There are no “set” prices for copywriting. Each writer has a specific philosophy in pricing jobs, and this is why you see such wide swings among estimates for a given project. Various factors may be considered by writers when coming up with their copywriting prices. Here are five of them.
1. How good a writer am I?
The writer’s confidence (or lack of) in his abilities can have a lot to do with how pricing is structured. Naturally, a seasoned copywriting veteran will ask for higher prices than a novice who’s only been doing the work for a year or two.
2. The potential ROI for the client can affect prices for copywriting
Some writers when setting their prices for copywriting focus mainly on the return the client could get from the project. For example, a writer might charge $100 for a business letter thanking colleagues for providing input for an annual report, and then a week later quote $15,000 for a direct-response letter that could net the client $250,000.
3. Technical complexity
If a project is highly complex and requires a writing style that’s difficult to manage, some freelance copywriters will charge more than they would for a simpler project, even if the expected time spent for both is about the same.
4. Discovery, interviews and research
Copywriting prices definitely will be affected by how much time the writer will spend doing things other than writing. If time-consuming meetings, conference calls, interviews, research, travel and the like will be involved, prices most certainly will be higher.
5. Who is the client? Not the most ethical way to set prices for copywriting.
In some cases, a freelance copywriter will base his fees on the stature and solvency of the client. While he may quote Mom & Pop’s Candy Shop $250 for a newsletter, a similar project might cost Diversified Global Monolith Inc. $2,500. This isn’t the most ethical way of doing business.
However, another scenario in this topic is ethical. Let’s say a writer normally works at a rate of $75 per hour. This is what he’ll base his estimate on for Diversified Global. But over at the candy shop, Mom and Pop aren’t doing so good business-wise, so the writer may cut his rate to $35 or $40 per hour for them.
These are a few—certainly not all—of the factors that can come into play in determining prices for copywriting. Most freelance copywriters aren’t out to make a million dollars a year, and they work hard to keep their prices competitive, which means you should be able find many writers whose pricing works with your budget.
Prices for copywriting services shouldn’t be your only factor in choosing a writer
Hiring a copywriter shouldn’t be based solely on what the writer charges. Conversely, a writer who’s confident in his abilities and believes he can make a difference for the people he works with normally won’t use price as the primary selling point in his marketing language. You’ve probably seen marketing for “writers who do sell on price:
“Great content for your marketing projects, lowest prices for copywriting, $10 per page—buy now before the typhoon hits my hut!”
When you’re looking to hire a good freelance copywriter, look not only at price but also at:
- how long the person has been in business
- samples of the writer’s work
- how well the writer understands your project/campaign
- industries the writer is comfortable writing about
- the writer’s ability to speak clearly and logically with you in person (or on the phone)
- the writer’s general disposition—this will give you an idea of what it will be like to work with the individual
Remember these two old sayings that apply to many types of transactions in life including hiring a writer:
“It pays to buy quality”
“You get what you pay for”