CopyPress Wants Copywriter to Write for $3.33 an Hour.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the extremely low pay that content farmers pay writers. I was (and am) upset for two reasons. 

  1. Writers should not accept such low pay.
  2. Companies that claim to care about writers should not offer such low pay. 

CopyPress just offered me an article and the pay is $20.

It will take me four hours to research and write the piece and conform to their style guide. Then I'll have to spend two hours satisfying, in a purely syntactical fashion, the hyper-anal editor who, to justify her fee, will obsess about 435 out of the 500 words.

So the whole gig will take around six hours and I'll get $20. That's $3.33 an hour.

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I'd make a list of things I could do for higher pay. 

  • Pick up cigarette butts outside office buildings (next to the ‘No Smoking’ signs).
  • Clean toilets in a biker bar after closing time.
  • Inspect sewers in a ‘developing’ country.
  • Work security at a death metal concert.
  • Wake up at 4 a.m. to shovel horse ‘droppings’ in a freezing barn.
  • Pack boxes in a ball bearing factory.
  • Fry hamburgers.
  • Smash my head against a wall to test helmets.
  • Shovel snow in Anchorage. In February.
  • Put diapers, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, and peanut butter on store shelves.
  • Pump gas.
  • Mow grass.
  • Rake leaves (and put them in the bags).
  • Bus tables.
  • Be a rickshaw driver in New Delhi.

Alternatively, I could find great clients who:

  • Value persuasive writing.
  • Pay accordingly.
  • Treat me like a professional.
  • Tell the truth about their compensation.
  • Pay on time and not make excuses about ‘their providers’ not getting funds in the right accounts. (Yeah, right).
  • Value great content.

Good thing I’ve been marketing myself and have plenty of these clients.

The only activity that pays less than CopyPress is jury duty.

This gem from the CopyPress website.

CopyPress writers receive competitive rates and are paid in bi-monthly installments. Writers never wait around to be paid and always know exactly when to expect their next pay check. 

Memo to time, for your website, hire a copywriter who will tell the truth. Rule #1 in copywriting is to tell the truth. Telling lies will come back to haunt you. Your rates are NOT competitive and you know it. Also, based on all the emails I received last week about late payment due to a 'technical' error, writers DO NOT know when to expect their pay.


I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here.

An Open Letter to My Fellow Copywriters about Content Farmers

An Open Letter to My Fellow Freelance Writers:

As a freelance direct response copywriter, I’m constantly looking for opportunities through pushing and pulling.

Pushing is contacting companies and agencies I think will need my copywriting services. Pulling is cruising websites like Elance, Linked in, and the like for opportunities.

I stick to copy and I write mostly for agencies and corporate creative departments. However, I’ve been lured into assignments for content farms and these frauds are the subject of my blog—and my ire.

Early in my career, someone I knew pretty well came up to me hyperventilating about ‘an international business opportunity.’ They were trying to get me into a pyramid scheme selling cleaning stuff—not exactly an ‘international business opportunity.’

It’s the same with the content farmers like Demand Studios and CopyPress.

The Internet needs good, meaty content and these two companies, and similar outfits, extract it from writers; the content primarily bolsters SEO results.

Lured by big promises, I went through the tortuous application process hoping to get some regular work for sensible pay—from both CopyPress and Demand.

On Tuesday, CopyPress breathlessly offered me five 500 word articles for $8.25 an article. The pay is well below minimum wage as each article will take at least three hours to write. And that’s before some hyper anal copyeditor has obsessed over every colon.

You can say it’s thievery on the part of CopyPress and Demand or stupidity on the part of the writers for taking jobs for ridiculously low rates.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. But I have these thoughts. 

  1. It’s insulting for the content farmers to offer low pay.
  2. The low pay will be reflected in quality.
  3. It’s criminal for writers to write for this level of pay: the content farmers will pay what they can pay.

If you’re a writer and you’re in this part of the game, then leave. Whenever CopyPress asks you to work for them, say no, and tell them their rates are terrible. The more writers who say ‘no’ to the content farmers, the better. The farmers will have to pay more.

I’m not a union guy and I’m not advocating collusion but until writers say ‘no’ to bad gigs, then we’re always going to get people smashing our teeth in. There’s plenty of good work around WITHOUT having to deal with the content farmers.

Oh—and a special note to Demand and CopyPress. Please tell the truth.

On the CopyPress website, you’ll read this:

"CopyPress Loves Writers."

No you don’t. You love STUPID writers who will work for $8.50 an article.

On the Demand website, you’ll read this guff:

“Join our freelance community and earn significant income while building your portfolio.”

So—how do YOU define significant? I’m sorry but $15-$25 per article isn’t significant.

Click through and Demand promises 'recognition' and a 'byline' and all the typical tactics that bottom floor publishers and agency owners employ to get writers to write for nothing.

Message to may have a big website and fancy photos but you're treating writers like dirt. Message to writers: stop letting people like Demand and CopyPress treat you like dirt.

I’m sorry I wasted my time even thinking about writing for these two companies. If you work for one of these outfits, you should be deeply're better than this! Read as many marketing books as you can and find the good gigs with the great clients.


I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting CopyOr contact me here for a direct response copywriting quote.