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A few copywriting questions

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by organicCyborg, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. #1
    For the last month, I've been having a go at freelance writing work. I've only heard back on a few of the gigs I've applied for. It seems most people are dedicated to not paying more than a penny a word for their content. In comparison to those prices, my rates must seem like a scam.

    Is it even possible to charge more than a penny a word these days?

    Does anyone know of some resources for finding the good writing jobs? I've been sticking around the services sub-forum on DP and major message-boards, I think this may be the reason I haven't been able to get new clients.
    SEMrush
    I'd really appreciate some help from some more seasoned content writers.

    Thanks in advice. :)
     
    organicCyborg, Apr 15, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Web Content Writer

    Web Content Writer Peon

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    #2
    What is your usual rate per word?
     
    Web Content Writer, Apr 16, 2010 IP
  3. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #3
    Y.L. Prinzel, Apr 17, 2010 IP
  4. dorothydot

    dorothydot Peon

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    #4
    Hi,
    I don't charge by word for my copywriting services... I charge per project.

    I sell my services via my website (which is very much my rather picturesque style of writing) and my samples that are on my site - then via a conference call or chat (usually on Skype) where the client and I discuss what the client truly needs (vs. what he thinks he needs) and I come up with specific solutions - but not so specific that the client can then go to a cheaper writer and get the same success, lol!

    Hope this helps,
    Dot
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
    dorothydot, Apr 17, 2010 IP
  5. Web Content Writer

    Web Content Writer Peon

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    #5
    In such a case you don't have to worry. Writers who work for few dollars per article can not compete with you and customers who offer low payment can not afford your prices. They are just not your customers. You can try to find jobs in constant-content.com. They always publish some well-payed requests.
    I am not one of top writers, however I do not accept very low payment. I almost always have jobs thanks to my regular customers. It is a matter of luck and marketing I believe.

    Good luck!
     
    Web Content Writer, Apr 17, 2010 IP
  6. kcnck

    kcnck Peon

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    #6
    Yes. Constant-content is great. But you need to have top notch quality in your writing. They frown at any thing that is lacking good grammar and proper spellings.
     
    kcnck, Apr 20, 2010 IP
  7. SuperSkyRockets

    SuperSkyRockets Peon

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    #7
    Hi there,

    I know it seems tough at the start, I was exactly where you are a year ago but believe me, DP is not the market norm. The prices in here are awful but thats because many webmasters are happy with awful content for their purposes; triggering ads, niche dominating a keyphrase etc. I'm afraid there's no easy solution to finding worthwhile freelance opportunities, the sites fellow members have mentioned will be a good start but you will have to keep up a good rate of project applications.

    There are no easy ways to begin in this business as the core of the whole thing is contacts. You need to find those initial set of people who are willing to give you a go (don't work for free if you can avoid it, it'll just frustrate you) and then make the most of the work when you get it. Make you sure you write the best piece you can but keep to the deadline and the brief and then ask if they will consider passing your details on to their contacts.

    Also, with regards to networking, meeting up with other writers and marketers is great to learn but remember that these are not your customers. Your customers are webmasters, businesses, organisations, editors and charities related to your area of expertise. These are the people you have to meet.

    As I said, there is no easy way to do all this, its a hard slog and takes time, patience and effort. But when things start rolling and every piece gets bigger and better paid then it all feels worth it.

    Best of luck!
     
    SuperSkyRockets, Apr 20, 2010 IP
  8. seeknulfind

    seeknulfind Peon

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    #8
    Hi I'm with DorthyDot (figuratively, that is),

    I've never, ever charged by the word. Does that mean I've never earned less than a penny a word? Not at all, if you include everything I've ever written. However, anyone who wants me to write for them will get a quote for the project once we agree to consider my services for it.

    The way I see it, your price should reflect the value you offer. For example, I noticed Y.L. Prinzel bills herself as an "Industry licensed financial writer". This intrigued me because I am quite certain one does not (YET) need to be licensed to write for the financial industry. Whew! I was correct. (Yo, PLEASE consider a change! Do we really want to give legislative idiots any ideas? :)

    But Yo does have a slew of excellent credentials she uses to position herself in her market. She offers value in terms of her extensive financial knowledge and experience.

