Our Process


Copywriting in action

You’ve decided you need a copywriter to help you out, but you’re not sure how the whole copywriting thing works. Let me share with you how I work as a copywriter, so you know what to expect when you make that call or send your email enquiry.

Here I share the 6 steps of working with Smudge Copywriting from your idea to the finished copy deck*.

*A copy deck is a fancy name for the document that we prepare the copy for your project in.

Smudge Copywriting Process

The Introduction

This is a bit like catching up for a coffee to have a chat. I get to know what you need help with, and you can work out if I’m the right person to help you. We chat about things like what your project is, the timeframe and budget you have. I’ll let you know if I can help and what sort of time and cost, I estimate (this is finalised in the proposal). It is also the time to ask me any questions you have about copywriting and people often like to ask about work I have done.

Proposal of a writing kind

The proposal is a bit like a quote and a resume had a child. There’s information about Smudge Copywriting and me, as well as what you’ve told me about the project so far. I also explain how I’ll help and what the timeframe might look like.

It also has important things like the expected cost of the work and includes my fine print, which you can also find here, to protect me, you, and your project copy.

Once you’ve read and signed off on my proposal, we will arrange a time for the brief and I’ll start writing your copy.

Let the briefing begin

Depending on the project the briefing can take a few forms. Sometimes I get all that I need from our initial discussion. Generally, though, the brief document is involved and a zoom call where we run through the brief.

The brief is a document to collect all the essentials needed for a copywriting project and includes:

  • What the project is
  • Background on your brand or business
  • What the outcome of the project should be – Sales, information, etc
  • Target market
  • Your customers’ pain points, needs, and fears
  • Tone of voice for the copy
  • Your unique selling point
  • Industry and social proof
  • Your competitors
  • Essential information such as patents and trademarks, licences, etc
  • Keywords
  • The deliverables and the timeline
  • Plus, anything else that might help like business plans, mission, and vision statements

If you want to take some time to think over the brief, you can fill this in on your own and we can catch up for a chat once you send it back, to make sure I have a good picture in my mind of what is needed.


Let’s see those bones: The skeleton draft

Good writing needs a good foundation to work from. The skeleton draft is just that, a framework or foundation for the copy to be written in. It’s a rudimentary list of the things to go on each section of each page. Expect to see lots of dot points here, as the sentences come later, once we confirm the layout.

Depending on the project, I’ll sometimes combine this step with the first draft, and you’ll get more detailed copy into a framework that you already have. We’ll discuss this at the briefing.

If we do a skeleton draft, I’ll send you this in a word document and ask you to provide feedback and amendments in track changes.

Version 2.0: The second draft

This version of the copy will look pretty well finished, although we aren’t done just yet. The sentences and paragraphs will be at their near finished state (with final proofread to still be done). Usually at this stage no major changes are done and when sent for review and amends we are looking at changing the occasional word or perhaps changing the order of the odd sentence.

If you’d like more significant changes, well chat about the scope of the project to see what we can negotiate.


Bright and shiny copy: The Final Draft

We have done all the amendments now and come to the end of the writing and now get stuck into the final edit and proofreading. By now we have your copy looking schmick and want to make it the best it can possibly be. I bring in the assistance of an amazing proof-reader and editor to give the copy the final once over and polish.

 You’ll get a few things from me at this stage. A final invoice, the final copy, and a sign-off form. The sign-off form is important as this is me handing the ownership of the copy over to you. With the sign-off form, you’ll also get a link to a survey and testimonial form. These are a really important part of my business. This feedback helps me improve my services and the testimonials help find new clients just like you, who are looking for a copywriter.


The End

All good things must come to an end, and it is the same with copywriting projects. For me the best part is seeing the copy in its natural habitat, whether that be a website or a blog page.

By having a process to guide how I work, I can keep projects on time and budget and deliver the best possible copy each and every time.


That’s it from me

Now that you know how this story goes, why not book a time to chat with me about your copy project?



Chat to Laura today.