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Freelance Copywriting Fees

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by sltwildcat, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. #1
    I am starting out as a freelance copywriter, so I am new to the business. I have about 4 years copywriting experience in many fields, including baking, online, email and print. I am having a hard time figuring the rate I should charge. I like in the Kansas City, MO area. This will be just an additional job for me, I have a full-time copywriting job. Thanks for any input!
    SEMrush
     
    sltwildcat, Sep 21, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ChrisChoi

    ChrisChoi Peon

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    #2
    My first copywriting job paid me $2000. After that, I averaged from
    $3-4000. If you are not confident enough start at $2000 and
    move up from there. If you are confident and have had good results,
    I wouldn't hesitate to charge $4-5000 for starters. I think copywriters
    often undervalue their work - good copywriters pay for themselves,
    often many times over. There are also people who will try to take
    advantage and try to convince you that copywriting is a 2nd class
    job - don't buy into that.

    My first ad was a blockbuster but my 3rd one bombed. I had
    to rewrite it to make it work.

    I stopped taking copywriting work because I focused on my
    IM ventures but if you have 4 years of experience, I personally
    think you should be charging $5-7,000 if you can deliver results.

    Results meaning you can make your ad turn a good profit for
    your client or beat their control. The one important thing I learned
    is that it's best you both be a marketer AND a copywriter.

    Sometimes, clients will have a bad marketing system or process
    and adding your own 2 cents with testing can really make a big
    difference in the overall profits.
     
    ChrisChoi, Sep 21, 2006 IP
  3. Tyler Banfield

    Tyler Banfield Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Don't expect to charge the majority of DP members more than $0.02 to $0.03 per word
     
    Tyler Banfield, Sep 21, 2006 IP
  4. igcorrec

    igcorrec Peon

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    #4
    Like Chris said, start at a low but reasonable price. $2k sounds pretty good. Just make sure you have a good portfolio to back up your price =)
     
    igcorrec, Sep 21, 2006 IP
  5. ChrisChoi

    ChrisChoi Peon

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    #5
    Or a great guarantee. I was able to get clients and win them over
    by saying if my ad doesn't return profits, then you pay me nothing.

    It put more pressure on me and made me work harder but that also
    led to more winners. I had written stuff that did decent or completely
    bombed but the way I made them work is by going back and doing
    more market/customer research and revisiting the ad from a different
    position.

    Don't think too hard about what Tyler said (even though it's true). :D

    Usually people in SEO circles will laugh or undervalue the power
    of copy because they don't use it (I pity the fools!!). Try to look
    for Direct Response based Internet companies/entrepreneurs or
    try to work for offline Direct Mail companies. They're already
    spending thousands mailing out letters, they would be stupid if they
    didn't put their advertising dollars to work by hiring a good copywriter.
     
    ChrisChoi, Sep 24, 2006 IP
  6. KevinK

    KevinK Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Can any of you recommend a professional copyright company? I am just looking for some small text for my personal/professional website.
     
    KevinK, Sep 25, 2006 IP
  7. carjamlangley

    carjamlangley Guest

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    #7
    sltwildcat

    You sound like you've got experience so you should expect a good pay rate, however, I wouldn't expect it at DP. I've found that many start up writers come to DP and offer extremely low prices which makes it difficult for an experienced writer to compete.

    That's not to say you should forget about DP, just to say that you should focus other places and just market to DP on occasion.

    Just some of my observations. Maybe others will say differently.
     
    carjamlangley, Oct 1, 2006 IP
  8. petertan

    petertan Guest

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    #8
    Here in Malaysia, the average that I got was around RM1,000 per job, usually all the hotel's monthly collaterals. Converted, that is around USD280.
     
    petertan, Oct 2, 2006 IP
  9. ablaye

    ablaye Well-Known Member

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    #9
    You should also look at freelance job websites that have copywritting jobs. You will see typically what most copywriters bid for the jobs listed. That'll give you an idea.
     
    ablaye, Oct 2, 2006 IP
  10. MattKNC

    MattKNC Peon

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    #10
    I am new to DP, but I agree that as far as finding work here that pays the prevailing rate, you won't find it.

