Whether you’re tired of trying to fit writing content into your already-packed day, or you find that waiting on clients for their content is as fun as having a tooth pulled, you’re probably considering hiring a copywriter to get it off your to-do list once and for all.
If there’s one question that always crops up when hiring a copywriter, it’s guaranteed to be “how much does it cost?” – and with good reason too. Without an ‘industry standard’ to refer to, it can be tricky knowing if you’re getting good value, being taken for a ride, or paying just the right amount for the quality of the writing you receive.
Just like “how much does a website cost” has a flurry of different answers, depending on who you ask, “how much does a professional copywriter cost” usually produces the same results.
With that being said, today I’d like to help you figure it all out with a guide on how much copywriting should cost, with price-changing elements factored in.
If you’re relatively new to the wonderful world of copywriting, there are generally three types of writers that specialize in online content:
1 – Copywriters (tend to write conversion copy or website copy)
2 – Content Writers (tend to focus on blogs or long form content)
3 – Content Strategists (A mixture of the previous two with ‘big picture’ strategy thrown in)
Whichever you choose, you should be getting an experienced, trained professional that is dedicated to creating high-quality content, crafted in your company’s voice and designed to improve your conversions and get more leads in the door.
For this article, we’re going to go delve into the three main hiring options to choose from when it comes to finding your perfect writer, and they are:
- A full-time in-house employee
- A digital agency
- A freelance writer
I know what you’re thinking, a full-time employee! Seriously? How the hell would I cover their wages? Hey, sometimes you find a writer that’s so talented their work sells you more work, and they can sell more copywriting/blogging work as they build up a rapport with your clients.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not looking to hire a full-time writer. If copy isn’t your main bag, it can be a lovely revenue-adding service you offer on top of your usual website projects.
So, you’ve got a few other options if an in-house full-timer isn’t on the cards right now: freelancer, white label, content mill, or content agency.
There are advantages and disadvantages of each. Before deciding whether you want to call up a freelance copywriter, hire a brand new employee, or get in touch with an agency, there are a few things to consider – especially when it comes to cost and quality.
So, we’re going to take a closer look at the main types of copywriters so you can figure out which one is the best option for you and your business.
Remember, what’s a great fit for one agency isn’t a good fit for another – so take into consideration what you need, what you expect, and what level of management you want to put into your hire.
The Factors That Affect Copywriting Rates
There are quite a few things that can affect the rates of a copywriter. This can include experience, whether the writer specializes in an area/industry and even the type of project you need them for can influence how much it’ll cost.
Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect copywriting rates. These factors will help you better understand the breakdown of a copywriter’s prices too.
Most of the time the copywriter taking on your project is going to need some background information on your company, the topic they’re covering and whatever it is they’re supposed to be covering in the content.
They might have to undergo a lot of research if they’re unfamiliar with the topic you’re asking them to write about. This research could include things like:
- Interviewing your customers
- Checking out the competition
- Taking a look at previous content and marketing strategies
- Researching your industry
- Developing customer personas
You might be able to keep these fees down by providing the writer with as much information as you can beforehand, so they don’t have to research it themselves.
If the copywriter you’ve chosen specializes in your field or is highly sought-after then they’re more than likely going to charge a bit more.
For example, if a copywriter specializes in writing about agriculture and is the best (or the only one) in the industry then they hold a monopoly over that sector, meaning they can charge a higher price due to having a specific skill.
When you need a copywriter to write about a specific topic it’s usually a good idea to take on a specialized copywriter, even if they do cost more. It may seem more expensive initially but they have a lot of industry knowledge so it’ll take them less time to research and understand what it is you want them to write. Technical copywriting is a specialized skill, and they charge accordingly.
Strategy & Planning
For larger or more complicated projects a copywriter may need to sit down with other members of your team to devise a plan on how to tackle the project. This means they could charge you extra for the time taken to be on conference calls with you or your staff.
Make sure to tell them all the details about the project beforehand so they know how much time will have to be put into conference calls and strategy building. This way at least you’ll know beforehand the price you’ll be paying for their time.
The Type Of Project
The price of a project isn’t just dependent on how much copy is needed but also on the complexity of the project.
For example, the copy for a tri-fold brochure would cost a lot less than a 30-page website.
If you need something done as soon as possible or by a date that pushes ahead of anybody else in the queue you may have to pay a rush fee. This fee makes your content a top priority meaning the writer will get to your project first before others.
It’s important to note that if you need something completed ASAP and it causes your copywriter to work during the holiday season or on a bank holiday then they may charge more – sometimes even double or triple the normal rate.
Level Of Expertise
As with most professions, the more expertise your copywriter has the more they’re going to charge for their services.
This might sound like it’ll cost you more at the beginning but the more experienced the copywriter is, the less chance there will be multiple revisions needed. This will save you time and money in the long run as the project will be finalized sooner rather than later.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay For Content?
Depending on the project and the copywriter they’ll charge either per hour, per project, or per word.
I always advise people to be incredibly careful with ‘per word’ pricing – for blogs it’s fine, but for website copy avoid it. Website copy should be concise and to the point, choosing a copywriter who charges per word for website copy can sometimes lead to unnecessary waffle in the text to hit a word count.
Below are some rough estimates on what you’d expect to pay for various projects. These prices could fluctuate depending on the factors we went over above, but it should give you a general guideline of what to expect.
|Project Type||Freelancers or white-labellers||Junior Copywriter (1 – 5 years of experience)||Senior Copywriter (5+ years of experience)||Agencies (a team of copywriters)|
|Website Copy||$150 – $500 per page||$100 – $300 per page||$200 – $1000 per page||$500 – $1000 per page|
|PPC Advertisement||$30 – $150 per ad||$30 – $100 per ad||$50 – $200 per ad||$100 – $300 per ad|
|1000 Word Blog Post||$100 – $800||$400 – $1000||$1000 – $2000||$700 – $1600|
|Landing Page||$300 – $1000||$300 – $800||$1000- $2000||$1000 – $1500|
|Brochure||$200 – $1000||$400 – $700||$600 – $1000||$700 – $1400|
|$150 – $800||$300 – $900||$500 – $2000||$600 – $1500|
Now just a quick glance at that table and you’re probably thinking holy crap there’s a huge range in there. Yep. There really is. You can find new freelance writers that offer blog posts for $35, and you can find senior content writers with 20 years of experience that offer blog posts for $3500.
Finding the right copywriter for you isn’t just about how much they charge (although that is super important) – it’s what matters to you.
Do you want someone who can come in and give you guidance on your overall content strategy? You’ll want to hire someone with experience and serious writing talent.
Do you want cheap and cheerful blogs that don’t need a lot of personality? You might find a student or a newbie to the industry is your perfect fit.
Do you want high volume, low quality content? A content mill might be the answer.
Just like with the web designers and web developers, there are so many options out there – you need to figure out what you’re looking for from your writer and find one that fits the bill. Great writers come in all price ranges – and your perfect fit is out there waiting for you!