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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member brukeferguson's Avatar
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    How much should I charge for copywriting service?

    I consider myself as good writer because I have studied from well known copywriters.I am offering email, sales letter, autorespsonder or any promotional piece.
    What should I charge for my services? Should I charge an hourly rate or create half day, day packages? Your help would be much appreciated.


    Bruke Ferguson, BSc

  2. #2
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    brukeferguson,

    Just responded to your other question and saw this one. This is always tough to decide. Some freelance jobs will pay by the word but then if you don’t know a lot about the subject matter, you get paid less and less for every minute you spend researching.

    I have found that it is best to charge an hourly rate and quote based on the job. Not all writing jobs fit the same mold (as I’m sure you know) and sometimes people want different things. I feel its better to be flexible than to say you only to one thing but that’s just me. For instance if someone wanted specific sources in a piece, I would try to accommodate that.

    Your “package” idea is intriguing. I like it because as a consumer, we want things to be easy. People feel anxiety when they are told “well, it depends” and then they might go somewhere else. When you give them a narrow offering for a set price though, they are more likely to pull the trigger. I would experiment between the hourly rate and the package deal. Just make sure that you are very clear with your offering in the package so you don’t force yourself into a bad situation where you are doing a ton of work for very little because the wording of your offer wasn’t clear.

    Hope that helps,

    Shawn

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    Bruke,

    Personally, I always charge on an hourly basis. It's simple and straightforward, and something the client can understand. Of course, you've got to give an estimate for the entire job before you start, but as part of that estimate, you will say something like: "This quote is based on my present understanding of your requirements. If your requirements change, or if you require me to do any additional work, this will affect the price" or something similar. The point is that the actual cost will depend on the amount of time you spend on the work.

    If you are asking us what your hourly rate should be, you'll probably get some suggestions. But keep in mind that the going rate varies considerably from one country to another. A rate that seems exorbitant in one part of the world might be ridiculously low in another. So, if anyone in this thread mentions a certain number of dollars, or pounds, or euros, or rupees ... well, that's not very useful (unless you are happy to tell us which country you are based on).

    Mike

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    SitePoint Member seosopt's Avatar
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    depends upon how much you are writing.. in UK a quality copywriter charges about 20 pounds per article. !

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    Quote Originally Posted by seosopt View Post
    depends upon how much you are writing.. in UK a quality copywriter charges about 20 pounds per article. !
    Do you really think so?

    Twenty pounds wouldn't cover the initial research or discussions in most cases. In fact, any professional copywriter who offers genuine quality wouldn't get out of bed for that amount.

    And keep in mind what I said about rates varying between countries. If Bruke's potential clients are not in the UK, the number of pounds is irrelevant.

    Mike

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    It's depend on project size and its complexity and how fast you need to provide. If you are not much sure, just charge on an hourly basis.

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    Well, it depends on the quantity and quality of content. So one could charge for it accordingly. And of course one should also charge up reasonably.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member Daisy McCarty's Avatar
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    Hi, Bruke, this is a question that obviously comes up a lot. I actually don't advise billing by the hour (although having a respectable hourly rate posted in your profile can be helpful to distinguish you from $10 per hour writers). My advice is to get a full scope of work before placing a bid and then offer a fixed price for that specific job. If it's a big job or one that might expand in scope, you can always break it down into milestones and get paid for each deliverable. If the scope changes, you can send the client a bid for the extra work and they can determine if they want to move forward from there.

    Certainly, you should estimate for your own purposes how long you think the job will take. However, if you make a habit of bidding and billing by the hour, this can lead to issues. Most clients simply do not know how long it takes to write various types of content. Billing by the hour may cause them to want you to "prove" how long it took. There are even software apps on some freelancing platforms that take screenshots at 10 minute intervals and send them to clients so they can monitor freelancers remotely if they are paying them by the hour. If clients are simply given a total price for the content, they can leave you alone to do the work and they have peace of mind knowing the cost won't spiral out of control.

