I often get asked to write an article (or two) that clients tag as “urgy purgies” and will, on the odd occasion agree to write them, but only for very favoured customers.
The reason being that it takes time to ‘craft’ good copy, these things should never be rushed and anyway, having to meet ridiculously tight deadlines is both boring and stressful.
However, there are other reasons why copywriters should turn down projects which boast a turnaround time that leaves them breathless and just a few of these reasons are listed below.
Job description: Client wants 10 in-depth articles on UK tax laws and they want them within 24 hours!
Now the majority of well-versed copywriters know their limitations and are quite happy to take on the occasional tight deadline when the topic is familiar to them. However, clients who need multiple well researched and therefore factually correct articles on a very specific and difficult topic within a tight deadline are, quite frankly, living on another planet!
It shows that the client is either totally disorganised and therefore probably not somebody you may want to work for – or – another copywriter let them down and now they are grasping at straws to get the job done by yesterday.
There is also a very high probability that their rates of pay are less than desirable, hence the proverbial cock-up with the first copywriter. I must point out here that this is just my own calculated guess as to why they need the articles written so quickly!
Job description: Client needs 25 rewrites done – very easy work – should only take a fast typist 5 minutes to run up a 500 word rewrite (claims the client)
Now for those who are just starting out their career as a virtual copywriter, re-writes are an easy way to find their feet and although usually very poorly paid, taking on a rewrite project can bring in a few pennies when other work is slow coming in.
However, rewrites and short deadlines are not a good marriage because the chances are the copy that needs rewriting is so badly written you can hardly make sense of it!
Result? A real headache, lots of stress and a few choice words being bandied around the house!
There are a lot of clients out there who presume they know how long it takes to rewrite a 500 word article although they cannot string a few lines together to form an easy-read brief!
These are real ‘stay away’ from projects which are just not worth your time and effort especially if there’s a ridiculously tight deadline!
Reasons to turn down tight deadlines
- You’ll end up rushing the copy which could result in you lowering your standards!
- Is it really worth working for a client who is so disorganised they leave posting the job till the last minute?
- Ridiculous deadlines and terrible rates – a really bad combination
- Good copy that you’ll be proud of takes time to research first and then to write – you need to ask yourself if you really want your name to be attributed to dreadful copy?
- The internet is loaded with average, mediocre, terrible and utterly diabolical copy – do you really want to add to it by providing a badly organised client with more of the same?
- Accepting a tight deadline on a difficult topic will leave you exhausted. It’s just not worth it because your talents should be put to better use working for clients who set realistic deadlines along with good rates of pay = think about it!
Author: Honey Wood
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