Cheap copywriting – the proof it doesn’t work


Good business practices demand that you keep costs as low as possible, that you don’t pay over the odds for products or services. The more money you can save on each purchase, the more surplus you have to spend elsewhere.


But cutting costs is a risky business – especially when it comes to copywriting and the rest of your marketing budget.


If you’ve never hired a copywriter before, and you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, please check out the Professional Copywriters’ Network suggested rates. This is what you should expect to budget for high quality copywriting services that boost sales and raise awareness of your brand.


Copify and cheap copywriting are amazing(ly crap)

A quick Google for “cheap copywriting” will turn up two things. First, a bunch of blog posts from disgruntled copywriters upset at how content mills drive the price and quality of writing ever downwards (including me).


A picture of a cheap copywriting content mill

Everyone knows that cheap copywriting content mills look just like clothing sweatshops

Next you will see links to content mills sites like Copify, who proudly broadcast the low cost of the copy their writers produce. You will probably find that the complaining copywriters even identify Copify as the Great Satan of the marketing world in their well reasoned, perfectly penned rants.


There are hundreds of statistics, studies and opinion pieces that sternly warn marketers to avoid bargain-basement copywriting services. But sometimes those prices are just so very attractive, and the temptation to pay £24 for a £50+ job is incredibly strong.


Besides, us copywriters are just moaning because we see our tidy little market being eroded by sweatshops in the Far East.


Copify’s dirty secret is right in front of your face

But the ultimate proof that cheap copywriting simply doesn’t work comes from Copify themselves. If you dig through the Copify FAQs you will find that there are two grades of writer, standard and professional.


The headline low rates that Copify heavily publicise are for content written by freelancers on the ‘standard’ plan. The FAQs explain that “Standard writers are capable of creating copy with impeccable standards of spelling, punctuation and grammar.”


Which actually sounds OK. Articles and web pages will be readable. You’ve just saved yourself £26.


But if you read on, writers classed as professional, “have a history of producing highly engaging copy and are comfortable at writing for challenging briefs. Professional writers are educated to degree standard and have formal marketing agency, PR or journalism experience.


They also cost an additional 25%.


The poster boy for cheap copywriting is effectively telling you that cheap copy isn’t good value/effective/profitable/interesting/useful/enjoyable. That cheap copy is for feeding search engines, not an information-hungry public. That you have to pay more for copy that your visitors and customers actually want to read. That apparently even Copify have doubts about their lower-priced service.


And that (shock, horror!) top-quality content is worth about as much as the average going rate on the open market. Who’d have thought it?


So if the chief proponent tells you it’s not worth buying cheap copy, you know not to bother. And that you’ll need to find those budget cost savings somewhere else. Especially when their own writers admit to spending just 15 minutes on the articles they produce for Copify’s clients. Which is possibly why the only independent customer review of Copify’s services is 100% negative.

UPDATE April 2020: Copify now has two customers reviews, but they have managed to maintain their 100% negative feedback.

UPDATE March 2021: Copify now has SEVEN customer reviews, all negative1.


In the meantime, why not check out my great value copywriting rates?


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How much do you charge?

Prices are calculated on a project-by-project basis. You can find details about how I calculate my quotes on my copywriting rate card.

Your prices seem a little high…

When you hire me, you’re choosing a writer with more than 20 year’s experience of the IT industry. And I’m not just some typewriter monkey either – I worked in IT support and management for 16 years before becoming a copywriter.

You’re paying for experience and high-quality copy.

I’m not the cheapest copywriter, and you don’t want me to be either.

Here’s why cheap copywriting sucks.

5 comments to Cheap copywriting – the proof it doesn’t work

  • Andrew Nattan (603 Copywriting)  says:

    It’s not just what the mills say, it’s what the writers for the mills say too.

    I did some digging for a recent article on my blog ( and it’s shameless what these people actually think of paying clients:

    “I suspect that any native English speaker could do my job. I’m constantly amazed that people are prepared to pay me for articles that I pump out while playing computer games on the other half of my screen.”

    Please, shut up and take my money.

    • Ben Lloyd  says:

      Good point Andrew, but you’d never find Copify et al publishing those kind of statements on their own sites. Unless that’s where you turned up those quotes!

      I’ve had the joy of ‘correcting’ content mill output for some clients in the past, serving to prove ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ ( is an adage by which to manage your copywriting budget.

      Would you care to share the name of the half-hearted copywriting service?

      • Andrew Nattan (603 Copywriting)  says:

        The UK-based writer didn’t share where he writes for, but from what I can gather (I found these comments on a thread about freelancing on Digital Point) the overseas guys work for Elance, PPH and Upwork.

        Reddit’s subforum for freelance writers occasionally has people discussing the various mills too.

  • Biffle  says:

    Pingback: Your Email Marketing Deliverability Checklist | The Sendloop Blog

  • read homepage  says:

    I kind of love it that “writer” comes last on your About page. I’d kind of love it if it came first too. Life is long and there are so many decisions.

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