Frequently Asked Questions
Is that you on the homepage—the guy with the colander-antenna hat?
No. Here is a recent photo of me. I do appreciate Colander Man’s sense of style, however, and his dedication to finding the right words by any means necessary.
Is “copywrite” the same as “copyright”?
No. A copywriter writes words (a.k.a. copy) for ads, websites, catalogs, manuals, emails, product packaging, videos, you name it. A copyright, denoted by the © symbol, concerns who has legal rights to use and distribute a work (usually it’s the creator of that work).
So, who owns the copyright to what you copywrite for me?
You do. Once I write the content, and you approve and pay for it, it’s yours to use any way you like. The only place I display it is in my online portfolio, unless you request otherwise.
How do I start a project with you?
It’s simple—just get in touch. I’ll ask a few questions to get an idea of type and scope of copy, as well as your industry. Then I’ll give you a range (low, average, high) of what I charge for similar projects.
When do I get a more precise quote?
If my price range is compatible with your budget and goals, I’ll email you a copy brief to fill out. Once I have your completed brief, I’ll send you a firm written quote for your project.
What’s a “copy brief”?
A questionnaire that helps you think through key points—such as length; tone of voice; primary call to action; target audience; how often and where copy will appear (e.g., print, digital, blog post, packaging, etc.); brand personality; and more. Your answers help me to produce the most effective copy possible. If I have follow-up questions, I may request a phone call for clarification.
Do I really need to fill this out?
Yes. To produce successful copy, it’s essential to ask (and answer) these questions. And look at it this way—even if you decide to hire someone else, you’ll have a completed brief ready to hand them.
Is there a deposit?
Yes—50%. If you accept my written quote, I’ll send a work order listing the pieces you’re contracting me to write, when they’ll be delivered to you, the agreed price for the work, and terms of payment. Once you sign and return the work order with your deposit, I can get to work on your copy.
How do I pay you?
With a check, or by wire transfer. I do not currently accept PayPal.
Why do you bill by the project (and not by the hour)?
I’ve found it’s to everyone’s advantage when I bill by the project. You know exactly what you’re going to pay—and if it takes me longer than I estimate, you don’t get penalized. It’s also a good reason for me to work as efficiently as possible on your copy.
Note, however, that if the scope of your project changes from what’s listed in the work order, then we’ll have a conversation to determine whether the extra work is covered by your budget.
Do you ever bill by the hour?
Occasionally—for projects that lack a defined scope, and for ongoing consulting work.
Any other info you need before starting?
Yes. I’ll ask that you send me any and all materials that might provide context—past and current marketing brochures, packaging artwork, internal documents, product specs, links to existing web copy . . . everything. There’s a wealth of relevant info in these pieces. And it’s this kind of research that’s at the heart of successful copywriting, even if it remains invisible in the finished product.
What’s your professional background?
It’s varied—general manager, coffee roastmaster, ESL instructor, translator, marketing director, SEO consultant, in-house copywriter, and freelance copywriter. The thread that connects them is a love of language and a rock-solid grasp of how business works (and how customers think). As for the coffee roasting . . . I just love coffee.
Can you write for my sector or industry?
As a copywriter, I get to learn something new every day (one of the reasons I love my job). Below is a list of sectors and markets I have experience working in. If you don’t see your industry in that list, rest assured that I can still write powerful, persuasive copy for you. It may require a bit more ramping-up on subject knowledge—but not as much as you’d think.
sectors I’ve worked in:
- Specialty foods (chocolate, coffee, etc.)
- Ecommerce, mail order
- Energy efficiency and renewables
- Higher and secondary education
- Foreign language immersion
- Entrepreneurial, small-to-medium business
- Restaurant industry
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Business-to-business (B2B) market
- Business-to-consumer (B2C) market
What kind of copy do you write?
The following is a list of services I offer:
- Product descriptions (web, print)
- Catalogs (cover to cover)
- Headlines, subheads
- Executive-level communications
- Category-level web copy
- Homepage banners
- “About Us” pages
- Landing pages
- Informational pages, how-to guides
- Technical writing (guides, instructions)
- Email copy (subject lines, pre-header, body copy)
- Blog posts (from scratch)
- Edit/rewrite your blog posts
- Proposals, RFPs
- Packaging, in-store retail displays
- Product naming
- Taglines, USPs, branding
- Public relations
- Direct mail (brochures, mailers, sales letters)
- SEO metadata: title tags, descriptions, H1 tags
- SEO audit of website health
- Display, banner ads
- Microcopy (lead forms, online carts, etc.)
- Résumés and cover letters
- Press releases
- Video voice scripts
The above is not a complete list. If you’d like to find out if I write the specific type of copy you’re looking for—just ask me.