    While I don't know your background, I'm sure you've got some knowledge you can leverage to lift yourself into a position to offer value to your niche. Now you can talk about your potential clients NEEDS rather than your fees.

    If someone wants a $3.00 article, fine. Don't call me. (I hate to sound arrogant but really, don't bother) If someone wants a bait piece that will have prospects drooling to buy their product, let's talk. My services are not cheap, but my clients understand that a good bait piece can generate thousands of solid leads and therefore end up costing MUCH LESS than a penny a prospect. So you tell me, which is a better deal?

    A penny-a-word report collecting dust on thousands of computers or my $xxxx report that goes "Ka-Ching!" time after time?

    Regards,

    Andy
     
    seeknulfind, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  9. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #9
    Consider a change in what way? As a former stock trader and life agent I have industry licenses. Why in the world would I want to change that? In fact, I wish more so-called financial writers would have licenses or at least degrees in finance. It would help some of the misinformation out there (like Matt Taibbi's incorrect info about short sales) and would create more informed consumers who make better decisions.
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  10. seeknulfind

    seeknulfind Peon

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    #10
    Hey YO!

    I was simply pointing out your "Industry licensed financial writer" implies a license is required to write financial materials. Please, this was just intended as an observation in passing, not an attack.

    While we both know there is no such license, I can see how some regulation happy politico could all of a sudden decide that one SHOULD be licensed to write said material. And from there we would all be on our way down that slippery slope where I would need make sure my "forum posters" license is current before I answer you.

    Please note, this was written with a bit smirk. I was only half-kidding because as Albert Einstein put it "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

    That said, if this is going to be discussed further, it should be in another thread.

    Regards,

    Andy
     
    seeknulfind, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  11. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #11
    I was just curious--it wasn't taken as an attack :) Writers never seem to understand what industry-licensed means, but the right clients do.

    But you bring up a great point for the OP. You've got to specialize and prove why you are THE writer for that specialty as much as you can.
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  12. seeknulfind

    seeknulfind Peon

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    #12
    Whew! Thanks Yo,

    I haven't posted much here and I don't want to get off on the wrong foot.
     
    seeknulfind, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  13. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #13
    Hahaha, never take bluntness as a sign that someone was offended or attacking--if you do you'll spend a lot of time in a cold sweat :)
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  14. Perry Rose

    Perry Rose Peon

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    #14
    First you said

    Then you said

    THAT is why you cannot find good writing jobs. I am sorry to say that there are a lot of idiots over there.

    For shits and giggles, and out of curiosity, I tried it over there. I got morons saying that they will pay only a few dollars.

    That forum is a total joke.

    First, make sure you have a very good pitch page about yourself, and a good pitch in your e-mails. Then start sending out queries to magazine, content-type sites.

    Here is a list to get you going:

    http://www.gebbieinc.com/magurl.htm

    You then have such sites as:

    Javno.com
    Nypost.com
    allbusiness.com
    dice.com
    elance
    guru
    helium
    suite101
    Nj.com
    Tmz.com
    Slate.com
    Laist.com
    Reuters.com
    lifescripts.com
    sheknows
    indeed.com
    journalismJobs
    getafreelancer
    brighthub
    dailyarticle
    mediabistro
    shine.yahoo
    SitePoint

    I'm not sure if sites like, say, Constant Content pay all that much. What is it, maybe, $10???

    Then again, maybe that is all you need.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
    Perry Rose, Apr 21, 2010 IP
  15. MikeHumphreys

    MikeHumphreys Peon

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    #15
    Copywriting and content writing are completely different animals. I'm sure there will be some generalists who will disagree with me but experienced copywriting clients do not hire content writers to write their sales copy. Experienced copywriting clients expect to pay by the project or marketing piece and not by the word.

    As Perry said, hit the freelance sites for more content and article writing work.
     
    MikeHumphreys, Apr 22, 2010 IP