You might be wondering just how bad my typing skills are if it takes me a week to write one page of copy, but writing copy that engages your audience and makes them fall in love with your brand involves more than quick fingers on a keyboard.
I’m sure every copywriter out there has had plenty of requests for content to be produced at the last minute, from prospects who seem to expect that a literary masterpiece full of fire and passion (and highly effective, page-1 worthy SEO keywords and irresistible calls to action) can be whipped together in as long as it takes to physically type 250 words @ 70 wpm.
Let’s see… by my calculation that’s about…. 3½ minutes!
Um…. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
“OK”, you say “so that may be a little unrealistic… but 5 days? Really?”
Yep! Let me explain.
Day One: Now I have the brief, which outlines all the core information about the business, the target market, the desired outcomes, the preferred style, and all the other bits needed to craft a page of content tuned as finely as a Stradivarius, I sit down to write.
And to be fair, that process may only take me from morning tea until lunch.
But any copywriter worth their salt will leave the copy to sit for a least a few hours (preferably overnight where possible) so they can read it with “fresh eyes” and pick up any minor errors that may have been overlooked in the initial writing process before sending it to the client.
Yes, it may be a draft, but it still needs to be right.
1st Client Review
Day Two: After the initial draft has been double-checked, it’s time to send it to the client for their review and feedback. This is a critical part of the process which gives the client the chance to make any additions, deletions or redirections.
Of course, we’re all busy people, so the initial draft is likely to sit in the client’s inbox until the end of the day until they finally get a chance to look it over and make their amendments.
1st Round of Revisions
Day Three: Very occasionally you’ll get a client who loves the initial draft and won’t want to make a single change (we love you!!!). More often than not, however, some minor tweaking is needed. It may be that a certain word or phrase isn’t quite right, more clarity is needed on something, or additional information needs to be included.
Generally there’s not a great deal that needs changing, so the copy can usually be modified and sent back to the client on the same day. Woo-hoo!
2nd Client Review
Day Four: See how quickly that has snuck up! The copy is back with the client so they can review the changes they asked for. Again, this is usually the last thing on their ‘to-do’ list. Most of the time, one round of revisions will be all it takes to produce a result the client is happy with, but sometimes on second review, the client will decide they want to make some more changes.
That’s cool – I allow up to two revisions as part of my process because I want to make sure my clients are 100% happy with the end copy I write for them.
The Final Copy
Day Five: Any final tweaks and revisions are put in place and sent back to the client. Job finished!
The Final Word
Most times it doesn’t take the full five days to write the final copy, but I allow this long because I understand that my clients have busy lives to and can’t always get back to me on the same day – or even the same week!
By building review time into the schedule, it gives everyone a little breathing space and ensures the job isn’t rushed or the quality compromised.
And the good news is it doesn’t take 5 days for every individual page. While I might factor a week to write 250 words, I’ll also factor a week to write 1,000 words.
So it’s not my typing skills that take the time – it’s the reveiw process and allowing sufficient time for at least two rounds of revisions to produce a polished, original piece of copy that my clients will love.
Trust me. It’s worth the wait!