This blog is proving very popular. I have just read 43 spam comments to the preceding post. I enjoy spam comments. ‘Your copywriter taste has been surprised me’ was one, and ‘I desire to read even more issues approximately it’ was another. The best is worth quoting in full:
‘I precisely needed to say thanks once more. I am not sure what I might have followed without the type of basics discussed by you relating to such area. It had become the challenging situation in my circumstances, but taking a look at your specialised style you dealt with that made me to weep over gladness. I am just happy for your service and thus hope that you recognize what a great job you’re undertaking teaching the others all through your blog. Probably you have never met any of us.’
You are spot-on there, sunshine. I have never met you, because if you are human, I don’t think you live in the UK.
Cheap copywriters are not real writers
Actually, I don’t think it was written by a human, not even a human with Klingon as a first language, filtered through several on-line translators by way of Jivanese. Somewhere, at the end of that line, there is a human who thinks it worth spending a few pounds to get thousands of spam comments splattered across the internet. Does he know or care that the result is gobbledy-gook? If you pay peanuts for your copywriters, you get monkeys (monkeys with no hope of eventually producing Shakespeare’s complete works).
Freelance copywriter websites pay very little
When I started out in this business, I signed up to freelance copywriter websites. I won’t link to them because they are nothing more than writing sweatshops. Looking at the lists of work available, I felt quite depressed: Experienced copywriter wanted to create 20 x 300 word web pages, budget £100 and so on. Sadly, a desperate copywriter will agree to these terms, and in doing so, make it harder for any of us to earn a sensible income.
What is included in a copywriter’s charges?
New clients almost always think writing is easy: anyone can thump at a keyboard and produce words. But, as Joy McCarthy at The Copywriting Apprentice said this week, “I’ve got a mobile phone that takes pictures – WOO HOO – I’m a photographer then.”
Try to find out what a copywriter earns and you will soon come across claims that one sent off invoices for £17k last month, while another is writing from the balcony of her Greek villa. The reality is very different. To get a rough idea of how much you should pay for a 300 word web page, do some calculations:
- Time spent discussing what the client wants. Very often, they haven’t thought this through, so they need advice on why flashing day-glo graphics are not a good idea, and so forth.
- Then research the information, and possibly negotiate the right to use other material.
- At last down to the actual job: writing 300 original words.
- Then editing them, at least twice.
- Off they go to the client for comments, and back they come with changes required. There is usually at least 2 rounds of this.
- Finally a proof-read and sanity check before submitting the final copy in the format required by the web designer.
Would you do this for £5? The person who published the job I mentioned above thinks you should.
A very low price copywriter is going to be low quality too
A few days ago, I was shown a site that offers copy from less than one British penny per word. This rate is for their Two Star service, which ‘contains spelling and grammatical errors.’ I am not making this up – they actually sell a service that they think is rubbish!
If you want copy such as the spam paragraph quoted up above, you won’t have any trouble finding someone to write it. And may the specialised style they dealt with that make you to weep over gladness.
If you want writing with impact, that makes people think, feel, believe, and act, then you need a real copywriter.
Joanna Brown is a freelance copywriter and content creator who specialises in SEO web copy. She has not written this post from the balcony of her Greek villa, although she is thinking about splashing out on a biscuit to go with her cup of tea. That’s how we roll.