Frequently Asked Questions

Susan Pic-1

Why should I hire a freelance copywriter like you instead of a digital marketing firm or ad agency?

I have nothing against marketing firms and ad agencies. In fact, those types of businesses are some of my best clients.

However, if the project you’re doing is copy-driven (i.e. a website, brochure, landing page or press release) you’ll probably save a lot by coming directly to me.

Typically, agencies have higher overhead than I do, and it’s reflected in their rates. Plus, most agencies don’t have in-house copywriters. Instead, they either ask their clients to provide their own copy or they farm it out to a specialist like me (adding a little something for themselves to my rates).

Assuming I’ve decided to go the freelance route, why should I hire you vs. another copywriter?

I have over 25 years of professional writing experience, a BS degree in journalism from Syracuse University and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

I bring not only expert copywriting skills to the table, but also marketing acumen and business know-how. I’ve written for hundreds of companies and helped them get results. I can do the same for you.

What copywriting services do you provide?

I write all types of copy.  You can learn more about my specific copywriting services here.

Who are most of your current clients?

My copywriting clients fall into two main categories. The first is marketing firms, ad agencies and web site designers. These folks typically subcontract the copywriting work for their clients to me.

The second group is companies for which I work directly. These companies are extremely diverse. They range from professional service firms like accountants and real estate brokers, to manufacturers and high tech firms, to e-commerce and membership businesses.

How much do you charge for your copywriting services?

I quote each writing project individually because every project is different. I try to assess the complexity of a project and the level of expertise required.

My rates are competitive. As a freelance writer, I work out of my home, so my overhead is minimal, and that’s reflected in my prices.

What is your hourly rate for writing copy?

I get this question all the time, so let me explain my philosophy on pricing.  While I factor in the number of hours I’ll need to complete your writing project, I don’t charge for my copywriting services by the hour. There’s a reason for that.

The amount of time it takes me to write your copy is irrelevant. What is important to you is results. Right?

If you pay an exceptionally low rate for your copy but the copy doesn’t generate leads or sales for you, you’ve wasted your money. Wouldn’t you prefer to have paid a little more for copy that does the job and gives you a solid ROI?

The reason you hire a copywriter like me is not to save money. You’re paying me for the 20+ years of copywriting and marketing experience I have that ensures you’ll get high quality, professional copy that achieves your objectives. I base my fees on the value I provide, not time.

In the long run, good copy doesn’t cost you money; it makes you money by effectively selling your products or services.

Will you give me a quote before the work begins?

Of course.  I recognize that budgets are tight and no one hands over a blank check to a service provider.

We’ll talk.  I’ll get an understanding of your copywriting project. Then I’ll give you a firm quote and a timeline before work begins.

My clients, without exception, feel they get excellent value for their money. In addition to great copy and first-rate service, they receive the benefits of my marketing expertise and business know-how.

What are your terms?

I require a 50% deposit up front for most copywriting projects. The balance is due upon project completion. After we’ve completed our first few projects together, we can discuss credit terms.

What types of payment do you accept?

I accept company checks or electronic payments through PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can still pay through PayPal using a Visa or MasterCard credit card. I can send you a link that makes the process super easy. Please be aware that PayPal charges a fee of approximately 3%.

If you are based outside the U.S., I cannot accept a check. Payment must be made through PayPal. Prices are determined in dollars and then converted through PayPal into your country’s currency. Please be aware that PayPal charges an international money transfer fee, which is based on your country of origin.

I can also accept wire transfers from your bank to mine, whether your bank is within the U.S. or outside the U.S.  Please ask for details on the bank fees and process.

Are you a B2B copywriter or a B2C copywriter?

I’m both. Over the many years I’ve been in business, I’ve had clients and projects that fell into both categories. That’s not to say that I accept every project. When we talk, I’ll ask you questions about your business. If I’m not a fit, I’ll tell you up front.

How would you describe your writing style?

I strive to be conversational.  I write as though I were speaking directly with the reader.  Of course, different projects require difference voices, so I adjust my tone and vocabulary to the situation.

What makes you unique as a copywriter?

Other than my education (BS in journalism from Syracuse University, MBA in business from Southern New Hampshire University) and professional experience (20+ years as a full-time copywriter), I care about my clients and their success. I get wholly invested in every project I do.

I look at the big picture but also pay attention to details. I think strategically but with a creative flair. And I employ my business experience, garnered from working with hundreds of businesses over the years, to guide your marketing in the right direction.

When we begin working together, you’ll find I ask lots of questions. More importantly, I listen to your answers. I want to understand your business model. I get up to speed quickly and deliver marketing insights that go well beyond writing a few pages of copy.

I’m looking for a copywriter long-term, someone I can give on-going work. Do you take on accounts?

Yes, I do.  Many of my clients have been with me for years; some for decades! They like that when they need any copywriting done — whether for a website, brochure, press release or product label — they don’t have to invest time bringing me up to speed on their products or services.

The process is completely hassle-free. They just contact me with their writing assignment, and with minimal direction, I get the job done right.

What is the typical process for having you write say a brochure or website for my firm?

