Sunday, August 30, 2009

Will Write Copy--5 Cents Per 500-1000 Word Article

Is there anything at all unusual about that headline? I mean besides the fact that I'm willing to put in a minimum of 1-2 hours of brainstorming, researching and writing work for 5 cents. 

The answer to my question, as a lot of us seasoned copywriters have found, is no.  We're now in competition with overseas copy shops  that can turn out mass copy for pennies on the dollar; English may not be these folks' native tongue--that's generally obvious from the content produced--but that doesn't stop them from pumping out the copy.

Likewise, with the current economy, many folks stateside are looking for new ways to make money from home; one way is writing.  All you is a keyboard and time, right?

The most disheartening part of this new trend towards budget copy is that people like me who have put years of time and money into increasing our education and learning not just about the craft of writing, but also about sales and marketing--the fundamentals of making money--are left out in the cold.  Who wouldn't buy a Nordstrom's quality purse at Wal-Mart prices? The problem, though, is that better than 95 percent of the time, "copy deals" are anything but. 

Consider this:  Would you outsource your company's accounting, IT security or business planning to the lowest bidder? Probably not.  Your business is important; it's your livelihood.  You can't afford a mistake in your books or a network vulnerability.  So, you look for quality service providers, get recommendations from friends and colleagues and choose whom you'll work with based on a variety of factors, including the provider's reputation, ability to deliver and their professionalism.  Essentially, you refuse to put your business into the hands of just anyone.

Now consider that copywriting (writing to sell), blog writing and content creation, at a time when people thirst for constant information, is the lifeblood of a marketing campaign.  Without copy, people don't know what you do, how well you do it or why they should be calling you for XYZ needs.  You're anonymous, a nobody until carefully crafted words get you noticed and make people think, "I need to find out more about YOUR NAME HERE."

Most usually, those 5 cent articles are driven by volume; the people doing them aren't concerned over your return; they just want the money.  And if you're not happy, no big deal.  There are thousands more like you who want the world and more for that nickel.  So, they'll gladly take your place on the "writing" schedule.

How I and the other professional copywriters I know differ is that we're not working on volume; we're accepting a set number of clients to whom we can offer high quality marketing advice and then translate that into copywriting that sells.  We care if an article we write or post is not drawing in a  return on your investment, because we know that your livelihood (and ours) depends on how successfully we can help you convert casual information perusers into customers. 

Now, as a business owner, if that's not important to you, you perhaps are best advised to find a "writer" who is in it for the nickel.  You'll get your money's worth. 

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