Ok, so you learned what a copywriter is and decided this is for you…you’re going to hire yourself a bonafide wordsmith. Someone you can rely on, who will get your business results….but how much does it cost to hire a copywriter?
And do you need one? (Hint: not everyone does).
What Impacts Copywriting Prices
You’ve heard it before and you’re about to hear it again: you get what you pay for.
Copywriting is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, and your copywriters won’t be either.
That doesn’t mean if you spend more money you’ll automatically get you what you want (and vice versa), it just means that there are different things that go into pricing out copywriting services. Such as:
|US-based copywriters will normally charge more than Thai-based copywriters.
Small businesses (especially brick and mortar) tend to like hyper-local copywriters (like where I live in the Hudson Valley, NY). Larger or multi-national corporations generally don’t care.
|Native English speakers can often charge more because many businesses target English-speaking consumers.
However, native speakers of more widely spoken (Mandarin) and/or smaller, targeted languages (Polish) can also usually charge more.
|I worked in restaurants for over 10 years, and have been writing for food, travel, and hospitality businesses for 5.
If you want a food or restaurant copywriter, you’re more likely to spend more on me than you would on someone who does a little bit of everything.
|When I first started out, I did $5 articles for reviews, or free articles for backlinks to my site. As you can imagine…my work has improved a bit since then. And I charge for it.
When To Splurge On Copywriting (And When To Save)
True story: I talk myself out of clients all the time.
Wait, what? Why? Aren’t you building a profitable business over here?
It’s not a noble thing (I’m no altruist), but any copywriter worth their pen can figure out pretty quickly if your business actually needs a copywriter or not.
This does not mean you don’t need help, and we might decide on an hour consulting call or content strategy session, but there is a time and a place for copywriting.
Here’s a recent example that landed on my virtual doorstep.
After working with a client to build out the writing for their new website, one of the women who partners with them asked if she could schedule one of my free strategy calls to take a look at her new site.
She has just started on her business and built herself a neat little site off a template. No shame in that, it’s exactly what this website is.
So we started chatting. Audrey (*name changed) tells me a bit about her business, drifting around from goals (“Oh, I’m not sure”) to desired customers (“Hm, as in who I want to work with?”) to what she wants her website to do (*blank stare*).
You see a pattern here?
Audrey had no idea how I could help her, if I could help her, or what she even wanted me to do.
It’s not that I couldn’t assist her (we later booked one of those one hour strategy sessions and hashed it out together), but this was not the right time to hire me as a copywriter.
Knowing what your business is, who it’s for (your ideal customer), and what your goals are…these are essential to creating great copy that will actually work.
Sure, I can write something nice sounding. Or witty. Or whatever your heart desires. And it might feel good, seeing that down on your big, fancy website.
But it’s a shot in the dark. There’s a good chance that the content won’t do anything, other than sit there and look pretty.
TL;DR: Hire a copywriter when you have an idea for what you want to say, but you don’t know how to say it.
Otherwise, wait. Strategize. Bounce ideas around. And then hire a copywriter.
Do Copywriters Charge By The Hour?
Do copywriters charge by the hour? By project? Per word?
But others (myself included) charge by the benefit the business will receive.
Sometimes this is easier to quantify. For example, a sales letter or email. Let’s say you hire a copywriter who charges you $10,000 to write it. That might feel like a big number.
HOWEVER, if they write a letter that generates $100,000…you just made $90,000 on that investment. They charged you $10K knowing that they’d be able to multiply your investment by a whole lot more.
When I’m talking to a business that’s hiring a copywriter for the first time, this is often the hardest thing for them to understand.
I don’t have set prices. Not because I’m trying to pull one over on you or see how much I can get, it’s because I genuinely don’t know how much to charge until we have a conversation.
That’s not to say that all copywriters work this way. Plenty still cling to the old school model of charging $1,000 for every landing page or $100/hr.
There are also times where that model makes more sense, and most of us use a baseline of what we know we’ll accept and charge for certain types of work.
But ultimately, what determines my price (and many other copywriters) is going to be the value of their work.
Whether I write 20 words or 2,000, for 2 hours or 2 days…what does it matter so long as the copywriting gets results?
I’m not a lawyer. My time is not my value-add. My work is my value-add, so that is what I charge for.
You pay Four Seasons a higher rate than Holiday Inn’s even though they both offer hotel rooms, right?
Neither one is right or wrong, and you can find copywriters at every skill level and price point. But in general, they will charge you for what you’re getting from them…not bill you hours.
The Numbers: How Much Does A Copywriter Cost?
AWAI (American Writers and Artists Institute) hosts a copywriting community and classes. They’re founded by copywriters, in touch with the industry, and keep their finger on the pulse of the “who, what, and how much” of copywriting.
In AWAI’s 2021 State of the Industry report, they go into it all. Breaking down what’s working for content right now, and how much the pros are charging for it.
And they make a strong case for why it’s worth it to spend more on great copywriting.
As stated in the report by Paul Hollingshead, Co-Founder AWAI and Master Copywriter: “All of them use direct-response copywriters because a well written letter can bring in millions of dollars — for a fraction of the cost of opening a storefront or selling wholesale to retailers.”
Here are some examples of their numbers (read the full report to see more example pricing from just about every type of content):
|Keyword Research *Used for SEO
|Home Page Content
Notice the range here. This is what I mean by pricing for value, it varies hugely based on what your returns will be (which is usually based on the copywriters skills.).
Q & A For Copywriter Pricing
Answers to commonly asked questions here if you don’t feel like reading this longggggg post.
How much does a copywriter charge per hour?
A copywriter will charge anywhere from $2-2,000 per hour. Maybe more. Maybe less. This varies HUGELY and oftentimes, copywriters will choose to charge per project instead of per hour.
When should I hire a copywriter?
Hire a copywriter when you are creating content of any kind that needs persuasive and/or good writing (a website, re-writing an old site, newsletters, ad copy, a tagline, etc.). NOTE: I do not recommend hiring a copywriter until you know what you want to sell/accomplish and to whom.
Copywriters aren’t cheap. Get a clear understanding of your product and your customer before hiring a copywriter to avoid any disappointments.
How much do copywriters charge per page?
Yet again, how much copywriters charge per page is going to vary wildly from one copywriter to the next. A simple, e-Commerce landing page could be $100, or a homepage could cost $5,000. There’s a lot in between there.
If you want the full breakdown of copywriting practices and pricing in 2021, read AWAI’s pricing guide here.
Then, let’s talk.