Sunday, November 30, 2014

Commercial Break

They do it on the radio and TV (and how! ”We’ll be right back after these six commercials…”)
Ads on TV movie programs are the title holders, for my money, for “Most Commercials Stacked Together” and “Most Repetitions of a Phone Number.” I’ve decided that I will not do business with anyone whose commercial repeats the phone number more than twice. Some are up to four times. Also I thought there was a rule that volume wasn’t supposed to be turned up for commercials any more. If it is a rule, it’s the most abused rule in business.
In a sense this whole blog is a commercial for my writing service, but it lacks two important ingredients of a sales message. One is the specific information someone would need to be able to buy the product. You can form an idea of my style, but you don’t know how much I ask for writing something, so here it is.
The rate is $45 per hour. When I quote a fixed price, that’s what it’s calculated on. I’ve never become accustomed to quoting by the word, but pretty often that’s what’s expected, so I’ve set a conditional minimum of $0.10 per for that.
That will all be modest to a few knowledgeable clients and exorbitant to the others, apparently the majority, judging by pay scales on most of the online job boards. What you have to factor in is (a) I work pretty fast, (b) I'll probably get it right the first time, and if I don’t, the corrections will be off the clock, and (c) the work will need only minimal editing when you get it.
I grant you it’s ten times the going rate in many places, but you have to consider the economies in some of those places -- India, Bangladesh -- that encourage low rates. Problem is, competition from those areas combined with lowered standards combined with pursuit of profit have caused those rates to slop over into the more developed world, where some of us still work. There are people here, too, who work for that money and perpetuate the situation, but times are hard and they may be in tighter circumstances than I am. I still maintain, though: penny-a-word and $5-per-hour are not part of my world.   
The other element that’s lacking in the blog posts is the “call to action,” the traditional close to practically all advertisements: “Send for a free sample”; “Call now; operators are standing by.” 
Free samples in my line of work are clips of past ads or articles. I’ve managed to get a few onto a “Samples” page here, but I’m not fully in control of that process. Samples will certainly be made available on request, however; just call or write the number or address under “Contact” on the home page.
Call now! I’m standing by.