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What do you charge?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by leftwheel, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. #1
    Hi!

    I was wondeing: What do you guys charge your customers?

    Personaly, i work at 0.02 € per word at the moment. However, I a am working for a broker who most likely charges 0.04 € per word.

    So now I try to find customers that i can charge 0.04€ myself.
    SEMrush
    I write high quality error free well researched content. Is that a realistic quote?
     
    leftwheel, Aug 21, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #2
    I don't charge a fixed rate for all pieces I write; it's difficult to quote a standard rate for everything. Each client is different, each requirement is different. Things such as taxes, conversions, transfer fees etc. matter a lot and vary according to your location. The major factors I consider when setting fees for a particular project are time taken to research the topic and no. of edits I have to make so that what I write ultimately complies with the client's expectations.

    Anyway, I'll link you to two pages that will give you a fair idea of how to set your prices.
    http://menwithpens.ca/how-to-set-copywriting-fees/ - An good read, provided by @SCookAAM.
    http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php – Info's a bit old and fees given are what the best copywriters charge.
    Frankly speaking, you need to do some homework to find out what rates will best suit you. One thing worth remembering is you should never underprice your work. Set rates you genuinely feel are commensurate with the quality you offer and justify your time, efforts and ability.

    I would also love to hear if you have anything to share.
    My 2c. Hope this helps.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 21, 2014 IP
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  3. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #3
    As stated, it's hard to say exactly what to charge, because different writing categories command different wages. For instance, charging a fixed rate per word for articles is ok, because that's generally done.

    For copywriting, it's a bit different. not only do you factor in research, edits and time, just as Maestro said, you must also consider the value of what you write.

    For example, if someone asks me to write a sales letter to sell their $5,000 product, and they have a list of 10,000 prospects, you would hope for a 2 to 4 percent conversion rate. That means 200 to 400 sales, or $1 to $2 million. So I'd expect that to tb worth 5% to the client, right? Or $100,000 to $200m000 to me.

    Now, rarely unless you're Bob Bly or someone, will you get that up front. But you might charge $5,000 to write and then take a 3 or 4 percent royalty. Remember, that sales letter is making them millions, so it has to be worth more than 4 hours at $100 per hour.

    On the other hand, a landing page for a new company might get you $200 or $300. it's all dependant on what you're doing.

    As a rule of thumb, however, I use a $100 per hour rate as my guide, whether it's hourly work or fixed rate. I don't always get that, especially on ODesk, but I get as close as I can. I don't mind working for $60 per hour on a project that I know will take 15 or 20 hours, and is relatively easy.

    Hope that helps a little.
     
    SCookAAM, Aug 25, 2014 IP
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  4. coreygeer

    coreygeer Notable Member

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    #4
    $1.00 per 100 words of course! Isn't that the going rate here?

    Seriously though, if I HAD to charge a flat rate for content writing, it would be $20 per piece for basic content.

    There is no "realistic quote" because you're going to meet a wide variety of clients. Is it a realistic quote for a place like this? Not likely. You might meet a qualified client from here once in a blue moon but the majority of your inquiries and offers will probably be in the .50c to $1.00 per 100 word ballpark range.

    Everyone that contacts me from here always wants "samples". That's weird to me because I've always called it a resume or a portfolio.

    You should charge whatever you feel you're worth as a writer. If you want to make $10 per article, $20 per article or even $50 per article then that's what you should charge. If you don't feel you're worth that price, then tone up your skills, build up a portfolio on smaller work and then raise your price.

    What a lot of new clients don't understand is that the need and the value of high quality content has gone up. I'm sorry to say but the days of $5 content ruling the web are over. You can't simply write out hundreds of $5 articles, spin them, plaster them all over article directories and outrank the big dogs. Google wised up to it, but it seems a lot of clients still haven't.

    I still see people asking for "spins" or $2 manual re-writes.

    Also, it seems that more and more professional content directories are coming out that are willing to pay qualified writers a handsome price. Whatever you do, stay FAR away from content mills. Content mills are the absolute scum of the content business. I've yet to find a content mill that didn't make me lose faith in humanity. Writing is something I do in my free time when I don't have any development work to do or any of my own business related things to do. If I HAD to rely on writing to make an income, I would be screwed.

