A while ago I was talking to my good friend Akshar Yadav of Centronics Support and we were discussing how I normally charge my clients. As you must have already read my previous blog post I recently started charging an hourly rate. Akshar these days outsources almost all his content writing and copywriting requirements to me and he was among the few clients who weren’t quite thrilled about the hourly system.
So in this conversation he said, “If you spend two hours on a mailer then it’s not cost-effective for me if you charge an hourly rate.” — he would pay almost double the amount I was charging for a single document when I used to charge per document. Akshar was referring to a specific case and I must admit I had mixed up his requirement and gone on my own tangent while creating the mailer.
But the point that I was trying to make was it’s not the number of words or the number of pages that matter, but the value that is being delivered. When I write content for you and you pay me for it, you aren’t paying me for the “N” number of words that I have written for you – writing is not a commodity, it’s a service, its value. If it were just words that matter, anybody can write and then you can use that content on your website or your blog.
When Akshar sends his mailer he is going to get lots of new projects. All his future expansion plans might be depending on that mailer (I might be exaggerating, but I take my work seriously). If his only concern is whether I’m spending one hour on his mailer or two hours, it indicates two things: either he’s not sure whether he’s going to get work from the people he is targeting or he is not sure whether MY writing is going to work or not.
I’m just using his name to drive in a point: content writing is a highly critical service. I’m not saying spend all your money on content writing, but don’t save all you can save on content writing. You can compromise on web design, you can compromise on your SEO efforts and you can also compromise on the sort of office you have, but you cannot compromise on the quality of your written content. It’s your written content that does business for you. It convinces your visitors into doing business with you (or do whatever you want them to do).
No, it’s not a rant and I’m not saying that my clients aren’t paying; fortunately, and this also includes Akshar, I’ve gotten great clients lately and I’m very thankful for that. All my clients understand the importance of good content and they know what a difference it can make to their online businesses.