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Unread 20th January 2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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Tip Tips If You're Looking For a Copywriter / the Difference Between a Copywriter and an Article Writer

If you're looking for article writers go this section of the Warrior Instead:

Warriors For Hire - Programmers, Website Designers, Graphic Artists

Please do not post them in this section. This section is intended for discussion about copywriting which is the writing of sales copy that gets people to take action (i.e. opt-in, buy, call your office, etc.). Hence the name "The Copywriting Forum"

Hope that helps,

Mike
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Unread 22nd March 2009, 03:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Difference Between a Copywriter and an Article Writer?

Article Writing: The Staple

Think of this as the staple food of the Internet. Something you'd just need to get by. Article writing consists of bring out well-researched, well-written and compact content on a particular niche. Attractive headlines(titles), engaging body and an untuitive or insighful conclusion usually makes for a great article. Article writing is probably closer to what your friend does for that magazine she writes for.

Copy writing: The Hardworking, sales guy

One of the elite forms of writing which slaps in a bit of consumer behavior, marketing principles, human behavior and psychology and is all written with just one purpose: to get your readers to do something. That 'something' could include signing-up for your website; opting-in for your newsletter; selling a product or service; give you a call; take you out for a date( yeah,this too!).

Copywriting is all about convincing others to do what you want them to do. This is highly paid and takes considerable skill to get to. Of course, you can learn this just as you can learn anything else.

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Unread 12th June 2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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Default BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Lately I've seen a lot of people posting threads asking for a copywriter.

Nothing wrong with that.

What the problem is is no one seems to be willing to go into any detail at all.

Here's the thing... successful copywriters already have a backlog of clients. They position themselves so that clients come to THEM - not the other way around.

That's not to say they won't send you a quick message... but they'll only do it if you give them some basic info. If you don't provide the basics, you'll get a heap of low-talent writers who are desperate for work because (surprise surprise) they are unable to market themselves... and if they can't market themselves, most likely they won't be able to help you.

So if you are looking for a copywriter and want to post a thread, include this info:


*Your budget (be aware that your chances of getting a decent writer for under $1 000 are about as good as winning the lottery, and your chances of getting a decent writer under $2 000 are slim at best. You get what you pay for, after all).

*Your niche (I can appreciate you may not want to "give away" your product on an open forum filled with marketers... but a general statement is a good start. E.g. "weight loss", "bodybuilding", "internet marketing").

*What the project IS (sales page, squeeze page, autoresponder emails etc)

*Your deadline that you need the copy by (even a general idea is handy)


This will help you in several ways:

*You'll actually get decent writers sending you messages (assuming you don't try to offer a dirt cheap price)

*You will have less enquiries from skilled copywriters who wouldn't be able to do your project anyway

*You'll ensure you get a writer who is passionate about your topic (important)


If you follow these guidelines, you'll not only make this board a better place for everyone, but also help yourself out.

-Dan

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Unread 12th June 2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

I second Matt's notion.

Sticky this please.

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Unread 26th June 2009, 01:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

I agree! Trying to hire a copywriter without clear expectations is just a recipe for disaster on both sides. You'll get exactly what you ask for, so if you are iffy in your details, you'll get bad writers desperate for money instead of good copywriters. We need details to make you a great sales letter. Anything less is a call to the fakes that you're easy picking to be suckered. Don't waste your money on that!
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Unread 26th June 2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

This is so true! I am actually glad that so many copywriters demand decent pay. It is not easy. It is hard work! I write for small magazines and I am just starting to learn copywriting. Sales writing needs to be persuasive, organized and I find that I am rewriting my copy several times to get it right. I am sure I will get better as I gain more experience. I get frustrated when I see sites asking writers to write an SEO article for $5. That is a flippin joke! Perhaps people can do that in another country but here in American it is not cheap to live. It is so true that you get what you pay for. I will post my sites after I have accumulated 15 posts. I am new here.
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Unread 2nd July 2009, 06:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

I hope you don't mind me "hijacking" this thread, but after reading the opening post, I have a quick question for you guys.

"be aware that your chances of getting a decent writer for under $1 000 are about as good as winning the lottery, and your chances of getting a decent writer under $2 000 are slim at best. You get what you pay for, after all".

What exactly do the figures that you quote correlate to? Is it per task? If so, what would such a task involve?

Really looking forward to your response. I come from a couple of different forums where such numbers are unheard of for writers...

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 2nd July 2009, 06:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Spycraft,

No problems at all man.

When I supplied those quotes, I meant for writing a sales letter. You can see my sig for an example (or the sigs of a lot of the copywriters here, come to that).

Instead of writing down the whole process here again (it's late and I'm lazy, LOL), I hope you don't mind if I refer you to this thread where I kind of touched on why copywriters charge so much:

http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...opywriter.html

The bottom line is good work takes time. If I ever find the right article writer, I would expect them to charge about $50/article... if not more. That's the rate I would expect for an article that is actually properly written and has good information in it... not just SEO trash.

