Spend time on job bidding boards and you’ll notice something. A growing number of clients who post copywriting projects want fast, good, and cheap. They only want to pay $10 (or less) for it and they want it in less than 24 hours.
As the saying goes, pick two.
If you want something created fast and have it be good, then don’t expect it to be cheap. If you want something fast and cheap, then don’t expect it to be good. Finally, if you want something good and cheap, don’t expect it to be done anytime soon.
But uneducated entrepreneurs want all three and they don’t understand why it’s such a hardship to get them.
So let me explain…
$10 per hour copywriting will only give you unimaginative words, strung together badly
I won’t embarrass some of the website owners by linking their to abominable copy. I used to have a link here to a website that advertised moving services. Their copy used to be bad, but they fixed it. But you’ve probably run across bad copy on a website, which often seems to make no sense or confuses you in some way.
That’s the kind of copy you get for $10 or less an hour. Dismal. Uninteresting. Poor formatting. Grammatically-challenged.
Copywriters who agree to write for such a low rate most likely lack a firm grasp on the English language, let alone basic marketing skills. You’re paying for someone who thinks they can write. Their definition of good writing may be completely different than yours. And if you’re not sure what good copy looks like, here’s a clue:
It makes you want to buy something. Or give someone your email address. Or sign up for something.
The last thing good copywriting will do is bore you or make you want to close the browser window and clean the lint screen of your dryer.
A $10 per hour copywriter probably doesn’t know much about marketing or sales
Remember, copywriting is salesmanship-in-print. It’s what companies use to persuade their target market to buy what they’re selling. They’ll use a lot of words or maybe not so many, but the goal is always to sell something.
$10 per hour copywriters usually approach the project like this: “What do you need me to write? I’ll write it.”
No, no… and oh, hell no..
Excuse me for sounding like Andy Rooney from “60 Minutes,” but this is not the type of copywriter who is going to write copy that will grab attention. Sure, they may be focused on your direction, but guess what?
You are not your customer.
That means a good copywriter makes the client feel uncomfortable. She’ll ask questions that a client at times won’t understand but there’s a method to her madness.
A good copywriter will ask about past promotions, marketing campaigns… what worked, what didn’t, what was the goal, what IS your current goal and how will you know you’ve reached it? A good copywriter will not sit like a robot across from you, mindlessly writing down your every directive.
Good copywriters ask questions because when it comes to marketing your offering, the more they know about what you’ve tried, the quicker they can find the better solution. They have experience in asking those questions because they already know what works. They’re just being nice by not telling you that last campaign sucked because your list wasn’t segmented or your copywriting was too vague.
With a $10 per hour copywriter, you’re the guinea pig
I’m not saying that a $10 per hour copywriter doesn’t have the talent to eventually become a six-figure copywriter. (Or seven-figure.) But even if they do have that potential, you’re basically their guinea pig. Ever wonder about the first patient for a brain surgeon? Are people waiting in line for that surgeon’s services? Not yet. Maybe someday but for now, she’s likely surrounded by a group of highly skilled surgeons who will quickly fix any mistakes she makes.
The same is true for copywriting. I’ve had clients who came to me for revisions after a $10 per hour copywriter wrote it. Why did they come to me? Because they needed someone knowledgeable to fix the mistakes. So why would you want to pay twice for the same project?
Save yourself time and money by going to the skilled surgeon first. Your business will thank you for it.
A $10 per hour copywriter is the equivalent of a thrift-store dress in a world full of Vera Wangs
[themecolor]Vera Wang[/themecolor] is a phenomenal designer. When you see one of her wedding dresses, you’re blown away by its pure, brilliant beauty. Her dresses command a large fortune because of the quality and artistry of her designs.
You can easily get a cheap, thrift-store dress but it’s not the same thing. Not by a long shot.
When a prospect visits your site, your $10 per hour copywriter’s copy will look like that thrift-store dress. And it will reflect poorly on the image you’re trying to present.
When I see a website that has poor copywriting, here’s what I think: This website owner doesn’t seem to care that his copy is sloppy. If he doesn’t care about first impressions, then I imagine his customer service, attention to detail, quality of product, etc. … is just as sloppy.
Fair or not, that’s the impression I get.
But when I read stellar copy on someone’s site… copy that makes me weep with joy while pulling out my credit card…
That is the kind of copywriting that is the equivalent of a Vera Wang wedding dress.
It’s gorgeous copy. It nails your target customer’s pain points. It clearly defines your solution. It tells me what’s going to happen if I DON’T choose your solution. (Which usually includes wasting my life away and dying on my deathbed with a multitude of regrets.)
So the question is this: Is your business worth it?
If you have a crappy product or service, then sure, maybe a $10 an hour copywriter is the answer.
But if you’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears over developing your product or service… if you’ve networked like a madwoman to get introduced to people who will be an important partner for your launch… if you’ve spent everything you’ve got on making sure that your dream vision is going to become a reality, then trust me when I say that a $10 per hour copywriter is the last thing you need.
I mean, really. How can you expect to pay someone the equivalent of a McDonald’s shift worker’s wage and get copy that will accomplish what copy is meant to do? It won’t happen.
So invest in your business by giving it the copy it deserves. Hire a good copywriter who will yes, charge you more than $10 an hour but yet give you so much more in return. Your analytics will thank you. Your online shopping cart will thank you. And ultimately, you’ll look in the mirror and thank you.
And for those who expect to pay $1 – $2 for a 500-word article… you’re beyond redemption.