    In the long run, hourly billing also puts a cap on your income since you are charging for time and not for value. There are only so many hours in the day, so even if you raise your hourly rate quite high, you are still limiting your income potential. With sales copy in particular, you should be charging based on the fact that you are increasing the client's profit potential. Once you have a few marketing campaigns under your belt proving that your writing brings in more business for your clients, you will be in very good shape. If you are an excellent writer but don't have experience delivering results for real life clients yet, I'd say shoot for mid-scale (compared to other professionals offering similar services in your home-country). Definitely don't start at the bottom and work your way up.

    Daisy McCarty

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    You only know your skill of copy writing.If you are best in the field of copy writing,they should provide good charges as their best in industry.Its all depend upon your dexterity.

  10. #10
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    6 Factors Determine Prices for My Copy-writing Services

    When a new client calls me, one of the first questions asked is almost always, “How much do you charge?” Whether the project is a press release, a brochure, a sales letter or a website landing page, customers want to know that the prices aren’t outrageous before they consider my copywriting services. That’s fine; I can understand that thinking. I like to know prices up front myself.

    The problem is that the pricing question isn’t an easy one to answer. Because every job I do is custom, (such is the nature of copywriting), I first need to know what the project is all about.

    Some copywriters charge by the hour. Not me. An hourly rate is only half the equation in trying to budget for a job. I prefer to quote a project price because that's what clients really want to know – the bottom line.

    To determine that project price, I consider six factors by asking the following questions:

    How much copy is required?
    Quantity matters. Writing a 4-page brochure is of course less time consuming than writing a 20-page website.

    How complex is the work?
    Some projects involve a lot of upfront research while others can be tackled head-on. It’s a lot more difficult to write copy about a specialized technical product, for example, than a consumer product that I’ve personally used.

    How much creativity is required?
    It’s hard to be clever. Often writing a small ad with just a headline and a couple short paragraphs of copy presents a more difficult challenge than writing a full-length data sheet because every word in the ad must be carefully considered.

    What's the going market rate?
    As a professional with more than 20 years in my field, I have no desire to be the lowest priced copywriter in the market, however, I recognize that my prices need to be competitive. Experience counts but affordability will always be critical.

    How sophisticated are the client's other marketing materials?
    If the client has already done the hard work to evaluate the competition, position the company and build his brand, then that will make my job easier. I’ll make sure my materials complement his existing marketing strategy.

    However, if the client is in the product launch phase or is a start-up company, I have to assume I’ll be doing more than just copywriting; I’ll likely be providing guidance on marketing, which takes time. Also, I recognize that the content I produce will probably be repurposed for other marketing materials down the road, so the costs can be spread among multiple projects.

    How fast does the client need the work?
    Like most copywriters, I charge more for fast turnarounds because they usually involve giving up my evenings or weekends to squeeze in the new project.

    Once I have the answers to these questions, I’m able to provide a project quotation. However, I hope the client won’t use price as the deciding factor in whether to hire me or another copywriter.

    It’s important to consider the value an experienced copywriter brings to the table. Sure you can find beginning copywriters and foreign copywriters who are willing to work at bargain rates, but if the copy they produce isn’t effective, then was it really worth the savings? The true bottom line is, a good copywriter won’t cost you money; she’ll make you money by delivering results.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Audioforchurch,

    Welcome to the forum, and thank you for an excellent post. It's a very useful contribution to the discussion.

    This is now quite an old thread, and the original questioner never came back to acknowledge the replies he received. Nevertheless, I'm sure other people will find your comments of value.

    Mike

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    yeah, audioforchurch, thanks for you experience

    i didn't mentioned at a glance that the topic creator went off a long time ago as for us, we pay our copywrighter\proofreader 0.10 USD per 1 word. He'a a kind of a freelancer. I tend to think that it's a common practice, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbu View Post
    we pay our copywrighter\proofreader 0.10 USD per 1 word. He'a a kind of a freelancer. I tend to think that it's a common practice, isn't it?
    It's fairly common to pay a proofreader on a per-word basis, but less so for a professional copywriter. Copywriting involves more than just writing copy. It requires meetings with clients, research into the clients' product or business, and review and refining of the copy at various stages of completeness. For that reason, it's more usual to pay for copywriting on an hourly basis.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    It's fairly common to pay a proofreader on a per-word basis, but less so for a professional copywriter. Copywriting involves more than just writing copy. It requires meetings with clients, research into the clients' product or business, and review and refining of the copy at various stages of completeness. For that reason, it's more usual to pay for copywriting on an hourly basis.
    thanks for clarifying, Mikl. I share your point of view.

