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Freelance Copywriting Fees

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

  1. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #21
    I'm not saying they should suddenly try to charge more to local clients or anything... the market might not bear that. But if they're targeting native English-speaking markets (US, UK, Canada, etc.), they should be setting their rates based on those markets instead of their own (assuming they have a high enough command over the language). Aiming too low makes writers look like a joke to larger publications... and if the writing is that good, there's no reason they shouldn't try to be published there (for their own reputation's sake, broadening beyond a basic webmaster market is certainly a good thing).

    Average rates can be broad, and determined by who you're targeting... copywriting, magazine writing, etc.? Writing in advertising will pay more than writing in PR. Writing for print trade publications will pay more than a small niche website on the same topic... etc. A good place to start is to look at the rate guidelines put out by Writer's Market - they cover an awful lot of options, and have been pretty accurate from my experience. The real key to charging more is specializing and targeting the right client base.
    SEMrush
     
    jhmattern, Jan 10, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #22
    First, let's back up and put our thinking caps on.

    What's the average rate? It's easy to point to the Writer's Market, but that book is ASSUMING you're average (as pros go). However, what's average for you and your talent (or lack thereof) can be quite different.

    There are many writers floating around who's average should be .01-.02 cents per word (or less).

    The Writer's Market can you give a great idea of what's to come if you put in the time, effort and money to become a good writer.
     
    marketjunction, Jan 10, 2007 IP
  3. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #23
    Jason, there are industry standards and averages, as much as you like to play devil's advocate. ;) Can everyone pull off something in a typical professional rate range? No. But it gives them something to work towards if they're going to target professional markets and larger clients. It's also not broken down into one narrow range... there are high averages, medium, and low. Just looking at the low end will show a lot of people how far off they are from earning professional rates, and if it's of interest to them, there's no reason in the world not to take them seriously and use them as a goal or guideline.

    But you're right... they have to put in time and effort if they want to come even close to those rates. Most people charging $.01 / word will never reach that - some because they're not that good, some because they simply don't have enough confidence to charge more, and some for other reasons I'm sure. There are plenty of average and even terrible writers who are earning at least the low end of those scales though... they just know how to market themselves exceptionally well.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 10, 2007 IP
  4. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #24
    So, if I'm going to get paid for playing recreation softball this weekend, does it make much sense to see what the industry average of players in the MLB is?

    ;)
     
    marketjunction, Jan 10, 2007 IP
  5. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #25
    Anyone serious about making a career out of writing, and willing to put in the work to better themselves to be able to do that should absolutely verse themselves in what other professionals are making in the specific niche or type of writing they're planning to target. Just as in running a business, you shouldn't do anything without some kind of planning first. If you don't understand the industry you want to work in, then you're never going to get anywhere. It doesn't mean they'll be able to make those rates off the bat... but it gives them background to help them set goals and work towards them.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 10, 2007 IP
    Richie_Ni likes this.
  6. Red01

    Red01 Peon

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    #26
    Jenn makes a very good point about entering markets you know nothing about. Many people here have online businesses for example, but imagine how many stupid things you would do if you were trying to market your online business from scratch, with non of the knowledge you have digested from your online experience. This will cause problems, like it does for anyone starting out. But you do have to start somewhere.

    The online world is much different from the offline world of business and this is a prime example. How many service businesses start up offline without an idea of hourly rates! The fact is that many people online do not think about what they can offer, and what education they have in providing a service, they most likely look for what areas have high search volume and little competition. If the online community wants to be trusted as a whole, this has to change. Most people work in jobs for years providing a similar service, before going along, but online this is far from what is to be expected.
     
    Red01, Jan 20, 2007 IP
  7. AndrewCavanagh

    AndrewCavanagh Member

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    #27
    When it comes to fees if you want to make more you have to:

    1. Target prospects who make enough money to justify paying you larger fees.

    If you're writing online sales copy for a website owner who has a double optin list of 100,000 past customers who've all spent over $47 on a purchase with him before he is going to make some serious money out of your copy (if it sells).

    He can afford to pay you and he will understand the value of good sales copy.


    2. You have to be at or above the standard of copywriters charging the fee you want in your niche. Or at the very least you must market yourself more effectively.


    There are plenty of website owners and business people willing to pay well in excess of the $2,000 fee for a sales letter you mentioned.

    $5,000 is realistic and if you're really good $10,000 a sales letter is possible.

    The AVERAGE fee for an online sales letter according to a recent survey of over 200 professional copywriters is $2,500 to $3,000...
    http://www.hardtofindseminars.com/MakingMoneyAsACopywriter.htm

    That's consistent with many of the professional copywriters I know.

    But many of us will charge far more than that for a sales letter.

    And we're worth it.

    Just the additional marketing advice I give to a client will usually make him more than my copywriting fee.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
     
    AndrewCavanagh, Jan 23, 2007 IP
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  8. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #28
    Good points Andrew.
     
    marketjunction, Jan 24, 2007 IP
  9. Mystique

    Mystique Well-Known Member

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    #29
    Still online?... no doubt bad-hair day is addictive :rolleyes:

    LOL :D
     
    Mystique, Jan 24, 2007 IP
  10. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #30
    Well, my brain has apparently stopped working, because I'm not following you.
     
    marketjunction, Jan 24, 2007 IP
  11. Scriptona

    Scriptona Notable Member

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    #31
    I'm always afraid to raise my writing rates fearing to lose customers but if every customer knows the fact that he will get what he pays for, then the world will be better

    people always compare prices, for me i've flexible prices - actually i get paid as the customer needs and give him the quality based on the payment rates

    I like the concept of letting the customer decide the price and i decide the quality - fair for both sides

    Quality here means uniqueness, more research about the topic,piriority when having multiple jobs on same time and some other few factors

    sometimes also i advice the customer to pay more if i see that he deserves better quality than what he is asking (happens when i like his niche and site potential :D).

    I think it's the customers themselves who are taking the business down not the writers ;)
     
    Scriptona, Jan 27, 2007 IP
  12. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #32
    The only potential problem with that is that no matter what line of work you're in, you should always be striving for consistency in your work. Not everyone compares prices. When people want a quality product or service, and are willing to pay, price doesn't usually matter anywhere close to as much as the provider's past work. You don't want those clients running across the lower quality work you did for a client who didn't want to pay as much.

    Generally I try to work with budgets as well (most contractors do in some way), but it never compromises overall quality. Instead, I let their budget determine the maximum scope of the project. If for instance they tell me they want to have a press release distributed to a specific list of media outlets (lets say 50), but their budget only allows for 30, then I let them know the scope as to change for that price, or they need to increase the budget to get exactly what they want. It's never once been an issue with a client... they always change on or the other without a problem, and if they go for a lesser scope, I work with them to make sure they choose the most effective options.

    It's the same in writing. If someone wants 3 articles for a budget that would only cover one from me, I let them know that flat out. If they want a site's copy completely re-written, but they can only afford copyediting, I let them know that. There's always a way to adapt the scope of a project to still benefit the client and keep them within their budget, and without forcing you to compromise the quality of your work.
     
    jhmattern, Jan 27, 2007 IP