Have you become the copywriting grinch of Christmas?


If you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this for a couple of years now, you may be one of the unfortunate ones to find have found themselves caught on the carousel of copywriting misery — the bidding site. Yes, you started out with good intentions, you’d only stay awhile, just using it to get experience before moving on to better things and pastures new — but you’re still there.

Get me off this carousel….I feel sick!

Yes, there you are, bidding against the usual crowd, trying to up your fees, only to be told you’re too expensive, or sometimes you won’t even get a response, and expensive usually means less than £50 for several pages of webcopy with in-depth research needed, or in some cases a tenner for a blog. And yes, that can happen off bidding sites too, but at least you won’t have sold your soul for a £20 blog on letting agents. Or lost any remnants of respect after flogging yourself to death over a long form article on reducing stress levels on grass cutting (which has then increased your stress levels due to living on a pittance).

Yes, thanks ‘Frank,’ I’ll be in touch….huh?!?!

Sometimes, they’ll get your name wrong, sometimes they’ll not bother giving you a brief even, and you then have to polish that crystal ball from the bottom drawer and guess what it is they need, hoping they’ll pay you without quibbling at the end of it.

What was it you said you wanted again?

What was it you said you wanted again?

If you stay too long, you’ll turn into someone you don’t like. You’ll have started out nice enough, full of good intentions, until you end up turning into something completely different, someone you don’t know, a freelancer jobber, who works, gets paid, works get paid, works and then burns out.

Copywriting is about value, getting to know your clients, creating work you’re proud of…

I’ve spent time a lot of time of late talking about value, being nice, getting to know clients, and it’s reminded me of why I became a copywriter, doing the kind of work I enjoy. Where I’m in a place I don’t resent, where I take pleasure in creating beautiful content that’s as pleasing to read as it is to write. Something that’s an attractive, profitable, marketing option to the client, and still entertaining for the prospects to read.

Don’t let yourself be turned into a grinch….

When you spend too much time on bidding sites, you become the grinch of copywriting, the one who’s only in it for the money, the one who’s lost the will to do it anymore. It grinds you down, gradually, inexplicably, until there’s only a shadow of the copywriter you were. You may not have started out that way, you may have begun your career with the best of intentions, but if you stay too long it’ll be that much harder to break away.

And you’ll start to resent low paying jobs, and that doesn’t do you any favors. And it doesn’t do the clients any favors either. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not all bad, some of them are great, but working on a bidding site is unsustainable in the long-term. The problem is, breaking away is hard, the longer you rely on them, the harder it is to stop.

So, break the addiction, break the habit and find yourself some clients that will value what you do, and pay you what you’re worth. Don’t become the grinch of copywriting, because you won’t be a copywriter anymore, not one that anyone would recognize anyway….