I’ll usually want to speak with you by phone. I’ll ask you a lot of questions related to your marketing objectives, your prospects, your customers and your competition.

I’ll obtain from you as much information as possible (written or verbal) to use in preparing your copy. I’ll then produce a first draft and await your feedback, then make revisions as needed. Only when you’re 100% satisfied with every single word do I consider the job done.

Do you meet with your copywriting clients?

Back when I started out as a freelance copywriter, I met with all of my clients, and in fact, even had regular standing meetings with many of them to maintain the continuity of their marketing program. That all changed when the Internet came along.

Most of my clients now are not local to Orlando, Florida, where I live.  They come from other states and other countries, having found me through a Google search for copywriters.

We don’t meet in person.  We communicate via phone, email, Skype or Google Hangout.  Yes, I miss some of the personal relationships I used to have with my clients.  However, those meetings, when combined with travel time, often ate up half a day or more.

Now I can be far more efficient.  I get more work done quickly and cost effectively, which my clients appreciate.

Additionally, from my perspective, I love having the ability to expand the reach of my business beyond my local area.  I’ve been able to work with all different kinds of companies from countries all over the globe.  I love the diversity.  It has made my work more interesting and exciting. And, I believe my clients who are outside of my immediate area like that they were able to find someone with my skill set and can work with me even though we’re too far to meet in person.

Will I have to sign a contract?

Yes. After we’ve discussed the parameters of your copywriting project, I’ll put together an agreement that summarizes the details including the price. The agreement is a good way for us both to ensure that we have the same expectations.

What comes first, design or copy?

This question comes up a lot, and there’s no right or wrong answer. If you already have a design or layout, I’ll work with it, making sure my copy complements and enhances it.

If you don’t have a design, I’ll draft copy and give recommendations for a layout. The bottom line is, whatever your situation, I’ll make it work so that the end result is a marketing piece you’re proud of.

In what form will you submit your copy?

I’ll provide the copy to you in MS Word sent via email.  If it needs to be placed into a brochure, onto a product label, or into a website, your designer/developer will handle that function.

What happens if I don’t like the first draft of copy?

Usually I come pretty close to hitting the nail on the head, but if that’s not the case, it’s a problem easily solved. In fact, that’s really the purpose of writing a first draft. It helps me to clarify exactly what you do want. That first draft then becomes a starting point for me to get your feedback and write a second draft that’s more on target.

Some copywriting projects evolve.  They start as one thing and then grow in scope.  How do you handle this?

I provide a quote on the project based upon the parameters we discuss.  If during the production process the parameters change or the scope grows, then I’ll talk with you about adjusting the budget accordingly. I’m fair and expect that you will be too.

Does copy really matter all that much?  Don’t most people just look at pictures and headlines?

While pictures and the overall look of your marketing materials (website, brochure, ad, etc.) are important, they’re ineffective when they lack copy.

You must provide the information prospects, customers and others need to make their purchasing decision. If you don’t, your competitors will, and they’ll get the sale.

What kind of copywriting work do you like best?

Websites. I enjoy sinking my teeth into a massive amount of information and organizing it to be meaningful and effective.

Also, I truly believe in the value of the Internet as a marketing tool. I’ve spent the last 15-plus years studying the Internet and learning what gets results. Good copy is absolutely vital for getting placement on search engines and for converting prospects into customers.

I need copy that improves my site’s ranking on Google. Do you understand search engine optimization (SEO)?

Yes, I’ve been writing SEO copy for 15+ years. My own websites, as well as those of many of my clients, rank on page 1 of Google in large part because of their written content.

I can assist you with keyword research. Or you can provide the keywords you wish to target, and I’ll produce quality copy that cleverly incorporates them.

In addition to page content, I can also write your title tags and meta-description tags, since they’re important elements of search engine optimization.

Will you be able to write about my business if you don’t have any direct experience in my field?

Yes. I’ll need to take some time to become familiar with the particulars of your business, its jargon, and your industry at large, but I don’t see that as a formidable task.

I enjoy doing research and will quickly get up to speed. More importantly, regardless of the business you’re in, the same basic marketing principles apply. It’s just a matter of adapting them to your particular situation.

I should add, too, that having been a full-time, freelance copywriter for more than 20 years, my experience is broad. There’s a good chance I’ve written for a company in or related to your industry and can hit the ground running when we get started on your project.

Can you write an About Us page for my website?

Oddly enough, I am frequently asked to write About Us website pages, more so than any other type of page. My guess is that many people have trouble writing about themselves. They struggle with how much to tell. They know this is the page where they should toot their own horn, but they don’t want to come across as bragging.

I enjoy writing About Us pages. However, as I’m sure you can understand, I’ll need to start by interviewing you or someone knowledgeable in your company.

Usually, with a 30-60 minute phone interview, I’ll be able to glean enough information to put together a draft for your review. I offer more information about my approach to writing About Us pages here, if you’re interested.

What if I already have a rough draft and I just need help with copy editing?

