Frequently Asked Questions
What are your rates for copywriting?
This is a tricky question to answer with any accuracy. That’s because there are a million things a client can ask me for. For example, I recently worked with a large client to come up with a one paragraph description for an important new product launch. We communicated extensively, had online group marketing meetings, passed the writing back and forth, etc. I ended up billing them twelve hours for that one paragraph. In that same dozen hours, I’ve written 15 pages for a smaller client’s website. Suffice to say, it was many more paragraphs.
Factors that determine a project’s final price include how much info you can provide me with, how much communication we need, the general topic, the type of piece and its intent, and so on.
I’m also super flexible. Some larger clients keep me on a monthly 10-hour retainer (my hourly rate for this is $175). Others I bill by the full project. And others I’ve charged $100 to polish up a quick letter.
Bottom line: If you need professional writing, and have a reasonable budget, we can work together.
What size companies do you work for? And where?
It’s a cliché, but any size company is fine, anywhere in the world. To give an example, two of my clients are in the same town… one is the headquarters of a 120 store chain that I do monthly work for, the other is a small tree service / snow plowing company that I produce three to five marketing pieces a year for.
What industries do you write for?
All of em’…
Really – I’ve written for everything from manufacturing to marketing to real estate to insurance to financing and investing companies to in-home healthcare to fire safety to retail sales to IT services to international medical equipment distributors to a guy selling “holy land dirt” from Israel… you get the picture, right?
Truthfully, I can write about anything. It’s a matter of researching your industry, of course, and applying my writing-style / brain to your needs. But my past career was so varied, I have experience across many industries, from direct sales to construction to retail to programming. I can swing a hammer, weld, sell ice to Eskimos, manage several stores, and write program code. This experience serves me well in writing.
I needed this yesterday – can you help?
Well, I’ve given up time traveling, so yesterday is out. How about tomorrow instead?
Ok, really – for rush jobs, it depends on the project, and the day. If it’s something small (like a quick letter or a “can you look this over?”), hey, you might be catching me at a good time (it never hurts to ask.) But for most “normal sized” projects, please understand that I usually have two to three weeks worth of work booked up in advance (and trust me, you don’t want a writer who’s free for a big project tomorrow – there’s a reason they have no work).
The best thing I can tell you is if you want your project done by a certain date, do not wait around – reach out to me and get on my schedule.
I already have something written – can you just touch it up?
Sure! Many times I can take what you already have, add a little “clear-writing magic” to it, and turn it into something that really works for you.
Do I need to pay a deposit? And do you take credit cards?
I collect 50% of the estimated total as a deposit. This is what gets you on my project calendar. For jobs $500 and under, I require pre-payment in full. I take credit cards online, so paying is easy.
What “style” of writing do you do? Professional? Informal? You seem to do a little of both…
Good catch. My style is what I like to call “professionally casual” – it’s clear, it’s engaging, and it works very well. CEO’s love it, and readers love it. I’m professional enough for any company or any business situation, but I write in Plain English, so everyone understands it. I’ve spent a morning writing a Pharmaceutical company’s website, then spent the afternoon writing a letter to the judge asking to keep cousin Jethro out of jail (yet again).
Ok, that was a joke (although I really did do that – it’s just his name wasn’t cousin Jethro).
Regarding my website – can you help me figure out what pages to have and the like?
Yes! In fact, this is something I do really well (I even wrote a book about this). A great website flows well, is logical in scope, and encourages exploration. Tell me about your business, and I’ll help you come up with a proper sitemap (keep in mind I’m not a web designer, though, but I can answer the “what do we say, where do we say it, what order should the pages be in, etc” questions.)
Does Dan do all the writing?
Yes, I’m a one-man shop. You’re hiring me, and me alone.
What if I don’t like what you write? Will you rewrite it?
Don’t like what I write? The horror!! That never happens!
Seriously though, editing and rewriting are sometimes a normal part of the writing process. So I include a free edit in the price if needed.
Well, what I need is very important, and I can see us “developing” the copy through several revisions. Will you do that?
Yes, I will. I actually enjoy doing this. Work like that is billed hourly. In fact, if we develop an ongoing relationship, and I’m making you money, it’s natural for our projects to morph to this style of work.
Someone else said they’ll do my writing cheaper. Will you match their price?
Sorry, but no, I won’t. If you want me, you have to pay my rate (and really, I’m not that expensive). If you just want a lower price, then hire whomever offered it to you.
But wait… if you give me a price break now, there will be lots of work later…
For the life of me, I never understood this come on, which is very popular with amateur entrepreneurs. Look at this logically… a person wants me to do cheap work so I can get…. more cheap work?? Wow, where do I sign up?
How long do you take to do a project?
Most projects take one to three weeks to complete. But some (like a website of hundreds of pages) could take months. And others might take one afternoon.
I like to say your project will be done when we are both happy with it.
Are there any subjects you won’t write about?
Not really. As long as what you want me to write is legal, I’ll probably do it. I don’t allow personal beliefs or agendas (if any) get in the way of my writing. However, I will draw the line at promoting hate or discrimination. This means I won’t be writing the KKK’s Christmas letter anytime soon. Also, I’m not really into writing for obvious “scam” type money-making schemes.
Are there any types of projects you don’t take on?
I typically don’t do formal business plans and government grant writing. I also don’t do resumes and CV’s (although I will write you a nice cover letter.) And sorry kids, but I’m not writing your term paper either.
Who owns the writing you do?
You do (once you pay for it). I may ask if I can use it as a sample.
Do you make websites or do graphic design?
No, I do not offer these services. But I know people who do, and will happily refer them.
That said, I do format my writing – this means all subheadings and bullet points are where I want them, and if I’m doing a brochure / website / etc, I do lay it out in MS Word, as it helps me write. But that’s a bonus – I don’t get involved in “move the picture over a little, etc” – I’m just not good enough at graphic design to offer it as a paid service. My real skill is words.
What hours do you work?
Generally Monday – Friday, normal business hours (US Eastern time.) But I’m an entrepreneur… that means I’m really never off. While I may not answer the phone on a Saturday, there’s a chance I will answer your e-mail. And there’s a chance I won’t (in other words, if I do it’s a bonus, but don’t count on it.)
Do you work for marketing agencies and/or web designers?
I sure do. I give you folks who are “reselling” my work a discount, too!
This FAQ is awesome – can you make me one?
I think almost every sales or service website needs a FAQ. And I make great ones. Yes, I can definitely do this for you, too.
I want to hire you full time – would you consider giving this up and joining our company?
This has been discussed a few times, so it warrants an answer here.
The answer is “well, it depends”.
I say that because I like working for myself, and I like what I do. That said, it would be nice to be a part of something bigger than myself. So if an interesting, well-compensated position came along, I could be interested (I never say “no” to anything before hearing details.) Here are the basics from my end:
- In terms of salary and benefits, I want to be paid and treated like one of your top people.
- I would work out of my home 95% of the time. I would be willing to travel to you, as face-to-face time is important. If you are close by (2-3 hours), I could drive to you once a month for a day or three. If I have to fly, twice yearly for a week works.
- Diversity in work. Of course, I’d likely be doing/overseeing some kind of writing and marketing, but you’d be smart to have me involved with some strategic planning / sales / customer service / etc (I’m a very good retail and sales guy as well). When I travel for the above-mentioned face time, I can brainstorm with various departments, give a talk, visit retail locations, help develop and lead workshops, etc. I’m really good at a lot of different things, and I have no apple-cart-upsetting ego. Hey, I want to help.
There, I answered the question. 🙂