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What annoys you the most about being a copywriter?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by twentysomethingwriter, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. #1
    Hi!

    My name is John, and I'm new to this forum. I've been doing copywriting for a while, and I'd like to know what annoys you the most about being a copywriter. For me, it's been the clients that don't pay, the time spent placing bids, and having to deal with clients that want spec work. Also, what's keeping you from getting the big jobs?
    twentysomethingwriter, Nov 5, 2013 IP
  2. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Notable Member

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    #2
    Awhile back we hired an experienced copywriter to help out for an ad campaign we were running. I'm sure we drove her bananas with our constantly evolving agenda. She must have hated us but....at the end of the gig we paid out over $2,000 U.S. to her.
    For this kind of money, copywriters should be willing to put up with a little bit of hassle.;)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 5, 2013 IP
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  3. twentysomethingwriter

    twentysomethingwriter Greenhorn

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    #3
    Gotcha. Did she deliver on time?
    twentysomethingwriter, Nov 5, 2013 IP
  4. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Notable Member

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    #4
    Yes and no...she *did* deliver on the timeframe that she had committed to but...not always all that we were asking for. But finally she did give us what we required and our client was happy with the end result. We will continue to use her in the future, on other gigs.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 5, 2013 IP
  5. Vlasic

    Vlasic Active Member

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    #5
    In most cases, I am the only one to blame for something that annoys me. When I compromise on my price just to fill in the gaps between other projects, I end up with a completely illiterate client with a load of ridiculous requests. Not listening to my own gut feeling annoys me, too. Sometimes, failure to manage my own time. But most of all, Buying offers with sub-human rates irritate me. I never bother to respond to those ads, but I honestly wish those buyers faced the odds of subsisting on those wages.
    Vlasic, Nov 5, 2013 IP
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  6. Waqar Akram

    Waqar Akram Active Member

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    #6

    That is heaps of money, Have you got profits of the business still :confused:
    Waqar Akram, Nov 5, 2013 IP
  7. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Notable Member

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    #7
    We hired the copywriter to help us with a 6 figure account. The client is still with us and if he requires us again, we will consider using this copywriters services at that time. Everyone involved, the ad agency (us), the client, the copywriter, made profit eventually.
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  8. matt_62

    matt_62 Well-Known Member

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    #8
    I do agree, that people should pay a fair wage for work. However, ultra low jobs are not necessarily for you, if its below what you can charge for the service you offer, then its not a job for you, simple as that.
    Its like this with everything, to make it more dramatic, if someone has only $100 for a house, then this is a job for a tent.... not a mansion builder. or $50,000 for a house, might be the ideal job for a caravan, or $1,000,000 for a house might be the ideal job for a house / mansion ->I know its not the best analogy, but hopefully it highlights my point in that each pricing / budget appeals to a different solution which has different "quality". For most budget websites, (or whatever), the "tent" solution is probly the most common, and is clearly not your target group.
    I am strictly speaking about websites, and website owners, but i think you will find some of them earn less then this!

    I see so many people here upset about rates etc, but while everyone likes to complain (and fair enough as it is an evil wage) but some of those people hiring never earn back the costs of hiring. It doesnt matter if they hire you for $1, or $10,000, thats still from their pocket, and their is no guarantee that they will earn it back.

    Everyone cries when they get offered low money for a service (when they are worth more) but the truth is, that you get paid, but the same wont necessarily be true for the people investing in your services.
    matt_62, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  9. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #9
    When it comes to landing the "big jobs", be careful what you wish for.

    Oddly enough, the bigger the company, the more they seem to expect deadlines and the less likely you are going to be able to meet them.

    I don't like being put in the position of having to say things like, "Yes, I know, you were supposed to get that page two weeks ago. When we started, you said that you and Mr. ____ were the only people who were going to have change authority and that the art department was told our project had priority. As you might remember; you decided to add 6 more products to the page after we had already agreed to not include them, Mr. ____ in the accounting department held things up for four days because he wanted to confirm the numbers (numbers which had come from him in the first place) and Ms. _____ in product development wanted all those changes (that you said we didn't need two weeks ago) that required us to wait 3 days for the art department to change out all of the graphics (which I had to fix) and then I had to change text that accompanied each of the new images."

    I've only had two projects with "really big" companies (two multinational companies that are very well known) and both of them were full of things like I mentioned. On one, I actually had to hunt all over their website to find graphics I could use because the ones from the art department were unusable; one was of the wrong piece of equipment, another had been discontinued. The other had several personnel changes during the project and each new hire had to have their say and make at least one change to show they were worth their nice new salary.

