As a copywriter I’m always asked how much do I charge per word.
I won’t go into the answer here but I generally have to explain that it depends on if you want good copy or not (and look elsewhere if you don’t).
Realistically, paying per word will buy you poor copy.
Small is beautiful and people want your information in as few words as possible. Nothing non-essential should take up a potential customer’s time or cognition. It’s like asking a surgeon to add a few bits while he’s in there.
Whether it’s a a print headline, blog post or product brochure – less is more.
I’m reminded of an anecdote about a guy who needed a tooth removed. Let’s call him Rodney.
Rodney: “€200!, it only took you ten minutes”
Dentist who has perfected his trade, been to college for nine years: “next time I can do it more slowly if you like?”
Maybe 10% of my job is writing words. 20 – 30% is research and the rest is editing. That’s right, shortening the word count as much as possible while increasing its comprehension. Sometimes a concept doesn’t even need words, just like Band Aid and Bosch below.
People are busy, get to the point
With that in mind, let’s imagine the copywriters who came up with these master pieces were paid by the word:
Perhaps my all time favorite example of great copy. Simple and powerful. Perfect.
Very cheeky, right on the edge. Attitude is everything for Porsche.
Simple, dramatic – brilliant. both parents and kids love this one
The power of Bosch
Great ad, shows the company USP very well. Hulk actually hurt his finger trying to do this (see image above).
I can’t get enough of this dumb ad
If anybody can add to this list I’d love to hear about it below.
Thank you for reading.
image from free images