On sites such as freelance.com and upwork.com, you’ll find countless writers of good English
happy to write your copy for as little as .10/word. Some who write from countries in South Asia
or elsewhere will work for even less. Many are native English speakers who write clean-
sounding copy in fluent English. Agency copywriters, on the other hand, charge .50-$1.00/word
and more, increasing your cost by an order of magnitude.
The inexpensive writer can seem the obvious choice, particularly American writers who can
produce copy in the American vernacular. But what are you looking for: writing suited to
business letters and low-end brochures? Or the kind of copy you see on billboards and in TV ads
and magazine ads in your own country? Which kind of copy will give your company an
advantage in the competitive American market?
Competent, workmanlike copy in American English produces the same result here in the U.S. as
copy you write yourself would produce in your country. It makes sense, it sounds natural, but
it’s forgettable and unpersuasive.
If you’re comfortable writing your own copy to promote your business in your country, then the
writer charging .10/word to write American English is probably fine for you.
But if you want to run with the foxes (sound like the best companies), you need an agency
copywriter who writes for results. Many agency writers have years, even decades of experience
making their clients stand out from the noise of the marketplace. They aren’t just fluent,
they’re experts who know their language inside out. They’re trained to look beyond the facts
and basic meanings of words to find words that get emotional responses and stick in your
No self-taught writer can come close to the concept-driven, glossy copy a highly skilled agency
copywriter produces. You can see this in your own country. It’s the same here. And in a country
that’s an international marketplace, with companies from all over the world competing for
American dollars, you can’t afford to have your customers yawning and clicking to your
When you want outstanding copy in any language, the obvious choice is the agency writer.
Invest in your business. Choose the writer who makes your company shine.
Note: I’m an American copywriter. I wrote this blog post in twenty minutes and in one pass.
Five minutes of editing and I was done. When I write for a client, however, I take five to ten
times as long crafting and polishing my copy. That’s the level of quality an agency writer
delivers. Think you can get that from your .10/word writer? Who do you want writing your
About the author: James McKenna
For 20 years, James has created advertising concepts and written copy to bring them to life. He’s written for large, national brands and produced scores of commercials for TV and radio. Much of his experience is in healthcare, but he has also written for national brands in consumer services, fast food, and banking.
Join me on jamesmckenna.us.