Bob Bly Copywriter/Internet Marketing Strategist

Frequently Asked Questions


Click on the question below to get your answer:

Q: Bob, what services do you offer to marketers who need copy written?

A: I offer 3 primary services to copywriting clients:

  • Copywriting is writing the text for promotions such as landing pages, sales letters, video sales letters, print ads, e-mail marketing messages, press releases, web sites, and other marketing campaigns.
  • Copy critiques involve reviewing copy you have written for your marketing campaigns and giving you my opinion along with suggestions on how to improve it.
  • Consulting is advising you on your marketing strategy. For instance, if you sell widgets, should you rent a list of widget buyers and send them a postcard? If so, what is your offer to them? Why not send an e-mail instead of the postcard or in addition to it? Answering questions like these is consulting.


Q: How do I know which of these 3 services I should hire you for?

A: I am primarily a copywriter and so copywriting is what I do for clients 97% of the time.

If you come to me and say you need an e-mail to sell a widget to engineers in the chemical industry and you are offering a free widget buyer’s guide, I will respond by giving you a cost estimate for writing the copy for that e-mail.

On the other hand, if you want to sell widgets but aren’t sure how to go about it, I will respond by giving you an estimate for my marketing consultation service.

You can hire me to write copy straightaway as long as you can tell me what kind of copy you need – format, medium, product, offer, and audience.

If you are not at that stage and are trying to figure out how to sell what you have or determining exactly what you want written, that falls under marketing consultation, because I require a fee to help you figure it out.

I much prefer clients who know what they want to create and need “just the copy.” I quote a price, and with your approval, write the strongest copy for your promotion I can.

I’m not much interested in being an advisor, coach, mentor, or consultant – though if I feel strongly that I can help you, know the answer to your marketing problem, and that you need consulting, I may agree to do it.

My consulting focuses on the optimal strategies for either a single marketing tactic like an e-mail or a targeted and specific campaign like how to sell product X to audience Y.

If you need a formal marketing plan for your business, I will refer you to consultants who do that kind of work. I do not write marketing plans.



Q: If I hire you to write copy for us, what is your process?

A: To read my copywriting methodology, just click here.



Q: If I hire you to write a landing page or online sales letter, how do I then generate revenues from that?

A: You need to drive traffic to the site. I can help you do that or find other experts who can; both they and I charge a fee for doing this work, of course. Some of the traffic generation methods you may want to test include:

  • Pay per click advertising on Bing and Google AdWords.
  • Facebook advertising.
  • Coregistration.
  • Paid media advertising.
  • Banner and text advertising.
  • Seach engine optimization.
  • List swaps.
  • Affiliate marketing and joint ventures.
  • Article marketing.

…to name just a few. I have home study courses that teach many of these traffic building methods. I can also do some for you by myself or working with other experts in my network.

For more information on how to convert traffic to sales on landing pages and online sales letters, click here now.



Q: Is there more to selling online than creating a landing page or online sales letter?

A: There are lots of other components involved including pop-ups, banner ads, paid media ads, PPC ads, squeeze pages, autoresponder e-mail sequences, online videos, and much more.

If you know which ones you want written, I can give you an estimate for doing the work.

If you do not know which ones you want or how these elements work together, you can hire an Internet marketing consultant – me or someone else – to tell you. You can also find the answer in my home study course on Internet marketing: www.theinternetmarketingretirementplan.com



Q: Do you guarantee sales results from the copy you write for me?

A: Let me break this down since it is a multi-part answer.

To begin with, as I clearly state in my client agreements and on my web site, I do not guarantee results for the reasons stated here:
www.bly.com/newsite/Pages/method/Guaranteepage.html.

However, my standard client agreement, shown here, outlines my revision policy. You get 2 free revisions when I prepare the copy. After you post or mail it, if the results are not what we hoped for, I will tweak the copy one time for you:
www.bly.com/newsite/Pages/2005%20copywriting%20agreement.htm

By tweak, I mean a relatively simple and small change to improve results, typically a new headline and lead to test.

Now, let’s say the tweak doesn’t work and the results are still poor. Under the terms of the agreement, you are not entitled to any further writing on the project without paying for it.

You can of course hire me to try again and write a whole new promotion with a different idea or hook. For this I charge a price that is a discount from the original fee, because most of the research has been done and I can probably reuse small portions of the original promotion (e.g., the offer copy) in the new one.