    The checks were fairly nice but the per hour rate ended up being far less than minimum wage.

    It was exciting to see my work on a Fortune 500 company website, but in the end, it ranks as my most frustrating project ever.
    YMC, Nov 6, 2013 IP
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  10. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #10
    The idea of a webmaster not knowing if they will see a return on their investment as a rationale for paying a writer less is hollow and the writers who accept it are foolish.

    Do you think someone opening up a new restaurant can tell the local plumbers, electricians and painters..."Hey, well, you know, this restaurant of mine might not ever make any money, so I'm gonna pay you 10% of what you would normally charge."
    YMC, Nov 6, 2013 IP
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  11. Vlasic

    Vlasic Active Member

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    #11
    With all due respect to your statement, I am afraid you disregard a very large stratum of 'customers.' Take a look at this thread and tell me this client posted a legitimate offer. Tell me the writers who stood up against this sort of scam are wrong. Unfortunately, it is this kind of customer that prevails the market, not the webmasters you mention. Writers have to sort out a dozen of pimps before they score a deal with an actual client.
    Vlasic, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  12. Waqar Akram

    Waqar Akram Active Member

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    #12
    I haven't met someone involved in so big a business, I have worked with clients in three figures or four figures monthly income, I am not a copywriter by the way
    Waqar Akram, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  13. matt_62

    matt_62 Well-Known Member

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    #13
    I only skimmed through that, but from what I can see, is that is an abosolute ridiculous wage. It wouldnt even be worth turning your computer on for that kind of pay. They might be a reseller, (not working themselves, just outsourcing the work to others to do) though I think this is what you were hinting at? But then again, it is doubtful they would be successful as a reseller.
    the pricing tells me they are looking for a "garbage can".... not even enough of a budget for a "tent". But if the end user has paid for a "tent" they wont accept a "garbage can".
    Speaking of garbage can quality, worst small article I ever had from DP cost me $15, I actually thought $15 was fair for a short article, but it turned out that it was just generic copy/paste that looks like parts of it had been run through a spinner. There was no 'connection' between paragraphs, no human would ever read it. Except for 2 words, the entire article had to be scrapped and I had to write it. And this is what everyone who deals with cheap content can expect.
    But as we were discussing copywriting, I was hoping this was more for the people (or small companies) who had websites, doing legal text, sales text, (as opposed to just the discussion of article writing).
    matt_62, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  14. Vlasic

    Vlasic Active Member

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    #14
    You are right, but there is no final high and low division because freelancers are in transition all the time. I have yet to see a copywriter who did not start as an article writer. An article writer yesterday, a reviewer today, a copywriter in 6 months, a published author in 5 years... Writers evolve if they want to get over junk jobs and be able to afford to choose projects they like. I realize the extremity of the example I suggested, but I think it gives a fairly good idea of what we have to deal with on a daily basis. I might ignore it, swear silently, or get involved in a discussion to no avail, but it sure is annoying.
    Vlasic, Nov 6, 2013 IP
  15. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #15
    You are on DP a global outsourcing market. Have you looked around at the other markets on here ?

    I see 5 page website go for $40 all the time. A domain name costs $10, which leaves $30 for someone to make a website and some profit that's about $6 a page. Do you really think they an pay more then $5 a page for writing ?
    I see people doing graphic designs for a chance to get paid $10-$20.
    $5 logos
    $5 Wordpress installs

    And you expect to make good money in a market like this ?

    My rent is more then $1000. a mo just to keep a roof over my family their is no way I could work from this site. But for many people on here $20-$40 a day is livable in their country so they work for wages that are not livable in other countries.

    Welcome to a global economy.
    averyz, Nov 7, 2013 IP
  16. Vlasic

    Vlasic Active Member

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    #16
    I don't know why you would think DP was the only source for finding jobs for me, or any writer for that matter. It is a complimentary source, an educational forum, not just a marketplace. I've learned a lot from savvy freelancers here. Besides, it is possible to find decent clients here, too. To me, DP feels like an incubator for start-ups. There are newbies hungry for work, and veterans, occasional mentors, willing to share experience with those who listen. I don't know why some people overreact to my statement. I answered a simple question on what annoys me. Clients People who like to exploit other people annoy me. Do you like it better this way? Don't tell me we are all doomed to starvation just because global economy imposes it. Somehow, you are finding jobs to keep you up and running with a $1000 rent. I bet it is not the 'welcome to the global economy' attitude that helps you succeed.
    Vlasic, Nov 7, 2013 IP
  17. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #17
    I never said "we are all doomed to starvation just because global economy imposes it" I am saying that internet jobs are a global market so people with much lower overhead will be bidding and taking jobs. It takes them less to live so they can work for less.

