Copify: the cheap and miserable way to procure copy

Copify is a new company that connects copywriters with content-wanters. So if you need a 500-word article on cat litter you can go to Copify and get a poorly-briefed stranger to churn out some generic words to fill your content hole.

Some copywriters are mildly outraged because Copify pays writers £0.02 – 0.08 per word. So writing that 500-word article on cat litter will earn you £10 – £40. If you spend 2-3 hours working on the article (I’m hoping you’ll research cat litter before you write…) you’ll earn as little as £3.30 per hour. Not a lot!

Having said all that, I don’t object to Copify. But I would never ever seek work from Copify and I would never recommend them to anyone as a source of content.

Copify fills a need. Some people need words. And they don’t really care which words you give them, because they want generic SEO-friendly filler content. Or backlink fodder. Either way they really don’t care about the words, or which order you put them in (so long as you meet their word count!).

Copify already exists in other shapes and sizes. Some agencies get trainee web designers to churn out content, while others pay students £10 per article. Guru and other freelance ‘job’ websites offer thousands of junk jobs that people are free to take if they have the time and the inclination to work for peanuts. And theoretically a super-fast writer could cut and paste some rubbish together in a few minutes and do quite well out of Copify, so who are we to stand in the way?

Services like Copify will not affect the business of professional copywriters because lots of people need professional copywriters, as opposed to a copy vending machine that spits out low-grade copy for stupidly-low prices.

Great blog post discussing the perils of paying copywriters per word

Comments

  1. Did you know this post is now ranking on P1 for “Copify”?

    Oh, and thanks for the backlink!
    .-= Andrew Nattan´s last blog ..Copify – The Debate =-.

    Comment by Andrew Nattan — February 9, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  2. You make reference in your blog to ‘low-grade copy’ where is the evidence for this exactly?

    We have opened the floor to reasoned dialogue, but when you are making assumptions like this, your post amounts to nothing more than slander.

    Comment by Martin Harrison — February 10, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  3. Hi Martin,

    It’s reasonable to assume that if you offer ‘copywriters’ lower than market rates for work that you pass them through a vending machine system where client contact is reduced to instructions submitted via a form on your website, then the resulting copy will be less than premium. So it still seems perfectly reasonable to call your copy ‘low-grade’.

    I’d love to know how bargain-basement copy written by poorly-briefed strangers could be anything other than low-grade. How is it possible (I’m genuinely curious)?

    Incidentally, I’m not criticising you for offering low-grade copy. Lots of people want low-grade copy.

    Comment by Leif Kendall — February 10, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  4. Martin: A demonstrable defamation carried by a book, newspaper, editorialised webpage or blog article may or may not count as “libel”, but it wouldn’t be “slander” – “slander” refers to speech and to other “transient” communications.

    The rules for libel and slander are slightly different, so people shouldn’t be encouraged to confuse them.

    I think that this arguably makes Leif’s point, that hurriedly-written copy that hasn’t had time to be thoroughly fact-checked, even when it’s written by a professional, can be problematic.

    For some applications the lack of thorough fact-checking and fine-tuning won’t matter too much. For other cases it will.

    Comment by Eric Baird — February 12, 2010 @ 4:28 am

  5. Copify turned me down for having an ‘austere’ writing style. I deliberately applied to them because it was cheap and nasty and assumed that they’d take anyone with a relevant degree. Do I intentionally need to produce shoddy work to gain these jobs, or am I being too naive in my expectations of what the marketplace requires ? Certainly I never studies for an MA to be told I lack an understanding of how to create a 200 word report on cheap car insurance 🙁

    P.S They did say I had ‘a good turn of phrase’ however, but in a context that suggested this may be a regrettable trait…

    Comment by Ramon — February 24, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

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