There are many ways to apparently save money on your copywriting. One of them is using the high volume ‘stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ philosophy freelance storefront sites. Is it actually worth it though?
5 thoughts about using a ‘freelance’ site.
If you have considered outsourcing your copywriting, you have probably wondered if it is worth using one of the freelance sites that appear to offer writing services at a very low cost. If you run a business then of course your bottom line cost is important they can seem a viable option to save a few quid.
Are they though?
I was chatting with a client on Zoom the other day when out of the blue they asked me a rather interesting question. They asked if I knew why they came to Your-Copywriter rather than going to one of the sites that offer copywriting at a slightly lower cost? We had been in the middle of a discussion about potential titles for a 3-part series of linked blog articles at the time and the question seemed completely unrelated. Curious, I admitted I didn’t and asked why? She explained that they had tried a well know freelance site in the past and in doing so they realised something important. Apparently, when the Directors held their initial discussion around copy it was all about the ‘cheapest option’ and they recognised quickly that this wasn’t really what they should have looked at it. She leaned conspiratorially into the camera and said:
“The question shouldn’t be ‘what is the cheapest option?’. There is always a cheaper option. The question we should have asked was ‘can I afford the cheaper option?’, it’s an important difference”.
Should you use a low-cost freelance site?
It occurred to me after the call that several of our clients have also come to us after using similar services, Let me share some of their experiences.
- Is it actually cheaper?
Yes… sort of, well, maybe, but maybe not. It is cheaper assuming nothing goes wrong and the copy is right the first time. If not you need to factor in the cost of re-writes. This will mean you sending details of what needs changing or, as often happens, doing it yourself out of frustration. In short, you can end up paying for doing most of the work.
- Is it consistent?
Is the output you get consistently in ‘your voice’ and to the same standard every time? This is really important because your copy carries your brand. Voice and consistent style are time-consuming and tricky to get right. Is a random writer found on a website that supplies the cheapest possible option really going to do this for the price they are charging?
- Is the work any good?
One of the most common reasons people come to us from other providers isn’t that the copy is ‘bad’ as such. It is usually perfectly serviceable. Is ‘serviceable’ a word you want to be associated with your brand though?
- The lower the cost, the more you need to produce so the less you can focus on good copy.
Knowing when to say ‘no’ is as much a part of providing a good service as saying yes. Under the pressure to make a living from a really low income, writers for these sites are pushed to say ‘yes’ to everything. That can lead to template approaches, stilted writing and sloppy creativity. The ‘word count’ becomes your muse not the need for a good read. I understand that, I get it, I see why it happens, but it isn’t good for the client. It certainly isn’t good for the talented writer who is selling their services cheap. Astronaut John Glenn, once famously put this into context when he said “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder”.
As an aside, if you know any freelance writers who are trying to scrape a living from these sites tell them to contact us. We will consider adding them to our freelancer lists. They will probably earn more and even better have the freedom to write things they want to write.
- What is the cost of experience?
All our output passes through the hands of an experienced copywriter. The lack of experience that is potentially in the mix with low-value sites can lead to, well, all the above 4 issues. Not that we only let very experienced writers work for us here at Your-Copywriter, the opposite is true, one of our aims is to give new writers a forum that pays a reasonable amount for their services. However, experienced writers are always involved and nothing leaves here without being seen, reviewed (and edited if needed) by someone with years of writing under their belt.
In defence of freelance sites.
They have their place. If you are looking to just fill a page at the cheapest possible cost, or all you are looking for is a one-off and you don’t mind the potential pitfalls, then they are a good option. In fact, to be quite honest (and a little smug, maybe) the vast majority of our clients are repeat customers, so really these sites are not competition for us because they are targeting the one-shot order.
In the end, we all have our place and our target customers and so do they. In the same way that there is a range of quality and price choices in any market, you have options for copywriting.
Drop us a line to discuss your needs and how is this for an offer? if we think you are better off spending a fiver or so with another provider, we will tell you.