Creative / Design / Copy

Why you need to hire a church copywriter

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street
Photograph by Luis Cortés

If you're like many churches, you may not be thinking about your website and marketing copy very much. This is a mistake. With the prevalence of social media, many people are seeing your church for the first time online, and not in person. You need to have copy that captures their attention, is easy to read, and presents your church in the best possible light.

But what about professional copywriters? Surely they're too expensive for a small church like ours! Actually, no; let's talk about why it's time for churches to start taking care of their written communications and how you can make that happen.

What makes a church copywriter different from other writers

A church copywriter is not just a writer who works at a church. A church copywriter is very specifically skilled; they'll write promotional material that brings people into the doors, and then they'll help them become more engaged once they're inside the building. Church copywriters focus on pulling people in rather than pushing them away through bad writing.

Writing for churches isn't like writing an article about how to make chocolate chip cookies; it's not about finding the right words to make people want to eat the cookies. It's about finding the right words to make them want to follow Christ, and then helping them do just that.

Good writing is clear, concise, and is targeted at the right audience. A professional writer knows that, no matter what you are trying to communicate with your words, it's important that they are heard loud and clear. This means being certain about who you're speaking with, knowing how to speak their language, and finding the right words to communicate your message.

It's easy to make mistakes in written communication, especially when you are writing for a church blog or on social media. These days, everyone is communicating via social media and this means that people are seeing churches' promotional material not just during service on Sunday morning, but whenever they check Facebook or Twitter. Social media means that you never know when your parishioners will be checking out your church's website; if they see a typo, it can make them think less of the church or turn off potential new members altogether.

Tips for Finding a Copywriter

Finding the right copywriter for your church is about more than just the writing, though. You need someone who can make your message clear and concise. That means you should pay attention to their tone and how they might picture your congregation, among other things. They also need to know what words to use in order to reach the target audience you're trying to reach.

#1: Ask for a sample of writing from potential candidates

Do not judge a professional writer based only on grammar skills - ask for a sample document that includes their work as well as their references or portfolios so you can see what kind of writing they do before hiring them.

#2: Ask for references

If you know someone who has worked with the writer they are recommending, ask them about their experience. What was it like? Would they use them again? If your church is paying an independent contractor for this service, be sure to pay attention to reviews of what previous churches have said regarding their work.

#3: Ask about working style

Ask the writer what their process is like; how do they communicate with you throughout the writing process? Do they work in stages or deliver everything at once? If your church makes last minute changes to its promotional material, can they accommodate that? A professional copywriter will be able to work within the parameters of your budget and your schedule.

#4: Ensure they know their Bible

It's important that the copywriter you use understands the language of the Bible as well as they understand the language of your target audience. Ask to see a sample post or article that shows how they would use religious references, and then have someone from your church look it over. You want a writer that has a good grasp of both.

#5: Make sure they're flexible

A lot of churches work on very tight deadlines, especially when it comes to social media posts because these posts often need to be done at the last minute in order to fit within your social media strategy. You want a copywriter who can turn things around quickly without sacrificing quality, so be sure to ask them how fast they can produce content.

#6: Make sure you discuss your budget

Churches are almost always on a tight budget, which means that the writer you choose needs to be able to work with what you have available. An affordable copywriter doesn't have to break the bank; there are many talented writers who will do the job for a reasonable price.

Keeping Your Church Looking Great

A church should also think about how their copywriting will benefit their parishioners and potential new members. If your church has a blog or does social media posts, you should think about how your messages are communicated through writing. Clear writing can improve your communications with parishioners and, in turn, improve your church's reputation.