How to recognize a bad writer

Julie Myers, Freelance Writer IN
January 5, 2019

In the trade, we call 'em hacks. Not like growth hacking or Ikea hacks. Hacks in this sense is derived from the word "hackneyed," meaning unoriginal, trite, and overused.

Writers who are hacks have lost their zest for creativity, if they ever had it. They have no passion, although "passion" is itself a hackneyed term.

If you are buying freelance copywriting services, you need to recognize a hack on the spot.

Sadly, there are more of them around today than ever. Back in the day, and I'm going way back, it was tough for freelancers to be hacks. Printers just wouldn't recommend them, and printers were the main channel for referral business. Freelance writers could also work for agencies, which definitely did not hire hacks.

Today, anyone can hang their shingle on the Internet and call themselves a writer. Most clients don't know the difference.

Okay, without further fanfare or fuss, here is the cheatsheet to spotting a hack.


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I am a Florida-based freelance copywriter who works with clients across the U.S. and globally. My specialty is creating brand voices for the food industry and using them online and offline. I have been a copywriter for 30 years and have loved (almost) every minute of it.

To solve a problem, begin by looking at it in new ways. Asking new questions will result in new answers.

ˆf you have questions, drop me an email. If you are in a panic give me a call (but email is usually a better way to go)
Julie Myers |  Copywriter
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