Guest Post: The real cost of DIY’D website copy

Big thanks to Emily Krings, owner of Quill To Keys for this post!

 


The Real Cost of DIY'D Website Copy #businesstips #copywriting #websitecontent #creativebusinessowner #freelancelife

 

You wear many hats as an entrepreneur, especially when you are starting up and your budget is on the smaller end. But, if you’re looking to scale your business, delegating, outsourcing and investing is key.

So many people make the mistake of trying to master a different trade—like content writing, branding, graphic design and the like—in order to avoid hiring a specialist to take care of a specific task.

They think it will save them money, but in reality it costs them something much more precious: their time and energy.

Let’s have a chat about why you should hire a professional rather than “DIY” your site’s written content.


5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Pro

As I mentioned, many entrepreneurs take the DIY approach to creating written content for their sites.

They dump in tons of time and then later realize that their hard work was ineffective. After all, they’re good at what they do, not what the specialists do.

I’m a content writer by trade. If I tried to fly a plane, build a house, treat a patient in a hospital or design a car, I’d either completely fail or end up with results that were subpar.

This is not to say that you can’t be good at more than one thing, but the reason you’ve started your business is because you’re good at providing a specific product or service.

People forget that freelancers offer a super specific service for a reason. They do what they do because it’s what they are good at. They do it because they’ve spent endless hours perfecting the trade.

You can DIY bath bombs, Christmas decor and any of the other fun crafts on Pinterest. But trying to write your own content for your business may not be the best move.

Here are a few reasons why you should hire a pro rather than taking the DIY route.



credit: laura MCCawley

1 – Writers Have a Unique Skill Set

Whether you’re a fashion designer, business coach, financial advisor or anything but a content writer.

You may say, “Well, I did okay in my English class” or “I speak well so writing will be easy.”

This is not the case. I look back on work I did when I thought I was a good writer and a shudder. Years of reading, writing and receiving feedback from a few mentors and bosses has shaped my writing skills. Thousands of hours of practice have helped me build my skills.

I did not hop on the web and decide to start selling my writing services that day. I put a ton of effort into what I do to offer my clients a unique skill set.


2 – You Need to Get Out of Your Head

Writers do more than string words together and hope for the best. They bring visions to life in a style that helps their clients reach their goals.

Sometimes your vision is so big that you get so caught up and it prevents you from seeing the bigger picture.

When you hire a writer, you can spill everything about your dreams and they will help you find the direction to get there from their perspective.

An outside perspective is often super helpful. And who better to offer some insight than a person who has some different skills and tools to help you succeed?

Many writers spend their days helping business owners plan to determine the best sort of content they need and then help them execute the strategy.


3 – Your Audience Will Spot the Difference

Typos are embarrassing. So are poorly structured sentences, awkward paragraphs, inconsistent tones, unclear messages and weird calls to action.

Readers notice all of this these things. A professional writer will send you over content that is both well-written and well-edited.

Even if the content you’ve created yourself is not inherently bad, it may still not be professional grade. This is definitely something to think about.


4 – You’ll Buy Back Time


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The time you spend learning a new skill and them implementing that skill adds up. We’ve already established that you are really good at one thing, so why not spend more time doing that thing to better serve your clients and grow your business?

Investing in a writer who is going to produce high quality content will save you tons of time and hassle. You won’t have to learn a new skill or do the writing. It’s a win-win.


5 – You’ll Get Results

Remember how I said a good content or copywriter will help you reach your goals? Yeah, that’s a major reason why you need one!

Different content serves different purposes. Skilled writers will lace their content with subtle notes that push your audience to take the action that you’re looking for. Whether you’re trying to create blog posts to give your brand a voice or create copy that converts your readers to clients, a good writer can help you out!

In addition to samples, ask your prospective writer for testimonials or references so you can see what their past clients can give you a little more insight on the effectiveness of their work.


What You Can Expect to Pay for Effective Content?

Hiring a writer is an investment. You have to put some money forward if you expect to see a return on that investment.

Do not hire a cheap writer as a way to cut costs, because you’ll likely regret it.

A relatively new client of mine (who focuses on sales copywriting) uses me as an editor and content writer for both his business’s website and projects that he is working on for his clients. We recently had a conversation about pricing.

He told me that every penny he invests in my work is worth it because he has worked with a slew of shitty contractors in the past that he hired only because of their low fees. He’s had to pay me to go over these people’s work and do it right.

A contractor—not only a writer but a web designer, social media specialist, photographer, etc.—who is good at what they do will charge accordingly. Of course there is the exception of a skilled person who is just starting out, isn’t confident in their pricing yet and still is charging peanuts. But it’s not worth the risk

Writers typically do not have a standard hourly rate. This is because different types of writing have different values. There are several types of written content you could need in your business.

Many writers will quote you per project rather than per word, but to give you an estimate, you should not expect to pay any less than $.10 per word. This price ranges up to over $1 per word depending on what return that piece of content will provide to you.

Blog posts are on the lower end of the spectrum, and landing pages are a little higher. The $1 per word sort of work is more like if you hire a ghostwriter for a book.


Conclusion

Writing effective content and copy is not as easy as you’d think


all photos Credit: Laura McCawley

If I had a dollar for every person in a completely unrelated field told me that writing is “easy money” because I make money from my home or that they’d like to start writing for my business for extra money, I would never have to power on my laptop again.

Investing in a content writer rather than doing it yourself will save you so much time, money and headaches down the road. You’ll be glad you did.

If there is any way I can help you with your website, blog posts, eBooks, emails or any other content writing needs, shoot me an email at emily@quilltokeys.com. I’d be happy to help!


About Emily Krings


all photos credit to: laura mccawley

all photos credit to: laura mccawley

Emily Krings is the owner of Quill to Keys, a content writing agency that creates blog posts, website copy, newsletters, social media captions and more for businesses in just about every niche. Emily specializes in travel content. She fell into the niche when she began to mix her passion for travel and her skill for content writing.

When she’s not working, Emily is tending to her small urban farm in South Florida where she raises chickens, aloe, pineapples and other tropical plants. To keep up with Emily, check her out on Instagram at @emilykrings or her lifestyle blog, Tea Addicts Anonymous.

December 10, 2019

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