Research takes time, analysis takes time, thinking takes time, writing takes time, polishing takes time... not to mention the value of the chops you have in the first place (we're talking years of work here).

Does that make sense?

Kind regards,

-Dan

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Unread 2nd July 2009, 03:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post
Spycraft,

No problems at all man.

When I supplied those quotes, I meant for writing a sales letter. You can see my sig for an example (or the sigs of a lot of the copywriters here, come to that).

Instead of writing down the whole process here again (it's late and I'm lazy, LOL), I hope you don't mind if I refer you to this thread where I kind of touched on why copywriters charge so much:

http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...opywriter.html

The bottom line is good work takes time. If I ever find the right article writer, I would expect them to charge about $50/article... if not more. That's the rate I would expect for an article that is actually properly written and has good information in it... not just SEO trash.

Research takes time, analysis takes time, thinking takes time, writing takes time, polishing takes time... not to mention the value of the chops you have in the first place (we're talking years of work here).

Does that make sense?

Kind regards,

-Dan
It sure does. To be quite honest with you, I always thought that there are no quality writers working online due to the prices that are being offered.

I now see that there is a whole other side to the "online industry".

I am basically a domainer, who just recently started getting into IM (producing blogs and putting some Adsense on them is the furthest I've gone so far) - so I can't even conceive the idea of someone paying 1-2k per sales letter since I wouldn't know how that someone could make his/her money back - let alone making some profit.

I guess I still have a whole lot to learn. In the proccess of looking for a mentor nowadays

Thanks for clarifying this for me Daniel!
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Unread 7th July 2009, 05:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

Here's the thing... successful copywriters already have a backlog of clients. They position themselves so that clients come to THEM - not the other way around.

That's not to say they won't send you a quick message... but they'll only do it if you give them some basic info. If you don't provide the basics, you'll get a heap of low-talent writers who are desperate for work because (surprise surprise) they are unable to market themselves... and if they can't market themselves, most likely they won't be able to help you.

So if you are looking for a copywriter and want to post a thread, include this info:


*Your budget (be aware that your chances of getting a decent writer for under $1 000 are about as good as winning the lottery, and your chances of getting a decent writer under $2 000 are slim at best. You get what you pay for, after all).

*Your niche (I can appreciate you may not want to "give away" your product on an open forum filled with marketers... but a general statement is a good start. E.g. "weight loss", "bodybuilding", "internet marketing").

*What the project IS (sales page, squeeze page, autoresponder emails etc)

*Your deadline that you need the copy by (even a general idea is handy)


This will help you in several ways:

*You'll actually get decent writers sending you messages (assuming you don't try to offer a dirt cheap price)

*You will have less enquiries from skilled copywriters who wouldn't be able to do your project anyway

*You'll ensure you get a writer who is passionate about your topic (important)


If you follow these guidelines, you'll not only make this board a better place for everyone, but also help yourself out.

-Dan
I agree with what you say Dan. However, we all have to start somewhere. And usually that somewhere is at 'Penniless'. (Or pretty close by). The quickest route from there to 'Pennyrich' isn't necessarily a straight road, but you do learn along the way. Most of the copy I have read on-line is over hyped drivel, and I usually navigate straight to the bottom line, 'price'. Then I consider value, because reading the Copy wouldn't have helped there. (Although I have seen some good stuff.) So, I'd say price isn't necessarily a yardstick for quality. Let's be fair, on-line you can't examine the goods, and the copy will never tell the full story. In a book shop, I can browse to my hearts content. I can even read a whole book, in instalments during lunch-breaks!

I did my own copy for my project, (due for launch soon) and I'll soon find out whether or not I should have employed someone. Still, my maxim is;
If you can write good fiction, (and I am no slouch there) you can probably write good Copy. After all a tale, is a tale, is a tale, and that is what most copy is. Occasionally we just see a better tale than normal.


Cheers JJ
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Unread 10th July 2009, 08:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizwayze View Post
I agree with what you say Dan. However, we all have to start somewhere. And usually that somewhere is at 'Penniless'. (Or pretty close by). The quickest route from there to 'Pennyrich' isn't necessarily a straight road, but you do learn along the way.
True enough... although if I could do it all over again I would probably have borrowed money or something, but I was young and scared... I don't have any regrets, necessarily, but I do realize that the way I did things probably wasn't the best way it could have happened.

But hey... at least I got there in the end!

Quote:
Most of the copy I have read on-line is over hyped drivel, and I usually navigate straight to the bottom line, 'price'. Then I consider value, because reading the Copy wouldn't have helped there. (Although I have seen some good stuff.)
You're making a common mistake... assuming everyone browses a sales letter in the same way you do. More than likely, you just haven't read copy that's really resonated wtih you... or you weren't the target market.

