It’s not uncommon for a potential client, flabbergasted that it actually costs money to hire a content writer, to ask what the cost would be if they write their own content and then have me edit.
“Why don’t I take a crack at it?” they say. “Then you can clean it up, make it sound more natural, and suggest any improvements.”
Well, I can do that. But that’s not the best use of my services.
You’re basically saying, “Let me spend my time writing content, even though I’m so sure it won’t meet my standards that I’m asking you in advance if I can pay you to fix it.”
How many hours will it take for you to write your own content, whether it’s a few pages of website content, a blog post, a newsletter article or a tri-fold brochure?
What’s your time worth? What is that crack really costing you beyond my fee?
Even if you write your content after business hours and it doesn’t eat into “work time”, is that what you really want to be doing? If you’re going to put in extra hours, wouldn’t you rather use that time to improve your business strategy and take care of your customers?
I’m a writer and I almost never stay up late writing content. Why? Because none of my clients want their content written late at night when the last thing I want to be doing is writing content.
Even if the only thing you factor into the cost is my fee, having me edit your content won’t save you much money. Depending on how much editing I have to do, it might not save you anything.
Many people want me to edit because they think I’ll only change a few words and rearrange a few sentences. Then they see a heavy dose of red ink.
That’s when they realize that good typing plus product knowledge do not equal compelling content, and that grammatically correct content won’t work if there’s not sound marketing strategy behind it.
In other words, they realize they shouldn’t be writing their own content.
Of course, it’s not just the desire to save a buck that drives people to take a crack at writing their own content. Some people think a content writer doesn’t have enough knowledge or expertise to write about certain topics.
That may be true, initially. But my job is not to be an expert in your field. My job is to communicate your expertise and passion in a way that connects with your target audience, emotionally and logically, and earns their trust and confidence.
A good content writer knows how to interview to extract information from your brain that can be molded into compelling marketing content. A good content writer knows how to do independent research to gain at least a basic understanding of the topic at hand and supplement the information you provide.
Again, when you write your own content because you think you’re the only person qualified to do so and then hire someone to edit, you’re taking the wrong approach. You know it won’t be good enough when you write it yourself, so you’ll have to pay someone to make it better.
That’s just bad business, especially for small businesses that are under so much pressure to maximize the return on every marketing dollar.
The moral of the story?
Taking a crack at writing your own content is costly in terms of wasted time and money. Inferior content can also cost you customers.
Don’t take shortcuts with your marketing content, especially if you know you’re not fully up to the task.
Say “no” to crack. Hire a content writer from the beginning.
I’m a content writer, marketing consultant, lifelong New Jersey resident, husband to a beautiful wife and father to two beautiful girls. I love playing with my daughters, a day at the boardwalk, sarcasm, craft beer and grilling. I despise beating around the bush, synchronized swimming, Toddlers & Tiaras and onions. Most people don’t know I used to be a radio DJ and once wrote, produced and voiced a commercial for the TV show 24. Two places I want to visit before I die are Ireland and Norway, the homes of my ancestors. One place I never want to revisit is my first apartment because my creepy landlord, Monty, freaked me out. That just about covers it.