    I'm sure there's plenty who have clients that do pay their bills and more but I'm definitely not one of them. When I tell people $20 per article, they gasp, tell me they know some over the pond writer for $5 and I wish them luck.
     
    coreygeer, Aug 27, 2014 IP
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  5. pretty10

    pretty10 Member

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    #5
    Hello leftwheel,

    I can understand your feeling because I was also in a similar situation before. Many people don't know what to charge for the "quality content" they are providing.

    €0.04 (I hope $0.05) per word is pretty good, however you can charge more if the task requires more time or research. Be confident! If your broker charges €0.04 per word, then why can’t you?

    If you can provide quality content that will benefit your customers, why should you worry about the price? You know your skills better and you’ve the right to decide a suitable price for your work.

    In my experience, there are some customers who want “excellent quality at cheaper price”. In order to succeed, you should not work with such kind of customers and should focus more on customers who are ready to pay for quality.

    Hope it helps!
     
    pretty10, Aug 28, 2014 IP
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  6. leftwheel

    leftwheel Active Member

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    #6
    Thanks. That seems like a good idea.
     
    leftwheel, Aug 28, 2014 IP
  7. pretty10

    pretty10 Member

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    #7
    You're welcome! Never go with a low price, always charge more. There are lots of customers who respect the hard work of a writer because without a writer, their blog or website will never become popular. I hope you got it. Wish you good luck with your writing projects! :)
     
    pretty10, Aug 28, 2014 IP
  8. Jennifer Hutson

    Jennifer Hutson Member

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    #8
    I currently charge $25 hour and .04-.05 per word, depending on the content.
     
    Jennifer Hutson, Sep 3, 2014 IP
  9. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #9
    What's the most important factor for you when you set your price?
     
    Content Maestro, Sep 3, 2014 IP
  10. Jennifer Hutson

    Jennifer Hutson Member

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    #10
    When I started out as a new freelancer, I believe I charged around $15 and roughly .02 per word. As I developed a reputation for myself, I began slowly raising my prices.

    I feel as if $25 is the least I will take for a 500-word article, which also takes me roughly one hour to get up to my standard of quality. So, I set my hourly rate at that. I don't work for less and I base my fixed rate price on what it roughly takes to equal my hourly rate.

    The most important factor should be knowing how much you want to make per article or piece of content and sticking to your guns. Reputation allows me to keep those prices.
     
    Jennifer Hutson, Sep 3, 2014 IP
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  11. coreygeer

    coreygeer Notable Member

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    #11
    A lot of it comes down to self-worth. One of the difficult things about writing is that it's subjective. Some people may think an article was well written and others won't. In web development, the website either works or it doesn't. If the designer has done his job and the website isn't responsive, then we know exactly who is to blame.

    I've had people who love my content and I've been rejected from some places because of something like a comma out of place.

    You also have to match up with clients who feel their content is worth paying for. In writing, you've got clients who want $2 articles and in web development, you have people who want $500 websites.

    So much this. Especially on a marketing forum or freelance board, people will constantly try to talk you down or promise you 'bulk' work so that you'll give them a discount.

    I'm not sure if the best question to ask is how much do you charge but instead, the question should be where do you find clients that value quality content? While there are some people who value their content right here on Digital Point, they seem to be a very few out of the bunch.

    I've gotten pretty good over the years at spotting those kind of customers.

    - Low budget? Check
    - A laundry list of demands or (qualifications) to pass an article as complete? Check
    - You HAVE to be online via Skype throughout the majority of the day and on demand? Check
    - Has unrealistic standards for quality or uses SEO practices that don't quite make sense? Check
    - Offers no form of compensation upfront other than word of mouth? Check
    (If your potential client has all of those checked, run)

    There's more but there's also a reason they do it. They go through so many writers who stop working suddenly and never deliver their content. They think that by adding stipulations and rules, they'll find a quality writer. All this does is scare the quality crowd away and draws more attention from the thirsty crowd just looking for a quick PayPal payment.
     
    coreygeer, Sep 3, 2014 IP
  12. JodisWriting

    JodisWriting Greenhorn

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    #12
    Hi there, I also generally charge $25 for a 400-500 word piece but I am wondering now if anybody here goes significantly higher when the piece has strict SEO requirements. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
    JodisWriting, Sep 5, 2014 IP
  13. Jennifer Hutson

    Jennifer Hutson Member

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    #13
    For SEO articles, you won't get much higher than the $25 range. The highest I ever netted was $30 for a 300-word SEO piece. After that, not much additional value can be added for that price.
     