Remember, only maybe 3 - 5% of people buy based on a good sales letter (depending on traffic etc, to be sure). That means out of every 100 visitors, 97 or so won't buy.

Plus, copy is ALL ABOUT showing the "value" of a product. As an example, I was selling an ebook that just wasn't converting. I changed the focus... stopped calling it an ebook and started calling it a system... and conversions jumped. That's how "little things" can make or break your promotion... and copywriters tend to be (by necessity) good at making sure those "little things" don't get in the way.

Quote:
So, I'd say price isn't necessarily a yardstick for quality. Let's be fair, on-line you can't examine the goods, and the copy will never tell the full story. In a book shop, I can browse to my hearts content. I can even read a whole book, in instalments during lunch-breaks!
All the more reason that you need great copy on your website... it's ALL the visitor sees in order to make a decision to buy your product, particularly if it's not a commodity (for example, you might buy a Wii online, but your friends have one, or you can go into a store and try one out... whatever).

Quote:
I did my own copy for my project, (due for launch soon) and I'll soon find out whether or not I should have employed someone. Still, my maxim is;
If you can write good fiction, (and I am no slouch there) you can probably write good Copy. After all a tale, is a tale, is a tale, and that is what most copy is. Occasionally we just see a better tale than normal.


Cheers JJ
Whilst it's true (to a point) that copywriting and storytelling share some similarities, "telling a story" is just ONE aspect of good copy. Writing copy is a very, very different ball game... I know this because I can write good copy, but I would be screwed if I ever had to write a fiction book. The two are vaguely related, sure, in the same way that Michael Jordan went from basketball to baseball... they're both sports, but that's where the similarity ends.

-Dan

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Unread 15th July 2009, 09:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Some other copywriter was talking about this in another thread. Because we copywriters are so thorough in our work, we can take a week or two to write a sales letter.

There is a certain structure to writing a sales letter so that it really pulls the emotion of the prospect.

It's kind of like romance novels. Though romance novels are the #1 selling novel, and they have romance scripting in it, do you think they are easy to write? No....those types of writers also require training.

It is like any skill. Gotta get the training before you get to wear the t-shirt.

Just my 2.75 cents...
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Unread 10th August 2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

I wasn't expecting to find a copywriting board in this forum but I've read a lot of great info in just this thread alone. I have been considering the idea of becoming a copywriter myself. Thanks.
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Unread 2nd September 2009, 01:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post
Spycraft,

The bottom line is good work takes time. If I ever find the right article writer, I would expect them to charge about $50/article... if not more. That's the rate I would expect for an article that is actually properly written and has good information in it... not just SEO trash.
Thank you so much for saying this! I am relatively new to this site but not new to writing (I have a degree in English (professional writing)). I want to vomit everytime I see a low ball price for article writing . I typically make $75-100 for articles so to come here and other places (i.e. oDesk, Elance, et al) and see articles requested for $1-$10 is outrageous .

Granted, the buyer soon realizes they get what they pay for and will still end up spending big bucks for quality articles. The time wasted could have been avoided by hiring a quality writer to begin with.

I understand that new writers are just trying to get some work, but they back themselves into a corner from the start. The expectation is all article writers will accept low fees for writing services.

I realize I'm preaching to the choir and I'm sure this topic has been talked to death, but I had to put in my two cents worth in.

I have a great respect for copywriters and at one time aspired to become one. It didn't work out so I am sticking with technical writing, professional editing, and the occasional proofreading work.

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Unread 8th September 2009, 07:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Interesting. Though I am not new here, I haven't been active. I have a double degree in English and Rhetoric (with distinction), and I've done all kinds of writing. I'm just starting to get copywriting engagements, and I've studied the craft extensively. What I was planning on doing is making the following offer here:

Web Sales Letter:
* $250 plus 3% of gross going into a retainer at $100 per hour (max 10hrs per week, 3 weeks out of any given month, rate good through the end of the year).
* Must be willing to allow their sales letter to become a portfolio piece of mine (in which I explain the components of the copy, things like risk reversal, call to action, etc.)

...now I'm not making that offer here yet, but does it sound reasonable, and is this an appropriate place to make such an offer?

Best,
Dainis
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Unread 8th September 2009, 08:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Dainis,

Do you have any samples? Any portfolio work so far?

If you want to make an offer like that do it in the WSO forum. Lots more eyeballs (plus it would get deleted here anyway).

If you can write good copy... I think you're selling yourself short (this coming from the genius who did his first sales letter for hire at $97, LOL).

It's a great offer, but one thing I've learned is that you want your copy to get results. And you can write great copy for cheap that people will never use.

I would just do your own sales page and use that to sell your services... let that be your "portfolio". And I'd start your services at at least $500.

