Friday, 19 June 2015

Why You Should NEVER Hire a Cheap Copywriter

Lately, I've been seeing a disturbing trend... people are raving about the "cheap" copywriter they have who does "awesome work"... then crying a few days later because the letter turned out crap.

To these people, I have one question... are you really that surprised?

As copywriters, our job is to make sure that whatever product we're selling has a huge perceived value. It increases sales.

If your copywriter is writing letters for $100, it's for one reason... they are unable to sell themselves. And if they can't sell themselves... what makes you think they'll do any better with your product?

Now, I'll admit, there is OCCASIONALLY a decent cheap copywriter. But I'd be surprised if they did more than, say, five letters until they hit the 4-figure mark (at least).

For those of you not "in the know"... here's why we copywriters charge so much...

For a start, it takes years of practise to hone your skills to a point where you can write good copy. And that's years of consistent, hard work... studying textbooks, analyzing other people's letters, writing your own letters... again and again and again... until you can consistently write letters that make sales.

Plus, a letter isn't a one-day job. Writing a letter involves researching a market, analyzing the competition, constructing a USP, learning the product/service inside out, and "laying out" the letter... and all this happens before you even start writing the damn thing.

Let me tell you, writing copy is intense. It's a slow, sometimes painful process that really exhausts you mentally... and it takes a LOT of time. Hell, even just writing a headline can take me hours. Sure, it'll end up being a killer headline... but it takes a long time.

Then after you write the letter you have to keep going back over it, fine-tuning and polishing it until you have cut out every unnecessary word... conveyed the perfect balance of reason and emotion... and basically crafted a finely-honed sales machine.

Plus, there are way more business owners than there are GOOD copywriters. There's a reason guys like Vin Montello or Ray Edwards charge five figures a letter... because they make their clients that many, many times over with their killer letters.

No one ever complains that their doctor charges too much. After all, he's been to medical school for years and you NEED a good doc... not just any old hack.

Copywriting is the same.

Time and time again I see people put up cheap copy that looks (to the untrained eye) as though it's well written... but upon close inspection the holes start to appear. The headline's too long and wordy. The copywriter hasn't hit the key emotions of the target market. There are crucial components of the sales copy left out... etc etc.

And it's no surprise, really. If you write a letter for $100, you can spend a maximum of five, maybe six hours on that letter... and that number includes the time you spend doing the quote and soliciting the client.

The average letter takes the average good copywriter about 40 hours. Some letters are more, some are less, and it always "depends", but 40 hours is a realistic figure.

If you worked for 40 hours for $100... you'd be looking at $2.50 an hour.

You would quit and go to Macca's where you'd earn three times that at minimum wage.

This is why hiring a "cheap" copywriter is a bad idea... because they don't have the skills to do your product justice... and even if they did, they don't have the time to spend on a letter because they have to do a crazy amount of letters just to pay the bills.

Is it possible you find a great writer for cheap, who is writing his first letter? Maybe, but it's about as probable as winning the lottery. If you like to gamble, go for it... but I don't screw around when it comes to my business.

And to those of you who think I'm doing this as some kind of "copywriting conspiracy" so we can keep our prices "high"... think again.

I charge $3 000 for a letter right now. Most people don't have that kind of cash, and 99.99% of the time people who hire $100 writers don't have $3 000 (and I'm on the low side for a good copywriter).

I'm simply making this post so a few less people get burned.

Most of you will read it and never listen to it... but I hope this helps at least a few people understand WHY good copy is so expensive... and why it kind of has to be.

Kind regards,


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