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Old 05-23-2015, 01:01 AM
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Join Date: May 2015
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Default Short product descriptions; UK writers needed.

Hi everyone.

I am recruiting for a US company that wants to break into the UK market and the copywriting market in general. At the moment, we are looking to create a team of 10 to 20 UK writers who can deliver high-end tech copy for a variety of products. These products may range from laptops to binders and everything in between.

We're in an unusual situation in that we have strong backing as we're part of a huge company, but we don't have a platform yet. Consequently, we need to work around this.

We work on a per-item basis, and the pay is in USD — approximately 4 cents per word, assuming you hit minimum word count. At the moment, each item looks to be about 120 words, so expect around $4.80 per SKU. However, this word count may change, but we'll pay for the extra in that case. We should get up to 4,000 SKUs to write about. In addition, we have other potential projects coming down the pipeline, although we cannot guarantee this. We pay through PayPal. This is a work from home/pub/café position and you'll be an independent contractor. That also means we're not responsible for tax and NI and similar issues.

Because this is product copy, we're looking for engaging copy that still maintains a professional tone. While it shouldn't be dry, it shouldn't be too informal. Think of it as a conversation between you and a customer where you're explaining the benefits of the product. You start with the most notable aspects of the product and then move down the list.

Because we're in the recruiting stage, our admission standard is a 150-word sample on one of three products, but please don't write one for us yet. This sample will be used for evaluation purposes only, and you will retain the copyright of that sample. I'll only contact people for these samples who fulfil the requirements. We do not pay for evaluations, however. Naturally, we run samples through Copyscape as well. Default to Guardian style, please.

Content should be in UK English with appropriate UK English idioms if necessary. I've included a sample below. If you can reproduce the style and the same sense of flow in the sample, please contact me.

Sample:

Enjoy rapid response times, outstanding contrast, and crisp, clear images with this VIZIO E-Series 50-inch smart 1080p LED TV. It has a 1080p screen resolution for plenty of detail, and its super-fast 120Hz refresh rate lets you see all the action even with fast-moving sports and action films. You'll see each piece of dirt and moisture as it spins off the ball, great explosions and all the detail of a high-octane broadcast thanks to the 5,000,000:1 screen contrast ratio.

The sample is just to highlight the tone expected and the level of detail required.

Contact:

My email is [email protected].

I'm expecting to get quite a lot of emails, so I'll have to filter them a little. If you could include the word "techsmith" in the subject line of the email, and these will filter to a specific inbox. It's a silly word, but it helps to determine who reads this far down. In addition, if you could include a little about yourself, including your name, where you're from and what qualifies you for this project, that'd be great. In addition, please include a brief blurb about your local boozer (no more than 15 words). Again, this helps me to see who is actually UK based and who can follow instructions. You can be either formal or informal. Again, it's for evaluation purposes only, so you'll own the copyright.
Please keep everything to under 300 words.

Brief style guide:

This is for reference purposes only at the moment to give you a brief idea of what to expect. Naturally, this can change depending on the client's needs.

Abbreviations: Please do not use abbreviations unless describing tech. Permitted abbreviations include GB, MHz, rpm, Mbps and MB. Other cases will be dealt with on an as and when basis. We do aim for consistency throughout the batch.

Capitalization: First word of each sentence; please only uppercase proper nouns and the first word after a colon. Do not capitalize ordinary words in product names. It's a Canon all-in-one printer.

Commas: Please do not use the serial comma; use commas to break up independent clauses (with conjunctions, including imperatives) and offset introductory clauses.

Formatting: Please set Word to eliminate smart apostrophes. There should be a full line break between each paragraph (two hits of the return key). If there is large spacing, please set Word to "no spacing." Please use either doc or docx file formats. Please do not use Open Office.

Quotation marks: Please do not use unless quoting someone. That's almost never necessary in this form of product copy.

Period use: At the end of each sentence; please only use a single space at the end of each sentence.

Spacing: Please use a single space after sentences. In addition, please eliminate the space between a unit and its number when the unit is an abbreviation.

Spelling: Default to UK norms. Please use Oxford Dictionaries Online to check spelling. If in doubt, use "ise" over "ize" and hyphenate prefixes.

Please prioritise the most important features first. Our audience is a moderately informed person who is buying for a company, but don't expect that person to have detailed knowledge of the products. We need to explain roughly why they should prefer one set of features over another. That's not to say, however, that we should always say the same thing: We consider that boilerplating, and our aim is not to produce identical strings of copy. We want copy that is unique, both on the site and away from the site.
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