The benefit of experience, no? LOL.

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Unread 8th September 2009, 08:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Wow, that was quick. Can you tell me the difference between where I am now and WSO? Also, I just saw that this site will charge a fee, which I don't mind. Would my post need to be in the paid area or would I need to pay in order to post the "special offer?"

Hmm, might go for $500, though the 3% of gross is what I find attractive. Do you think that offsets the cheap initial price and makes me come off as more "serious?" It shows that I'm interested in the long-term success of the copy.

...yup, I do have a portfolio, and the thing is that I've done a lot of work in tech writing, translation, editing, poetry, and even music composition and songwriting. I am a "composer," and I "compose" stuff...and the materials I am using are less important than my skill at "composition." So, sometimes I compose with words, sometimes with music, sometimes I am "designing" or "composing" a community (I run a few web communities).

I will still need to create a portfolio that only highlights copywriting while also providing the ability to click through to supplemental skills. I think the supplemental skills are important, because they show who I am, what I'm passionate about, and what kinds of projects I'm interested in working on.

I am definitely not going to give that kind of deal to "just anyone." The copy needs to be for a good cause, a product that I can put my whole heart into writing for.

Thanks so much for your reply.

Smiles from Vienna,
Dainis
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Unread 9th September 2009, 06:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Hi Dainis,

You got lucky... caught me as I was going to bed, LOL

Now, here's my thoughts...

3% sounds great, until you realize that clients you pay $500 for copy GENERALLY aren't going to do anything with it (I got lucky with one guy who had amazing results... but most people pay double that and don't really drive traffic to it).

Heck, I had one guy pay me $1 500 for a piece and never even put it on his website.

Higher paying clients tend to actually DO stuff with your work... which makes it FAR more likely you'll get something out of it.

As a negotiating tool, you could use it, maybe... but I honestly think you won't get much out of it (though you might get lucky... you knows?).

By the way... WSO = Warrior Special Offer... it's a sub-forum. That is the area where you pay to post an offer.

Also... be aware copywriting is NOT writing. I know great writers who suck at writing copy... and believe it or not, vice versa.

Hope that helps.

-Dan

P.S. Vienna is an AMAZING city... my second favorite, in fact (after Paris).

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Unread 12th September 2009, 12:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

actually got my first taker (not from this forum) without even posting. thanks so much for your input. this is going to be fun! i'm kinda nervous...i think i am going to post at the WSO...takin' the dive!
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Unread 12th October 2009, 06:36 PM   #20
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Congratulations, Dainis, and thanks for the advice, Daniel & Co.

Maybe I should raise my prices ;-)

Actually, that's probably overdue, but how to do so or how far to go with it while not pricing myself out of the WSO forum?

Then again, what was it that your client is doing on Twitter, Kevin?

Elisabeth

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Unread 12th October 2009, 06:43 PM   #21
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Elisabeth,

If I could do it all over again... I would avoid the WSO forum.

Whilst there are ways to make it work for you (small up front fee in return for a large amount of commission, for example) most of the people there are looking for bargains.

And the last thing you want to be is a bargain copywriter.

Take it from someone who's been there

After all... you're being coached by Jason, right? He should be able to help you out so that you can be confident your work gets results.

You've gotta charge what you're worth... and in my experience WSOs are not an easy way to do that.

-Dan

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Unread 12th October 2009, 07:53 PM   #22
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

This is another wonderful post I read in this forum.
Thanks for make it clear for all of us.
So, all WF members, remember this guidelines as I will remember it too.

Make it Sticky!!!
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Unread 12th October 2009, 09:40 PM   #23
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post
Elisabeth,

If I could do it all over again... I would avoid the WSO forum.

Whilst there are ways to make it work for you (small up front fee in return for a large amount of commission, for example) most of the people there are looking for bargains.

And the last thing you want to be is a bargain copywriter.

Take it from someone who's been there

After all... you're being coached by Jason, right? He should be able to help you out so that you can be confident your work gets results.

You've gotta charge what you're worth... and in my experience WSOs are not an easy way to do that.

-Dan

Thanks so much for your encouragement, Dan!

I guess one thing selling my copywriting services at WSO prices has given me is lots of practice and that has been good for my copy as well as my confidence.

But it's time to nudge up my prices... so we'll see how that goes...

And yes, I might get some input from Jason on that...

By the way, I took a look at your own sales copy and Wow! That letter rocks.

Elisabeth

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Unread 12th October 2009, 09:46 PM   #24
The Cake Is A Lie
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Default Re: BEFORE You Post A "Looking For a Copywriter" Thread...

Elisabeth,

Thanks for your kind words.

It's not perfect but it's getting pretty good results.

It's just hard to find the time to change it when I'm so busy with client stuff, LOL.

Still... it'l get done one day

-Dan

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