Frequently Asked Quails…

So, how much do you charge?
This, of course, is the million dollar question. And luckily for you it’s not a million dollar answer. There’s no set rate card – every project is unique and each client has different needs, wants, hopes, dreams, and deadlines.

Yeah, but how much?
I charge a single ‘project fee’. A small job (say a couple of web pages, short DL brochure, DM piece, print ad, radio script, letter) may be around $200-$300 depending on a bunch of factors. And of course, if it’s smaller again, I’ll charge less. A larger brochure or website copy job and we’re up around the $500 mark. Above that, we’re generally either looking at word count (ie, 1000-plus words for a profile, article or annual report) or we’re into research-heavy assignments. My costs are very reasonable – I’d hire me.

Why a project fee and not ‘per-hour’ rate?

’Per-hour’ is a bit like catching a cab with only twenty bucks in your pocket – there’s always that sense of uncertainty as the meter ticks over. This tends to make everyone nervous and that gets in the way of producing the best work. With a project fee, I’ll give you the figure upfront, and you budget for it accordingly. You’ll never be left three blocks short of your destination, and won’t be at all upset if I spend 94 hours writing your slogan.

What about changes?
Two rounds of revisions are included – this is usually plenty. The only exception is if the brief has changed significantly. In that case I will cry like a baby and bang my fists against the keyboard. (You will see or hear none of this.)

Okay, what about payment? How does that work?
Typically I don’t require any payment upfront – unless the job’s likely to drag on for more than a month or so. Once the job is completed to everyone’s satisfaction, I will send an invoice. You pay me just like any other supplier. Or just like you pay your local mafia syndicate. Or that guy blackmailing you over those photos from that time.

How long do I have to pay you?
Usually around 30 days. Due date and my bank details for direct transfer will be on your tax invoice.

What if I don’t pay you?
Hmmm, that’s a bit like asking “WHAT IF I WAKE UP NEXT TO A SEVERED HORSE’S HEAD?”… Never upset a copywriter.

Actually, I’m only after a quote. I’ll probably never speak to you again.
Well, at least you’re honest. Getting a quote is FREE, so just email me. I’ll turn it round quick and we can get on with our lives. And just remember, I’m not a pet – you don’t have to feed me regularly (but I do like walks and chasing sticks). Use me once a YEAR or once a WEEK, I don’t mind. That’s what freelance is all about.

Can you do a ‘ballpark’ quote if I don’t have all the info yet?

Sure, if it helps to give you a rough idea for budget. The golden rule is the more information I have upfront, the easier it is for me to accurately quote the thing.

No, I’m sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. I want you to quote on building me an actual ballpark. Can you do this?
Oh, I see. No, I don’t build ballparks. I’m a writer, remember?

Hey, what’s with the typewriter up in the corner? Do you really type on it?
No. Don’t be daft; no one uses those things anymore.

So…why didn’t you just use a picture of a laptop? I mean isn’t it bordering on false advertising?
Who ARE you? Look, I just liked the picture. If you must know, all my work does happen on my trusty MacBook (as seen in every cafe and library you’ve ever visited.)

Laptops are so last decade. You should use an iPad.
Please stop.

I read that you live in Kiama – that’s, like, FAR away.
This is the 21st Century – NOTHING is far away. The trusty phone and internet are the best friends of a copywriter (who generally doesn’t have any other friends). I’ll do business with you wherever you are – Sydney, Singapore, Stockholm and even places that don’t start with S.

Actually, I live quite close to you. Can we do a face-to-face meeting?
Okay, that sounds great. I’ll be wearing a hat, carrying a yellow rose and reading a copy of The Book Thief. Seriously though, it’s no problem to meet up if you want.

Let me just make sure I understand this. We DON’T actually need to meet face to face?
That’s right. Every job can be done start to finish over e-mail and/or phone. I haven’t met most of my clients. And I look forward to not meeting you too.

So why would I have a total stranger write about ME and MY business?
Think about it. You’re very close to what you do, sometimes a little too close. Now who are the people you’re trying to target? Total strangers, mostly. I can write it for you because I AM YOUR TARGET MARKET – a total stranger also trying to figure out what you’re selling. Proof – the hardest thing I’ve written in a long time was the ‘About Me’ page on this website. Sometimes it’s good to have someone step back and see things from a different perspective.

In your writing, do you use a whole lot of big words that no one will understand?

Not at all. In fact, I’m a big believer in a ‘plain-english’ conversation style. Obviously, if you need it more fancypants, I’ll still excogitate a sense of breviloquence and ensure perspicacious lexicography does not proliferate.

Okay, I’m a little embarrassed to ask this, but does your job have anything to do with that little ‘C’ with a circle round it?
No, that’s copyRIGHT and apart from a writer’s work being protected by it, that’s where the link ends. And you’re right, that WAS a little embarrassing.

What if I don’t like what you’ve written?
Well, after I’ve picked up the pieces of my shattered ego, I’ll happily rewrite to suit the style you’re going for, at no extra cost (unless the brief had dramatically changed). Remember, by getting as much information as possible up front, it reduces the chances of me getting it wrong.

You mentioned earlier that phone and internet are your only friends. Is this true?
I was joking about having no friends. I have friends.

Do you have a degree in writing?
No. I actually have a degree in Psychology, a diploma in Graphic Design, and I once did a night course in Beginners Spanish. But writing has always come fairly naturally and it’s my passion. And working in creative Advertising certainly honed my ability to communicate in a more results-driven, call-to-action way.

A night course in Beginners Spanish?


Are you one of these people that goes around finding spelling and grammar mistakes in printed signs and advertisements?
Yes, that’s me. The humble apostrophe has suffered so much abuse through the years that I’m surprised it still has the will to carry on.

I detect a very faint accent to this font. Are you a kiwi?
Wow, you’re good. Born in New Zealand. Have been in Australia since 2005.

You seem worth a try. How exactly do we get started?

Cool. Just jump on the contact page here to either send me an email or give me a call (my operators are standing by). We’ll take it from there.

No further questions your honour.
Haha, I see what you did there…the whole courtroom thing. Very funny. Goodbye.



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