No problem. Let me take a look at what you have. I’ll give you recommendations for improvement and a quote for me to do the copy editing. If the copy really doesn’t need improvement, I’ll tell you for free.

Can I see some examples of your copywriting work?

Sure!  Just check out my copywriting portfolio here.

Do you have any references?

You can read testimonials from my clients here.  You can read reference letters from my clients here. If you want to speak to any of my current copywriting clients, feel free to ask, and I’ll provide you with their contact information.

I know your specialty is copywriting, but what if I also need help with other marketing services such as website design, brochure design and video production?

I frequently interact with other professionals in marketing-related areas. Often I can recommend you to a quality vendor. And, if necessary, I can coordinate with that vendor if a project involves combining copy with other media.

I’m curious, how do you get most of your copywriting clients?

My clients come from a variety of sources:

  • Referrals from existing clients
  • Referrals from other professionals (i.e. web designers, graphic designers, programmers, etc.)
  • Clients who search Google and find my copywriting website
  • Sub-contract work from marketing agencies, web designers and ad agencies for their client projects

It sounds like you’re extremely busy.  Do you take on all copywriting projects?

No.  Between my existing clientele and sub-contract work, I stay relatively busy.  I fill any downtime with new clients who find me via a Google search.

However, I get far more new business requests than I can handle.  To give you an example, today is February 26, and I’ve already had over 40 new business inquiries this month.  (Yes, I track them.)

I accept the projects for which I’m a fit and have time.  For the others, I offer to refer the clients to trusted colleagues who I know have the skills and experience to provide the same caliber of work that I would.

If you agree to take on my project, how soon can we get started?

That’s a loaded question. I usually have a queue of copywriting projects lined up. However, I do my best to give fast turnarounds.

If your project has a tight deadline, please let me know up front. I’ll tell you right away if I can accommodate your schedule.

Even if you’re not in a rush but would just like your project completed as soon as possible, I’ll give you a completion date so you know what to expect before we get started.

How long are turnaround times?

My clients are usually impressed with how efficiently things get done. The turnaround will depend on the size and complexity of your work.

As I said previously, once we clarify the parameters of your project, I’ll give you a firm completion date. If you have a deadline to meet, please let me know up front, and I’ll do everything I can to accommodate you.

What if I live in another state (not Florida like you) or country? Can we still work together?

Absolutely. While I do have many clients based in Florida, and specifically my home city of Orlando, I also work with companies from other states and other countries.

In fact, within the past few years I’ve completed copywriting projects for clients in Canada, England, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Malta, Dubai UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We work by phone, email, Skype or Google Hangout. The process moves along smoothly, as if we were both in the same city.

You mentioned your international clientele above. Why would a foreign company hire an American copywriter?

Many companies today sell their products or services outside their immediate geographic area. If their target market is the United States, England, Australia or some country that uses English as a first or second language, then they’ll want to build a website in English.

American English is widely accepted and understood. An American copywriter also understands all the literary and cultural nuances of the U.S. and can write copy that resonates with fellow Americans. Someone who has learned English as a second language or was not born and raised in the U.S. may not have mastered those elements.  You can learn more about the benefits of hiring a U.S. copywriter here.

Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement?  How about a non-compete agreement?

Yes.  You can provide those documents and I will sign them.  However, you should also know that I’m an extremely moral person with a strong code of ethics.  That’s how I roll.

I would never intentionally do anything that could harm a client’s business or compromise a client’s trust in me.  For all the years I’ve been in business, I’ve never been sued or even threatened with a lawsuit by any of my clients.

Do you ever provide copywriting services to clients who are competitors?

As previously mentioned, I’m an ethical person.  I’m also extremely loyal to my clients.  I would never do anything that could harm them or their business, and that would include working for a direct competitor of theirs.

If a competitor of an existing client calls me or if I sense taking on a new client could be a conflict of interest, I refer the new client to another freelance copywriter.  And yes, that has happened a number of times.

If I hire you to write copy for me, who owns that copy?

Everything I do is a custom job. You own the copyright on any copy that you’ve hired me to write for you. I’ll never give it to anyone else. And you can use it any way that you’d like.

In fact, my clients will frequently leverage their investment in professional copy by re-purposing it in a variety of materials.

For example, you may be able to take content I’ve written for your website and incorporate it into a sales letter. I want you to derive as much benefit as you can from the content I produce for you.

If I decide to work with you for copywriting, what should I do for the design aspects of my project?

I’ve worked in the marketing industry for a long time and have connections to many other professionals. If you hire me to write your website, for example, I can connect you to a talented web designer and developer (programmer).

If I’m working with you on the copy for your brochure, I can bring in a graphic designer for the layout and production work.

The professionals I recommend are folks I’ve worked with many times in the past. I have complete faith in their abilities and their dedication to producing only quality work. I can also assure you that these professionals will go out of their way to make sure you are 100% satisfied if they know you are my client.

You sound like a good fit for my copywriting project. What’s the next step?

Let’s start a dialog. Either email me about your project or call. Together we’ll figure out the best approach. You don’t need to commit to work with me until I’ve put together a proposal with prices and a timeline.

Back to Top