    So what can be an average and most common ammount of money you pay per hour to the copywriter?

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    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbu View Post
    So what can be an average and most common ammount of money you pay per hour to the copywriter?
    It depends on what country you are in, what industry you are in, the skill and experience of the copywriter, and a several other factors. As this thread has already demonstrated, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

    The country is particularly significant. A rate that would seem normal in Europe or the US might be much too high in parts of Asia, for example.

    Mike

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    SitePoint Member dhruvpatel's Avatar
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    From my experience you should charge for 500 word or 750 word or for particular projects. Depending on experiences writer can get $2-$7 for 500 word articles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhruvpatel View Post
    Depending on experiences writer can get $2-$7 for 500 word articles.
    Please read my previous post regarding differences between countries.

    You might get a professionally-written 500-word article for $2 - $7 (or equivalent) in some parts of the world, but in most of western Europe, USA, Canada, and many other countries, that won't buy you a glass of beer and a sandwich.

    Mike

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    Many sites use a per word cost structure, but I prefer by the hour assuming you can trust your copywriter. As most tend to work from home (or in my case I used to work as a writer 7000 miles away from my employer), trust is a key factor if charging hourly. To answer your original question though, I used to charge $10 US / hr and work from South America for a US company.

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    Please read my previous post regarding differences between countries.

    You might get a professionally-written 500-word article for $2 - $7 (or equivalent) in some parts of the world, but in most of western Europe, USA, Canada, and many other countries, that won't buy you a glass of beer and a sandwich.

    Mike
    And really experienced writers won't even power on their machines for $7.00 USD. The real problem with low pay stems from those who are willing to let others exploit their services because of their location. If you're any good at what you do, you should be compensated for it based on your skill set, not your location.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    Having used proof readers before, I have been bitten by those that charge an hourly rate, of which their timesheets were questionable i.e. spent much longer than I would ever imagine. As much as I appreciate hourly rates are more accurate, I think many organisations need to know read and correction times i.e. price per 200-500 words.

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    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by itouch CV's View Post
    Having used proof readers before, I have been bitten by those that charge an hourly rate, of which their timesheets were questionable i.e. spent much longer than I would ever imagine. As much as I appreciate hourly rates are more accurate, I think many organisations need to know read and correction times i.e. price per 200-500 words.
    In fact, most professional proof-readers do charge by the word (or, occasionally, by the page), rather than by the hour.

    But note that proof-reading is not necessarily the same as copy-editing, where it is sometimes more common to charge by the hour.

    The above is based on my experience in the UK and USA. It might possibly be different in some other countries.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    Please read my previous post regarding differences between countries.

    You might get a professionally-written 500-word article for $2 - $7 (or equivalent) in some parts of the world, but in most of western Europe, USA, Canada, and many other countries, that won't buy you a glass of beer and a sandwich.

    Mike
    And that writer might actually earn more by working serving the beer and sandwiches.

    S

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    If you are able to persuade people to purchase things with the way you put words together, you can make good money. Copywriting is one of the strongest industries coming out of the Internet. Be it online or offline, you can make good money selling copywriting services and enjoying it at the same time. However, it is important that you are able to sell your own services. Here are what you can do and what to expect from it.

    <snip>
    Last edited by Force Flow; Sep 1, 2013 at 21:47. Reason: removed fake signature

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    As for how much to charge... what are you worth? Only you (and the market) can answer that.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast mackyanderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    "If you're any good at what you do, you should be compensated for it based on your skill set, not your location."
    I have to agree with this.

    It is not always base on your location. If you were from a far country from USA and your serving a good and high quality write ups for your client in that state, you should also be compensated at the rate base on their country. Moreover, if you are way too good to be true writer you can also earn more than what that state has to offer to you (of course that would take time, if you're just starting to have this job today).
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