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HOW MUCH IS A COPYWRITER: A GUIDE FOR FIGURING OUT PRICING

HOW MUCH IS A COPYWRITER: A GUIDE FOR FIGURING OUT PRICING

This is one of those hurdles that every budding copywriter has to figure out. Understanding how much to charge a client is a nebulous process that requires research, intuition, and what feels like a good amount of guesswork. This article is to help you stop asking “How much does copywriting cost” and begin to develop the skills needed to answer that question for yourself. 

Let’s jump into it

HOW MUCH DOES COPYWRITING COST

Freelance copywriters base how much they charge clients on several factors. The weight of each factor varies by copywriter, but these are usually what goes into it. Often, people sell themselves short when they start as a copywriter. To avoid that, take each of these into consideration as you develop your pricing structure.

Experience and Expertise

This is a big one. When you first sit down to develop your pricing structure, think about how you’ll position yourself. You may not have a lot of experience in copywriting, but you may have experience in other areas. For example, I didn’t have a ton of content writing experience, but I did have a lot of academic writing experience, both as a student and professor. That means that while I didn’t have all of the traditional skills required for that field, I did position myself as having transferable skills.

Take a few moments and think about where your skills are. Chances are, you’ll be able to identify some overlap.

Project Complexity

This is something that’s going to vary from project to project. Sometimes projects are straightforward, which is great. Straightforward projects may not require a lot of time or brainpower. But there are other projects – especially when working with clients who have specific requirements or procedures – that have more moving parts. Regardless of what those moving parts are, this means more time and brainpower from you – all of which need to be factored into the cost.

Time and Effort

When you’re a copywriter, your time is money. You need to be paid according to what your time and effort is worth. Take into account the project complexity along with how long you estimate it will take to complete the project. 

Industry and Niche

If you’re focusing on an industry or niche that’s filled with other copywriters, you may need to price yourself a little cheaper to make yourself stand out from the crowd. If there aren’t a lot of people that have your knowledge or expertise, however, you’ve got some room for maneuverability. Do some research about who else is offering similar services to you and get idea of just how busy the field is. You’ll have a clearer understanding of where to go from there.

COPYWRITING PRICES

I’m going to be entirely honest here and admit that I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to price my services. Do I charge by the hour? By project? By word? I went into this assuming that I needed a single pricing structure. That this singular choice would be the thing to make everything work. That my choice would have to remain the same forever. 

It was a bit dramatic, I know – and the entirely wrong approach. 

When you’re figuring out pricing, you have to think about who your client is, how they operate, and what they’re looking for from you. You have to be flexible. Most importantly, you have to be willing and prepared to have various pricing structures ready at the drop of a hat.

  • By Hour: Charging by the hour is pretty straightforward. You have to log your hours and what you do to send off to your client. This keeps them in the loop about what you’ve completed, how long it took you, and how much the total cost of the project is.
  • By Project: When you charge by project, you provide a flat rate for the entire project. This kind of pricing structure offers less flexibility with any potential changes down the road. To accomodate this, address any changes or revisions beyond the initial project seprately.
  • By Word: This makes pricing very simple. You set a price (usually cents per word) and go forth. With this, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t fully account for the extra work that goes into writing. It doesn’t consider research, revisions, and other parts of the writing process. This structure encourages quantity over quality.

FINDING THE RIGHT COPYWRITER

When you’re a copywriter, you have to learn how to sell yourself. Clients want to find the copywriter that’s the one. All that means is that you have to show them that you are the one. This goes beyond figuring out the correct pricing structure to hone your copywriting skills. Once you’ve got those down, with a little bit of legwork you can demonstrate that you’re the right copywriter for the job.

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