So, How Does The Hired Pens Price Out Projects?

If you’ve ever wondered about the secret world of copywriters — and really, who hasn’t? — you’re probably curious about pricing. I’m here today with the inside scoop. At The Hired Pens, we get inquiries about all types of copywriting projects. Websites, email campaigns, white papers, brochures, feature articles, blog posts … you name it. […]

An Ethical Dilemma in Copywriting, Sung to the Tune of ‘The Gambler’

A recent conversation with a potential client opened up a brand new ethical dilemma for me: Is it okay to take someone’s money if in your heart-of-hearts you believe their business has no chance of succeeding, no matter how great the copywriting? It was further complicated for me because I have a particular passion for […]

No, I Won’t Write Blog Posts for $12 a Pop

As a partner at a copywriting agency, one of my key responsibilities is pricing projects. I spend a lot of time speaking with people, learning about their copywriting needs and then writing proposals. Sometimes a prospect won’t have the budget to hire us. I get that. We’re a small business, and we don’t have the […]

He’s Just Not That Into You

Oh, small, earnest neighborhood florist — I can see how hard you’re working to get this right. Here you are in the heart of college country, with scores of students strolling past you every day, never stopping to browse or buy. You know an untapped market when you see one, and you’re even willing to […]

Okay, Misguided Client, It’s Your Funeral

“First, do no harm,” is a phrase commonly associated with a physician’s commitment to the patient. Copywriters, too, should stick by this rule. So here’s an ethical dilemma for you: As a copywriter, what do you do when a client requests or, worse yet, insists that you do something not in her interest? Here’s a […]

A Reminder of the Awesome Power of the Deadline

It was shaping up as an ordinary morning at The Hired Pens headquarters. I got into work and mapped out a plan for the day. Suddenly, everything changed (cue foreboding horror-movie music). The phone rang. It was the owner of a small agency that we write for. Yes, I had sent her copy for the […]

What Music Should You Listen to While Writing?

I like to listen to music while writing. The right music can spur creativity while also drowning out the annoying pitches of Greenpeace canvassers working the sidewalk below our window. I’m not too particular about the music, as long as it doesn’t have vocals — that just makes me lose my train of thought. With […]

Copy We Wish We’d Written: Henkel

You know how Dan and Anna are always going on and on about writing copy that’s conversational and doesn’t sound like it was written by a robot (or someone really boring)? I saw this ad in a magazine and loved it so much that I sent a pic to Anna. (Dan doesn’t share our enthusiasm […]

Are Technology Companies Finally Turning Human?

About 10 years ago, I taught a business writing course at a local university. One of my goals was to get students to write conversationally, as opposed to writing like a corporate hack. At The Hired Pens, we’ve long preached the virtues of writing conversationally — that is, writing like you speak. Among other things, […]

Why It Pays to Hire an Outside Copywriter: One Man’s Story

A very short post for today. Why? Three reasons: It’s sunny and 90 degrees, and I’m feeling lazy. It’s the middle of the summer, everyone’s on vacation and no one will read this anyway. I’m skipping town for a few days and want to post something new before our blog becomes as stale as that […]