© 2009-2010 Ugur Akinci
It’s not easy to estimate how long a copy writing job will take due to the many factors involved in the estimation.
Writing commercial copy does not only involve sitting in front of your keyboard and starting to pound away.
You need to make research, read all the relevant materials on the topic, usually lots of it, sometimes interview Subject matter Experts (SME), procure and prepare images (if necessary), brain-storm about the all-important title, get the necessary permissions on items that need permission, etc. The list is a long one.
Usually the physical act of typing is the easiest part of writing copy.
That’s why you should provide elbow room in your estimates and leave yourself enough time to do all the chores and preparations that go into writing top-notch commercial copy.
Here below are the time estimates for various types of technical documents as suggested by Writing Assistance, Inc.
Editing (Restructure rough document, including rewrite existing copy, verify and cite sources, add new information and format. Refine and polish a completed document with corrections made to grammar, spelling, punctuation, consistency and coherence.) – Simple: 2-4 hours per 1000 words. Complex: 4-6 hours per 1000 words.
Original Web Content (Research, conceptualize and write original Web content. Edit, proof and revise) – 2-5 hours per page. E
Existing Web Content Rewrite ((Research, and rewrite existing content. Add new content if deemed necessary. Edit, proof and revise) – 1-3 hours per page.
Brochure Copy (Research, conceptualize and write original copy. Edit, proof and revise) – 3-4 hours per panel.
Direct Mail Package (Structure package theme and collaborate with designer. Conceptualize, research, write, edit, proof and revise) – 3-4 hours for envelopes and BRC. 6-8 hrs. for letter.
Feature Article (Interview, transcribe, research, write, edit, proof and revise. Photography, including file transfer) – 10-20 hours for 500-1000 word article with photos, headings and captions.
Sales Letters (Collaborate with marketing/sales team. Research, concept, write, edit, proof, revise) – 3-4 hours per page for 1-2 page letter.
Newsletters (Meet with marketing team/ designer. Interview, transcribe, research, write, edit proof, revise. Photography, including file transfer) – 16-24 hours for three-four 200-400 word articles with photos and captions.
Ads (Meet with marketing team/designer. Interview, transcribe, research, write, edit proof, revise. Photography, including file transfer) – 5-8 hours for ad with headlines, subheads and 40-80 word body copy.
Press Releases (Research, write, edit, proof and revise) – 4-6 hours for 500-word press release in standard format.
Presentations / Proposals (Coordination with sales/marketing team/designer. Research, write, edit, proof and revise) – 3-4 hours per page for 350 words per page.
To be a writer is a gift and privilege. Be happy!