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The price: what you pay a professional copywriter
The cost: the damage to your business if you don’t

As copywriters, we use an external proofreader to check all the writing we do for our clients.  This isn’t because we don’t know how to spell, or don’t understand grammar, it’s about maintaining professional standards and attention to detail.

When we run our Masterclass sessions or in our work with student writers, we stress how hard it is to proof your own writing.  You only see what you THINK you’ve written and it’s easy for mistakes to creep in.  It only takes a slip of the fingers or a misplaced apostrophe to create a mistake.

A post on the BBC website yesterday said poor spelling can have a significant impact on business, and is costing millions in lost sales.  The fact is – poor copywriting in general will cost you sales.

Unfortunately, few people realise the very tangible benefits of having professionally written copy.  There is a considerable difference between just being able to write and good copywriting.

Last year a new client was concerned about the performance of their website.  Despite paying for SEO services, it didn’t appear on any searches, even in their local area, and wasn’t bringing them any business.  We reviewed the site and it was obvious the problem was in the copy.  It was poorly written, didn’t provide a good visitor experience, and wasn’t optimised.  Less than two weeks after rewriting the copy, the site had shot to the top of Google and was generating business.  That’s the difference between being able to write and good copywriting!

While we use our wonderful proofreaderto check our clients’ copy, we don’t always send our own in-house copy to be checked.  That’s something we’re about to change.  Yesterday we found a glaring typo in the first line of our WORD-right newsletter!  No excuses – we both checked it more than once, but it still slipped through the net.  And that is, quite simply, unacceptable and it certainly won’t happen again.

We frequently see inaccurate copy which has been written by professional writers.  Because we know our copywriting service will increase your sales, we don’t take any chances.

Now we’re going to make sure we do the same for ourselves.  So it’s time to wind up this post and send it off to our proofreader!

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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Having recently celebrated WORD-right’s 5th birthday, we’ve spent some time thinking about the last five years.

Like many people who venture into life as a full-time copywriters, I had several illusions which were quickly shattered.  My plan was to work like mad through the winter months.  In the summer I would work part-time … sitting outside with a long cool drink and a laptop, creating compelling copy in the sunshine.  The reality check started on 4th July 2006!

Real life copywriting

A copywriter’s life is fascinating, sometimes stressful, but never dull.  Because we work from home, we are seldom off duty and frequently speak to and see clients in the evening, as well as during the day.  Deadlines must be met and we often burn the midnight oil to complete a rush job.

The past five years have been a roller-coaster ride.  We moved from Sussex to Chipping Norton, with a two month stay in Portsmouth in-between.  Not many businesses can boast launching in three different counties in their first nine months!

Mine of information

In my opinion, a copywriter must have a thirst for knowledge.  This is an essential attribute if you are going to become a freelance writer.  Some of our more ‘eclectic’ copywriting subjects have included Santa’s Grottos and Christian Healing!

We were fascinated to learn how Pringles tubes were made.  Writing about alpaca breeding provided a firm footing for a dog breeder’s website.  I’m now almost an authority on beauty treatments thanks to Serenity at Sibford, and The Cutting Edge in Banbury is educating us in the art of hairdressing.  And have you any idea how many different types of hairdressing scissors you can buy?  We didn’t before we met the Scissor Man!

The delights of freelance copywriting

Apart from satisfying our desire for knowledge, our greatest pleasure has come from working with a host of amazing people.  We tend to work with our clients on an ongoing basis, several of whom have been with us since 2006.  Each business is unique and the people working in these businesses are hard-working and inspirational.

As well as clients, we work alongside other professionals who help us deliver our service.  A special thank you must go to our pernickety proof-reader who has been making sure our every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed for the past two years.  In our opinion, every copywriter needs a Proof Fairy!
So you want to be a copywriter?  Recommendations …

We are frequently contacted by would-be copywriters looking for advice.  If this is you, here are some of our recommendations:

  • Be prepared to work long, often unsociable hours – the job isn’t over until the deadline’s met
  • Give your clients 150% and then some more – remember who pays your wages
  • Learn your craft, never stop learning and pay attention to detail
  • Keep up-to-speed with everything going on – technology doesn’t stand still and nor should you
  • Don’t forget your work-life balance – copywriters need days off too!

Finally … if you dream of sitting in the sun writing, invest in a large garden umbrella … or you won’t be able to see the screen on your laptop!

What the future holds for WORD-right

WORD-right’s services have evolved over the past five years.  We added WEB-right, our small business website package, to the mix in 2009.  In 2011, we launched our Copywriting Masterclasses.  This year we have also gone ‘International’, working for an interesting combination of overseas companies.

Because we are passionate about the power of the written word, we want to help encourage more talented writers make a career in copywriting.  That project is already in the pipeline.

And of course, most importantly, we will be continuing to work with our client companies.  Thank you to them all.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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