Underestimated

Always on the lookout for new opportunities, I have found a new (freelance) job as a writer. And just like the one where I wrote articles for facebook, this one is a bit out of my usual expertise as well: I’m writing articles about smartphones even though I don’t have any kind of mobile phone.

stack of papersAt least it’s not writing articles of how great smartphones are… well okay, maybe a little. We’re talking about product descriptions, like the ones on amazon for example. The idea is that the writer gets a factsheet about the thing that needs a description and then has to wrap up those facts into more pretty sentences with a more or less overt “pick me” idea. A kind of easy, low-level copywriting. Essentially it’s blah-blah with a lot of adjectives. Or so I thought.

I had to do 10 articles at 450 words each, plus 50 words each with extra blah-blah and extra adjectives like “This smartphone shows off its amazing design in clean lines and with extra technological oomph under the hood” or some such. The first 350 words were easy, that’s what the factsheet is for, but the last 100 words were rather painful to find. There are not that many different adjectives to describe a piece of metal and glass, and besides: I’m not used to waffling…

Honestly, I had no idea this would be that difficult. I completely underestimated the time one article would take – I mean, how long can it take to write 450 words? At most 30 minutes for sure! Well, the first article took me 4 hours. There was no sample as guideline, and these days you must keep SEO in mind and can’t just copy/paste from elsewhere and change a word or two. And then there’s the waffling… There were a lot of blood, sweat, and tears going into that first article. Thankfully, towards the end I was down to about 70 minutes for one article. I worked 12 hours yesterday and made the deadline by a mere 38 minutes. I’m pretty proud of myself! And I have garnered respect for people who do this every day, for a living – if there even are any who can handle that 😉

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