?

We have a daily process that ensures your content creation is being managed on a very regular basis.

You will hear from your Account Manager at least once a week, or more often if your project is particularly busy.

After your batch wraps up, you will continue to hear from your account manager over the course of a few months as they provide you with updates.

How do I get in touch with the Account Managers?

Simply email us on service@copysmiths.com. We monitor our Inbox all day, every day. You can expect to receive a reply within a few hours, on business days.

We prefer to communicate via email so we can keep careful track of our conversation with you, noting any changes or requests that you make.

Can I chat directly with the writer/s?

No. We offer a service whereby we manage the interaction with writers to get the best result for your content.

However, your feedback and changes are always added to the Article Brief for future work. The writers read the Article Brief.

Can I chat with Katrina?

Yes, absolutely. Any time you like. I’m very friendly and you’ll be doing me a favour by letting me talk on my favourite topic.

Send an email to service@copysmiths.com and we’ll reply with a Calendly booking link for your timezone. The bookings are 30-minute slots. More time is available if needed.

What is CopySmiths?

Are you a content mill?

No. We are not a content mill. We do a bit more.

A content mill is typically a very large content creation business that has 100s or 1,000s of writers. The work is churned out at a very high rate for a cheap price.

Some content mills have a reputation for overworking their writers, paying badly and producing poor quality results for customers.

However, content mills do have their place. They provide an excellent opportunity for writers to get writing experience. And, if you have an in-house team of writers, content mill articles can be re-used and improved to fit your needs.

Content mills usually charge per word. You usually buy a block of 20,000+ words and then request articles.

Are you a service agency?

No. We don’t provide custom writing, design or strategic advice. We do a bit less.

An agency will meet with you on a regular basis to discuss your content strategy, manage your entire content marketing plan, provide analysis of their campaigns, and strive to provide a positive ROI.

An agency will usually charge you for service per hour or via a monthly retainer. For a few thousand or tens of thousands of dollars a month, an agency will love you like a brother and be at your beck and call forever.

So, what is CopySmiths?

Like a content mill, we aim to be affordable and produce articles at scale. You get to set your own budget.

Like an agency, we strive to provide you with personal service, and do everything from idea generation through to publishing on your website, but within reasonable budget limits.

All Content Creation Includes

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