Don’t Be Like This “Barking Copywriter” Who Doesn’t Deliver

Long-term client relationships are not unlike marriages.

They can work well for years, but at some point the client may decide he wants to try a different relationship.

That’s okay. It’s a natural part of the business cycle.

One of my clients stuck with me for more than four years. I was on a monthly retainer for most of that time.

Eventually, we decided we should take a break. It was a mutual decision, and I think it was best for both of us.

Recently we caught up with each other again. It’d been a few years since we’d talked. So he related a few of the things that had happened in his business during my absence.

Apparently, my client had hired another “name” copywriter. This copywriter was supposed to write some new copy and improve some of the copy I had written that was still being used four or five years after I’d written it.

Turns out, this “name” copywriter is all talk and very little action. My client told me it was like pulling teeth to get this guy to do anything even though he’d already been paid a good chunk of money.

I reviewed some of this copywriter’s work — he’d left my sales letter nearly 100% intact. A few tweaks here and there… that was it.

“Ryan, one of the things I loved about working with you is that you always got things done. Whatever needed to be done, you did it.”

What my client said about me should be said of all freelancers, but clearly not all freelancers merit such praise.

Because some freelancers are all talk and no action.

In my industry, I like to call them barking copywriters. They bark incessantly, but their bite couldn’t break a pencil in two.

Can a good copywriter help grow sales in your business? Absolutely.

But beware of the barking copywriters.

It’d be a shame if you paid good money for nothing but a noisy ego.

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and