    I find jobs in my own economy where we all pay similar rent and work for likewise wages. If their was an economy that had a cost of living that was 5-times higher then my own I would look for online jobs from there and make higher wages but their is none, so I cannot work in a global economy.

    For as long as I can remember this forum has had a constant thread "why are wages so low" "don't work for peanuts" etc and all the writers pile on and talk about how wages need to be higher. The reality is - The Market Sets the Price - and always will.
    averyz, Nov 8, 2013 IP
  18. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #18
    I guess that's the root at what I don't understand about many writers or anyone working online offering their services so low. They have such a better opportunity to live well. If they can garner customers in places where services cost more, why charge rates often found in their home countries? Why not charge the more expensive rates or even half of those rates, work less and live well? Why must they offer 80-90% discounts simply because of where they live, if their work would sell for far more if they only lived somewhere else? The only issue should be what their work is worth in the global marketplace, not what it is worth in their home country.
    YMC, Nov 8, 2013 IP
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  19. averyz

    averyz Well-Known Member

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    #19
    I agree get as much as you can. But when others can provide a service cheaper you are going to get under bid.

    In many places people work 60hrs a week for $50. to write 10 articles in 10hours for $50 is not that bad. They are making a better living then all the neighbors. What's a low wage to some is good to others.
    I could ask for $15k to do a website but the guy a crossed town will do it for $1,500 because that’s how much he needs to live.

    I have a friend who just quit her professional writing job to become a freelance writer. She was complaining about how people online will buy and work for “nothing”. Just a couple of weeks before she bought a logo(stolen clipart) for $50 online, then had someone online set her up a ghetto website on free hosting for $50.

    Just like we buy socks for $7 for 5 pairs, handmade hammocks for $20, tennis shoes for $30

    We could buy handmade socks for $30 a pair, hammocks for $200, handmade shoes for $300
    averyz, Nov 8, 2013 IP
  20. matt_62

    matt_62 Well-Known Member

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    #20
    i guess the pricing comes down to competition. there is always someone cheaper, someone goes cheap, so you copy to try to get the project, until pricing gets ridiculous and noone wins. We have local designers that should be paid about $1000 for designing business cards, being offered $5 (cause thats what the price is on fiverr, and the buyer really thinks they are being ripped off), so this ultra low business does affect people in countries that really do have a high cost of living.
    But with the ultra cut throat pricing, many times its not the same product, with distinct quality differences.

    averyz is right, sometimes you see sites sell for peanuts, but in some cases, it doesnt sell for what it costs to develop.
    But sites built for flipping, is never gonna be pretty, (No copywriter should be chasing down this kind of work) but with flipping the person developing the site takes full risk, might never find a buyer. But what do buyers buy? They always look at earnings. I mean, we all laugh at people selling sites that have paid for content (but have 0 earnings) and try to recover the costs (there are threads here in the BST section with people laughing at them, offering them stupid amounts for the site), but there are a few ways to look at it.
    For one, if they had reduced their costs for each of their articles, they would have had a better chance at selling the site for cost. secondly, they provided employment to whoever they hired, even if they themselves lose 90%, all the people they hired were still paid - its better to be the writers then the site developer IMO!. Or third, perhaps the site should never have been made to begin with.
    Now if you could dramatically reduce the number of sites built for flipping, then perhaps each site would be able to sell for double. (like ok, in this place, you miss your chance to buy one site, and another one will be along to replace it soon enough) but once this is done, and values go up, then there is more margin for everyone in between to make profits.

    imo, Copywriters should be focused on finding business websites. People that have a way to earn directly (not reliant themselves on ad income). I would even go as far as to say find people that are spending on adwords, as they are already spending big on advertising, to maximise their spendings, they would be happy with any help that can increase their conversions. Find their sales page (squeeze page), offer to re-write it for them. Its proven that proper sales pages can convert better, and if you work well with them, (looking at stats before and after) you can approach new clients, boasting how you can guarantee an increase in sales. How much are you worth then? well, lets say 25% increase in sales x profit per sale x 1-6 months? Could easily be in the $xxxx range for an article. Hell theres a guy on WHT telling me he pays nearly $50-$150 in adwords to gain a new signup... imagine if you could re-write his landing page to convert just 10% better, effectively reducing his ad costs per new customer... in just 100 sales, your saving him in the region of $1500 -> surely this helps to set the value for copywriters? But this is just my opinion, I have no experience in copywriting.
    matt_62, Nov 8, 2013 IP
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