    As mentioned, don't sell yourself short: too many people have no idea just how important it is to write effective copy. Some think that all you have to do is put together a few choice words and you are done.

    A great place to hang out with people who fully understand what you do is http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/ We're all in it together!
     
    MattKNC, Oct 4, 2006 IP
  11. deviant_writer

    deviant_writer Peon

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    #11
    The only problem with that is we all came from different countries. I mean, US rate is different from the rate here in the Philippines. For a magazine article here in the Philippines, you are paid from Php300 to 2500 (converted to USD, that is $6 to 51.50), in the US, that may be too low.
     
    deviant_writer, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  12. SEOLinker

    SEOLinker Banned

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    #12
    deviant writer so what stops you to charge more ? If you come from Philippines it doesn't mean you can't get paid good rates if you are really good. I can't understand the point simply.
     
    SEOLinker, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  13. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #13
    First of all, a magazine article is not "copywriting," so it doesn't apply to this thread (which is a bit old in itself anyway).

    It doesn't matter where you're from. If you're from the Philippines, and you can write solid, quality, pieces or copy for a native English speaking audience, you can get paid just as much as a US writer who does the same. Why settle only for what you "need" when you can be earning much richer rates? That's just bad business on the provider's part.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  14. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #14
    That's really the heart of the matter.
     
    marketjunction, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  15. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #15
    That's why I said it. ;)

    Seriously, I'll never get that whole idea some people have.... who cares if you can live on $5 / article where you live? If you're good enough (both at writing and marketing yourself) to earn 10 times that much, then you're a fool if you don't. You can spend that extra time elsewhere on hobbies or other work, because you won't need to take on as many projects. Or, take the same number of projects, earn more if you can, and live like a freaking king if your area's economy would allow for it.

    Are economic differences really enough that a quality writer (or any professional) should just be OK with a reputation built on taking crap work from other countries? Again, all that proves is that you don't know enough to be in business for yourself. If you can do better, then do it. If not, then be happy with what you're earning. But don't blame low rates on simple economic issues, when it's only one (and small in the grand scheme of things) contributing factor.

    Your rates should be based on what the market you're targeting will bear. If you're targeting publications that can afford to pay more, and you're on par with what they need quality-wise, then earn more... simple as that.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  16. Software_outsourcing

    Software_outsourcing Peon

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    #16
    The people are charging less because they are not confident of getting high rates even if they maintain a high standard writing . This can be due to following different reasons
    i) People lack marketing abilities and it is natural for them to pay for lack of something.
    ii) The part of the world they live does not pay much, and that is one big reason that they are not confident of high rates.
    iii) The people are contented to earn a package which looks reasonable to them .
    iv)For people who earn 500-800 $ a month, a hike of another $500 is very high.
     
    Software_outsourcing, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  17. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #17
    Why would someone not be confident charging higher rates based on the country they live in? Your lack of reasoning confuses me.
     
    DeniseJ, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  18. SEOLinker

    SEOLinker Banned

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    #18
    Yea, Denis, it looks pretty strange.

    Sounds like people simply DON'T want to get paid higher than some amount (big from the point of crowded marketplace of 3rd world workers, but not so big as it can really be). I am also from 3rd world country and totally confused:(
     
    SEOLinker, Jan 9, 2007 IP
  19. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #19
    software_outsourcing, that's pretty much my point... not being confident, not having marketing skills, thinking geography plays any role in overall ability to earn, etc.... those are all marks of a bad businessperson. Might they still make a living? Sure. Will they ever be as successful as they can be? Not a chance.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 10, 2007 IP
  20. deviant_writer

    deviant_writer Peon

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    #20
    First of all, I would like to say that I only mentioned magazine writing for comparison purposes. I didn't mean that geography should be a factor in determing the fee. However, since the rate here is different from that of other countries, that simply becomes our basis on the fees that we charge our client. Especially for those who are only beginners in the freelance industry, we won't have a great knowledge on how much our work is worth in other countries.

    It's not that I don't want to charge more... perhaps, you guys can give me an idea on how much the average rate is? I would really appreciate that.
     
    deviant_writer, Jan 10, 2007 IP