Note: If you requested a change to the copy that I advised you not to make and you insisted on making it despite my warning, I am no longer responsible for the results and my guarantee is null and void. In such cases, I resubmit the original version with a recommendation that the client retest using it.

Finally, one piece of advice: All marketing should be done with risk capital. If you can’t afford to lose the money on a promotion if it doesn’t work, you should not do it.



Q: Are you easy to hire?

A: I am easy to work with, my clients tell me. But not so easy to hire.

Why not? Because I am incredibly selective about the clients and projects I take on. I only work on projects that interest me and I feel I can do better than other copywriters you can hire.

Also, as it states on my home page www.bly.com, I write all the copy myself and do not subcontract. So I can take on only a limited number of projects at any one time. Once my schedule is full, you may have to wait, and current clients get priority over new ones.



Q: I am a freelance copywriter and have been asked to quote on a copywriting job by a potential client. Can you advise me on what to charge?

A: I do not advise fellow freelance copywriters on what to charge – for several reasons.

First, we are competitors: for all you know, I am bidding on the same job.

Second, when I have in the past given pricing advice, the copywriters have been upset with me when their potential client rejected the quote and did not give them the job.

Third, it is price-fixing.



Q: What if I need graphics, not just the copy? Do you work with an artist?

A: I work with the best direct-mail artists and web designers in the world, but it’s not a package deal. After you hire me, I’ll give you some recommendations on the right artist for your job and you can come to terms with him or her on your own. I can also work with your artist or web developer, if you prefer. Either way is fine with me.



Q: Where do you do your writing?

A: I am not a mobile worker. All my writing is done at my home office on a desktop Dell using a special keyboard with raised keys similar to a typewriter.

I am a high-speed touch typist and the new flat keyboards that come with desktop PCs and laptops today don’t work for me.

Also I can only concentrate in the solitude of my home office surrounded by my reference books, files, and CD collection. I can’t work with other people around. You will never see me in Starbucks typing on a notebook.

Although I rarely travel, I can come to your office for consultation, training, or project kick-off meetings, though given my packed writing schedule, my availability for such meetings is extremely limited, and we may both have to wait longer to schedule them than we would both like.

It’s far more efficient for us to work together by phone, Skype, e-mail, or FedEx, which is what I do with 99% of my clients.

It’s also more cost-effective, as I charge a lot for out-of-office travel and meetings.



Q: Bob, I got your draft. And I think we can make any further changes to the copy we want in-house. If I make those changes to the copy myself, will you reduce my fee?

A: No. Think of it this way. The fee I quoted you is for the draft I gave you. Any rewrites are free. You don’t pay for them. Therefore, eliminating rewrites doesn’t lower the project fee. And truthfully, I would rather you tell me what you want changed and have me make those edits. You will get a better finished piece that way.



Q: If you start my copywriting project with a draft we have already written, will that save you time and enable you to lower your fee to us?

A: Probably not. In most cases it’s a waste of your time and completely unnecessary. If you have it, I will most likely treat it as just source material – part of the background material I always gather on every writing project.

However, if after reviewing your document I agree that you have made a good start, and that the job truly is a “rewrite” rather than “from scratch” copywriting, I will let you know. I’ll also tell you what kind of fee discount that translates into, if any.



Q: Bob, if I hire you, do you farm out the work to a junior copywriter, or do you write the copy yourself?

A: Click on the home page of www.bly.com and scroll to the bottom. It states: “Unlike many top direct response copywriters today, Bob Bly does not hire junior copywriters to work on your promotions. If you hire Bob, he writes every word himself - an advantage available from no other source.”

I didn’t used to have this on my home page years ago, because back then the idea that the copywriter you hired would fob off the job to someone else was unheard of. Now, among senior copywriters, it’s commonplace. But I have never done it – and I never will. When you hire me, I write every word. And I never subcontract your copy or any portion of it to other writers.



Q: I have a question not covered in your FAQs. How do I get an answer?

A: Call me at 973­-263--0562. I am almost always at my desk and I answer my own phone. And there is no charge for answers to short and simple questions.

If your question requires a more detailed answer than I can provide gratis in a brief call, I will either tell you the cost to retain my help – or refer you to one of my articles, books, or home study programs in which the answer is already written out for you. The articles are free; the books and courses are reasonably priced.