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How much do copywriters make?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Spoiltdiva, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. #1
    If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question, I'd have more money than Donald Trump. So I am going to attempt to answer this query with this thread.
    Perhaps after reading this, some of you young writers may decide to take a few courses and give up on trying to eek out a living as a content writer.

    Feel free to ask questions as to how to get started if you wish. I also encourage anyone to jump in and add your input or to address any questions that may be asked.

    First off there are really three definitions of copywriters, they are as follows:
    (1) Agency copywriters
    (2) In house copywriters
    (3) Freelance/entrepreneurial copywriters
    SEMrush
    As to income it all depends on the experience and clientele base among other things, but the average copywriter gets around $48,000 U.S. per annum. Many get around $65,000 while a senior copywriter under contract can expect to average $93,000.
    I personally have worked with a well known copywriter who is under contract who made $220,000 last year and who will probably match or beat that this year.

    I hope this question has been answered, but if not feel free to ask any question(s) that you may have and I'll respond when I'm online again.
     
    Solved! View solution.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    Spoiltdiva, Aug 25, 2019 IP
    jrbiz, FreeFun4Every1 and DuneDreamer like this.
    SEMrush
  2. knowledgeherald

    knowledgeherald Well-Known Member

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    #2
    Impressive earning. Don't know whether freelance copywriter can earn so much. Want to know more.
     
    knowledgeherald, Aug 25, 2019 IP
  3. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #3
    If anyone wants to make these kind of earnings he/she would have to prove that they had taken a copywriting course. This can be expensive but worth it in the long run.
    Content writers simply write content...big deal. Copywriters are specialists at short form copy and are adept and trained in advertising. Considering this, clients are always more than happy to pay out the big bucks that copywriters can demand.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Aug 25, 2019 IP
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  4. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #4
    Higher pay often comes based on performance also.

    If you show the ability to consistently beat existing controls you can command the largest pay. To reach that level you'll not only need to study copywriting courses but you'll also need to immerse yourself into practice and internalization of the art of influence.
     
    JoeSpirit, Aug 26, 2019 IP
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  5. Selin

    Selin Peon

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    #5
    There also depends on the ability of each specific copywriter
     
    Selin, Aug 26, 2019 IP
  6. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #6
    Agreed, all the training and experience in the world is worthless if you cannot translate it all into competency.

    @Selin...It appears that we are all on the same page.:)

    Copywriters can charge these rates and if one considers the facts, why not? Here are some interesting fees that clients routinely pay out:
    PPC copywriting $350 per ad
    Email copywriting $2,000 per email
    SEO copywriting $25,000 per page

    This is where the big money is if you write for a living.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Spoiltdiva, Aug 26, 2019 IP
  7. DuneDreamer

    DuneDreamer Well-Known Member

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    #7
    Copywriters make only as much as their clients are willing to pay them, and not a cent more. ;)
     
    DuneDreamer, Aug 26, 2019 IP
  8. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #8
    True, but certain criteria are used when determining what the client would be willing to pay for example:
    Experience, background, word count, freelancer versus an agency copywriter, and let's not forget deadline. If the client demands that the work be done within a week instead of a month, the rates would go up expeditiously.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Aug 26, 2019 IP
  9. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #9
    For anyone who's interested in starting a copywriting career here's what I would recommend - if you think you have, or can develop, the skills and consistency to write winning copy.

    Study the copywriting courses offered by American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI). They use those courses to identify the talent and offer positions to those writers who show the talent. They'll coach you from that point. And they pay large to those writers who succeed at beating their controls.
     
    JoeSpirit, Aug 27, 2019 IP
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  10. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #10
    The most potentially lucrative courses (as to future earnings) are the ones that teach SEO copywriting. These would include training on blog posts, guides, sales copy, and how to effectively do press releases etc.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Aug 27, 2019 IP
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  11. KylieSweet

    KylieSweet Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Is the copywriting course would be the basis for earnings as a copywriter? Or in another way, a copywriter is professional and earning bucks because of his self taught and experience in the field.
     
    KylieSweet, Sep 4, 2019 IP
  12. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #12
    Successful completion of a course would go a long way toward a company's decision whether to contract a particular copywriter. If the copywriter shows a history of success a course is not an absolute must.

    The level of compensation a copywriter receives increases with successful performance.
     
    JoeSpirit, Sep 4, 2019 IP
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  13. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #13
    Actually it's a bit of both, the discrepancy with the fees/rates copywriters can charge would really depend on the reputation/references that the copywriter has attained. A good example would be in regards to a website copy. A novice copywriter can expect to receive perhaps $950 for this, while an experienced well known copywriter could easily ask $4,500 for the same work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    Spoiltdiva, Sep 4, 2019 IP
  14. fredovs86

    fredovs86 Greenhorn

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    #14
    Great, the numbers are impressive.
     
    fredovs86, Oct 2, 2019 IP
  15. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #15
    Understand that reaching those numbers (and maintaining them) requires a lot of hours of study and work. It normally takes a lot of years to become an overnight success.
     
    JoeSpirit, Oct 2, 2019 IP
  16. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #16
    Hopefully the numbers are impressive enough to motivate a young writer to contemplate taking a course or two. If this is the case then this thread has served it's purpose.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Oct 2, 2019 IP
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  17. #17
    @Spoiltdiva and @JoeSpirit are spot on with their income discussions above IF you are a copywriter working for established businesses in North America or Europe and are a "star" performer. I have hired and paid such stars for their work over the years and the compensation has been in the ballparks mentioned above. The only piece that I would add is that when I hire a copywriter, they must not only know copywriting (which is part art form and part science, in my opinion) but they must also know (or be able to intensively learn in a short period of time) my industry or markets, some of which will be highly technical and complex.

    The operative word in the paragraph above is "star" of course. Just like in Hollywood, the "star" actor gets millions of dollars for a film role. However, most "actors" have a day job as a waiter to feed themselves while they make a pittance as an extra or in small acting roles. It is the same for copywriters: most make pennies for their work while it is only the "stars" that make the type of compensation being discussed in this thread.
     
    jrbiz, Oct 12, 2019 IP
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  18. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #18
    Here you have it, proof positive that the rates quoted in this thread are indeed accurate.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Oct 12, 2019 IP
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  19. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #19
    @jrbiz makes a couple of important points to keep in mind.

    Competent (and exceptional) copywriting requires a study into every industry and product you write about. And the study must be started over for every new product that you address. You can't possibly do a sales message justice if you don't know the subject intimately. It's an ongoing education as is all of life actually but I think much more intense.

    Also, even if you only contract copywriters to create sales material (and don't write it yourself) you must have a working knowledge of the technique. You have to be able to dissect her/his previous products. It's the only way you'll have any idea whether the person you're considering has the ability to deliver for you and be worth the fee he commands.
     
    JoeSpirit, Oct 12, 2019 IP
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  20. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #20
    Absolutely correct, competency needs to work both ways in order for the end result to succeed.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Oct 12, 2019 IP