Wow, You’re a Copywriter…. What is it You Do Again?

When someone asks me what I do, I usually tell them that I’m a freelance writer. After all, that’s what I am. If I say I’m a copywriter, I’m always asked later in the conversation what it is that I actually do. So I thought I’d write this post to explain in a little more detail what it is that freelance copywriters do for their clients.

Are you a business content writer or a copywriter?

Most people think of freelance copywriters as writers who provide sales copy, whereas business content writer is a term used for those writers that provide copy to inform. On the other hand, most people think of a writer as being someone who writes novels or poems. Then there are journalists, who write for newspapers and magazines. Can you see where the confusion begins and doesn’t end?

So in answer to the question, “Am I a business content writer or a copywriter?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

I provide content (for organisations around the world) for a variety of business needs. This includes informational content and sales copy. I’ve also written business books, novels, short stories, whitepapers, etc.

As a freelance business content writer, what do you do?

As strange as it may seem, the actual writing of business content is often the least time consuming element of the writing process. There is plenty of work to do before a blog or article or eBook is even started, and this extra work continues as the piece is being written and before it is delivered to the client. Think of what it takes to produce a well-informed, informative, and inspiring piece of written content and you’ll cover:

  • Research
  • Project management
  • Editing
  • Proofreading

as a minimum. There may also be interviews to conduct and images to source. It could be that there will be graphs, charts, and tables to build from researched data. A piece may have to be formatted for a particular publication channel, too.

As a business content writer, I pride myself on the quality of the written content I provide for my clients. Without doing all the donkey work, the behind-the-scenes stuff that the reader never sees, I’d be failing my clients and my reputation. And that will never happen.

Is hiring a business content writer value for money?

Here’s an exercise for you to try:

Sit down and write a 500 word piece about a subject in which you’re an expert. Make sure you include a keyword or two, and use them naturally throughout (so that they don’t stand out like a sore thumb). Put in heads and subheads. Try to include a bullet point list (like the one above). Oh, and if it’s possible, look for research to an external source that’s reliable. And link back to a relevant piece of content on your website, too.  Ensure that you’ve used every SEO technique possible. Once you’ve done all this, go through the piece and make sure there are no spelling errors, typos, or a single grammatical faux-pas.

  • Now, how long did that one blog post take to write?
  • And how good is it? Let’s say that took you two hours to do. How much could you have earned in those two hours?
  • Maybe writing that blog post prevented you from attending a client meeting, or hitting the phones and booking half-a-dozen meetings. How much would you have earned by meeting with that client, instead of writing that blog? (click to tweet)

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a much better idea of how to assess the value for money that freelance writing rates per word provide.

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