How Much To Charge For Copywriting

Create a proposal for your clients

Many copywriters charge by hour. You’ll need to determine what days you’re willing to work and which hours are most valuable to your customers.

Hourly pricing can seem restrictive because you have to be at the office every day to service client requests.

You can fix that by creating custom contracts where you set your fees according to your priorities. For example, you could agree to handle two to four jobs per month at a fixed rate, or one job with an additional fee for follow-up inquiries after this initial booking.

Monthly prices give you more freedom since you don’t have to worry about laying out money for advertising each week or taking orders each weekend.

But it also removes the incentive to generate new business – since you won’t get paid for it. With hourly billing, the cost of doing business is removed.

An effective way to price your services is through usage. Usage rates help providers know how much time will be needed to complete a project, and they allow users to account for their own expenses.

Set rates for writing in terms of milestones

It’s easier to estimate how much time it will take to complete a project if you are given a specific amount of money or a set budget.

You can easily calculate an hourly rate by dividing the number of hours claimed by the total price tag of the job.

It is more difficult to give an exact date for a milestone (such as when your book will be finished) if you are paying someone else any amount of money.

However, you can still provide some type of estimation around these types of deadlines. You may not know what hour-for-hour that costs, but you can at least work on estimates for different categories of expenses.

For example, if you expect to pay for printing, have several copies of your books ready to go before you send them off to get printed. If you think you'll sell lots of books, put the money into copyright registration or licensing agreements first.

If you plan to cost documents next, figure out which versions are most likely to attract buyers -- short stories, novels, textbooks, etc. Then screen manuscripts carefully first before giving anything closer to publication.

Finally, do some research on publishing companies and find out their average turn-around times for reviews, edits, and final prices. An expert can help you keep track of development costs.

Submit invoices with time stamps on them

There’s a whole world of difference between charging for “copywriting” and actually doing copywriting work.

People who need help writing articles, stories or blogs often have no idea how much it costs to produce quality content.

They may think that written words are one song download that can be easily created online.

Sometimes they ask freelancers what software they use to create content because they don’t know any better. Then you end up getting asked for prices to edit and format their content through WordPress.

You also should state whether your rates include editing at the point where they hire you. If your company offers this as a service, list the hours spent helping people get started with their blogging or creating drafts of posts.

These things will help clarify the price you’re asking for. Don’t forget to add in additional expenses, such as web hosting or membership fees you’ll have to pay to access hosted sites.

Provide written proof that you wrote each assignment

In all likelihood, your clients have found you online or through advertising. They want to trust you enough to give them their money back, in exchange for you doing some work for them.

They aren’t willing to pay for someone to write content, but they will if you prove you can put words on paper.

You need to understand how to charge for copywriting services before you begin providing such work. Based upon past experiences, you should be able to gauge what price points are acceptable to other businesses.

Keep copies of all communications related to work

It’s impossible to charge money for writing services if you don’t have any written documentation of your work. When clients hire you, they are paying not only for your time, but also for your word and expertise.

If you write freelance copy every day, then expect to be asked for additional work outside of what you produced. Once you start getting paid for copywriting, keep records of everything you do.

It can be as simple as keeping a notebook in which you note times, dates, and deadlines or as complex as starting a file folder system where you label files with names of clients and tasks. The goal is to show that you deserve payment for other jobs, products, or non-copywriting consulting activities.

There are two types of documents that you should save: one type contains information about your career before you became a writer, the other type contains evidence of your skills as a writer.

The first category includes web pages, reviews, publications, interviews, and anything else you make use of to promote yourself or your talents. This way people will see how much you value your writing and want to share it with others.

Get detailed feedback about what they like and do not like about your copy

There are many ways to get more explicit feedback from your readers, without paying yourself.

The most common way is via comments. Let them know you’re available if they have any questions or suggestions.

You can also survey them (for example, ask them in an open-ended question “What would make this article better?”)

Some people prefer getting direct messages through their email account. It may seem informal, but it can be helpful when trying to gain insights into how someone thinks about language and content.

Fix any mistakes from draft after final revision (if there are any)

After you’ve finished drafting your writing, you should go over it again on an editing level to ensure that everything is correct and no errors have occurred.

It is very important to do this as soon as possible. Once you write something, whether in pen or in digital form, it is almost impossible to go back and edit it.

So when you were doing your research, did you give each book equal time? Or did you pick one angle you thought was going to be popular and focus on that, leaving your other books with less interest? It may be because you chose a topic people don’t care about.

Or maybe you picked a topic that had too many distractions, making it hard to get readers into the page.

The key here is to know your audience and their issues. You want to put yourself in your audience’s shoes before launching into writing what they want.

Are they interested in history or in technology updates? Which issue matters most to them?

These questions can help you identify your target reader base. Who are you trying to reach with your copywriting? What will motivate them to listen to what you have to say?

Do not require upfront payment

There are no clear rules on what amount of money you must make before you can write a content strategy document. The only way to know is to ask.

Some people believe that until you need to pay someone, you don’t really need a job. You should be able to get by without paying until you need something written in an emergency.

I disagree. I think there are many times where having quality content produced at a low cost is necessary.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to produce content because customers are coming to your website or their problem is growing more serious, then it may be time to see if you can afford getting out of the copywriting business.

But if you still feel like you’re being cheated, try seeing how much you can charge for writing content. At the very least, you can use content to promote your services.

Require a non-refundable retainer fee

While it may seem counterintuitive, I believe that you should require a non-refundable retainer fee in advance before you write any content for a client.

This way, you can guarantee yourself some amount of work. Also, by writing content ahead of time, you know how long your work will take.

Most freelancers don’t charge by the hour, so make sure you set up fees based on the scope of your project.

An example would be charging a client $5,000 for a written article. You plan to spend between one and two weeks working on the piece. By setting a deadline like this, you avoid dragging out the process as both parties wait for results.

To calculate your hours, first figure out what something costs. Then multiply that cost by your hourly rate. For example, if you are charged $50 an hour and you complete an entire project in one day, then you would add up your total hours and divide that number by the length of the task.

Your hourly rate is the most important part of calculating your fees. After all, you only do things you want to do. The more time and resources you put into a project, the more you should get paid.

About The Author

Juice Staff Writer
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