Startup aims to upend copywriting model

A Henrico startup is looking to help businesses with their writer’s block.

Asad Khan in August launched CopyShoppy, an online platform that lets businesses tap into a network of freelance copywriters for a creative company name or slogan, a skillfully worded press release or Twitter post, and more.

Companies pay a fee to put out a call for writing services. CopyShoppy users, made up of writers worldwide, then write and submit entries for the company’s needs. Once the company picks its favorite, CopyShoppy takes a cut of the fee, and the rest goes to winning copywriter.

Asad Khan (Photo by Michael Thompson)

Asad Khan (Photo by Michael Thompson)

“I wanted to create a service that provides affordable copywriting services for small businesses,” Khan said. “One word, even one letter, can be the difference between one sale and 100.”

Khan launched CopyShoppy from his parents’ home with $3,000. He has since put a total of $10,000 into the company with the help of an investor. The website has held 16 competitions since December, when it began formally inviting companies to host contests on the site.

CopyShoppy’s services range from $99 for an email subject line or social media post to $249 for a jingle to $299 for a commercial ad concept and script.

One of its early clients was a fantasy sports betting startup in need of a company name and an available domain name to go with it. It hosted a contest on CopyShoppy and received 53 entries. The winning name was “Fantasy Capital” and FantasyCapital.com.

Anyone with an email address can sign up to be a copywriter on CopyShoppy. The site reached 1,000 users in January, Khan said. Each contest draws an average of about 55 entries. Khan said that $1,500 has been paid out in prize money in the past three weeks and that there is another $1,500 currently up for grabs.

Khan said the idea for CopyShoppy was born from his experiences doing freelance copywriting in Toronto, where he went to school for finance and economics and saw the success of similar online models for the graphic design industry. Such sites, including 99designs.com, have landed graphic design work in Richmond.

The CopyShoppy logo.

The CopyShoppy logo.

“For amateurs, it could be a steppingstone to becoming a more formal copywriter,” Khan said. “Getting copywriters to sign up isn’t the challenge. They are very interested in the platform.”

The challenge, Khan said, has been getting more companies to host contests on the site. To that end, after a year spent fine-tuning the layout of the site, Khan said he plans to begin more actively targeting startups and small businesses.

But Khan hopes to grab the attention of bigger clients, as well. He launched an unsolicited contest for a tagline for TechCrunch, one of the bigger names in tech media blogging. CopyShoppy put up $200 and chose “Big News, Byte Sized” as the winner.

He said he hopes TechCrunch will use the tagline and secure bragging rights for CopyShoppy.

“If a big brand sees value in the service and adopts a tagline, then that will build huge credibility for the site,” Khan said.

A Henrico startup is looking to help businesses with their writer’s block.

Asad Khan in August launched CopyShoppy, an online platform that lets businesses tap into a network of freelance copywriters for a creative company name or slogan, a skillfully worded press release or Twitter post, and more.

Companies pay a fee to put out a call for writing services. CopyShoppy users, made up of writers worldwide, then write and submit entries for the company’s needs. Once the company picks its favorite, CopyShoppy takes a cut of the fee, and the rest goes to winning copywriter.

Asad Khan (Photo by Michael Thompson)

Asad Khan (Photo by Michael Thompson)

“I wanted to create a service that provides affordable copywriting services for small businesses,” Khan said. “One word, even one letter, can be the difference between one sale and 100.”

Khan launched CopyShoppy from his parents’ home with $3,000. He has since put a total of $10,000 into the company with the help of an investor. The website has held 16 competitions since December, when it began formally inviting companies to host contests on the site.

CopyShoppy’s services range from $99 for an email subject line or social media post to $249 for a jingle to $299 for a commercial ad concept and script.

One of its early clients was a fantasy sports betting startup in need of a company name and an available domain name to go with it. It hosted a contest on CopyShoppy and received 53 entries. The winning name was “Fantasy Capital” and FantasyCapital.com.

Anyone with an email address can sign up to be a copywriter on CopyShoppy. The site reached 1,000 users in January, Khan said. Each contest draws an average of about 55 entries. Khan said that $1,500 has been paid out in prize money in the past three weeks and that there is another $1,500 currently up for grabs.

Khan said the idea for CopyShoppy was born from his experiences doing freelance copywriting in Toronto, where he went to school for finance and economics and saw the success of similar online models for the graphic design industry. Such sites, including 99designs.com, have landed graphic design work in Richmond.

The CopyShoppy logo.

The CopyShoppy logo.

“For amateurs, it could be a steppingstone to becoming a more formal copywriter,” Khan said. “Getting copywriters to sign up isn’t the challenge. They are very interested in the platform.”

The challenge, Khan said, has been getting more companies to host contests on the site. To that end, after a year spent fine-tuning the layout of the site, Khan said he plans to begin more actively targeting startups and small businesses.

But Khan hopes to grab the attention of bigger clients, as well. He launched an unsolicited contest for a tagline for TechCrunch, one of the bigger names in tech media blogging. CopyShoppy put up $200 and chose “Big News, Byte Sized” as the winner.

He said he hopes TechCrunch will use the tagline and secure bragging rights for CopyShoppy.

“If a big brand sees value in the service and adopts a tagline, then that will build huge credibility for the site,” Khan said.

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Asad Khan
Asad Khan
8 years ago

It it too late to leave a comment? Thanks again for the article!