    Jennifer Hutson, Sep 5, 2014 IP
  14. JodisWriting

    JodisWriting Greenhorn

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    #14
    Thanks for the reply - I guess the higher fee we are able to charge for SEO web pages (About etc.) hasn't translated over to articles just yet. Hopefully it will. Thanks again!
     
    JodisWriting, Sep 5, 2014 IP
  15. Jennifer Hutson

    Jennifer Hutson Member

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    #15
    No problem. If you're looking to get into higher-priced writing, try copywriting. It takes a lot of learning, but it's where the big bucks are at.
     
    Jennifer Hutson, Sep 5, 2014 IP
  16. JodisWriting

    JodisWriting Greenhorn

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    #16
    You're absolutely right. I did some copywriting/copyediting for a foreign English paper with writers that for the most part had English as their second language. In hindsight, if I had truly priced in line with the work required, I should be close to putting in a bid on Necker Island!
     
    JodisWriting, Sep 5, 2014 IP
  17. JackFraser

    JackFraser Greenhorn

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    #17
    I work for $20 for 500 word article. Reading your posts, I think I may raise the rate.
     
    JackFraser, Sep 9, 2014 IP
  18. MacchuPikachu

    MacchuPikachu Member

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    #18
    Where do you generally find clients who are prepared to pay more? I don't like to say it, but I do find that most of the work I get, I'm having to make low-ball quotes to secure it because some money is better than none. No doubt in large part that's my own stupid fault for not getting more organised, but how do you build up reputation when you are working for low pay for what basically amounts to grind work?

    I've taken to working through oDesk and it's been a mixed experience; one client was a nightmare, failing to respond to messages and asking for endless tweaks that could have been avoided if he'd given a more thorough brief in the first place. Of course I gritted my teeth and went ahead with it because I'm relatively new there and I don't want my rep to take a kicking for daring to be "difficult" in their eyes.

    But it's hard, because I'm aware that by working for peanuts and taking jobs that aren't fulfilling, I'm kind of perpetuating the problem. After all, if clients can get decent quality work for not much more than they'd pay a spinner or a non-native speaker, they're going to take it.
     
    MacchuPikachu, Sep 11, 2014 IP
  19. JodisWriting

    JodisWriting Greenhorn

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    #19
    Hey there , sorry for the late reply this message went to spam.

    I think in the beginning everyone has to do a little bit of that "grunt" work but once you have some clients under your belt it is much easier. In the beginning I found that the key was that despite the fact that I knew I wasn't being paid for the value of my time, I still had to treat each project like it was the million-dollar deal. If you treat it in this way than your clients are supremely impressed and you can ask for more in future projects. Additionally, you will be recommended to others and the kick-sass product that you create is now a permanent part of your portfolio which will help you reel in even better clients. You can also check out the history of clients on these freelance sites and determine which clients are willing to pay for quality and which ones are permanent low-ballers.

    Also, once you become an expert in a certain area you can get proactive. Let's say you're great at writing landing pages for restaurants - you can actually go out and pitch your ideas to restaurant sites that you feel need improving and if you can provide them with samples of the great work you've already done, you can certainly charge "expert" fees. I hope some of that helps. Good luck!
     
    JodisWriting, Oct 10, 2014 IP
  20. John Pagulayan

    John Pagulayan Member

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    #20
    There's no flat rate if you're a copywriter.

    For email copy (autoresponder sequence). I usually charge $25 per email copy with a minimum of 10 orders and $35 if by piece.

    For Sales letters, I usually do it for FREE but I'll be taking share of the profits (5% to 10%). It kinda works as a guarantee that in case my work sucks, they don't have to pay me a cent. But for flat rates in case they really want to pay upfront, I just go with $297.

    As a research specialist doing copy research for sales letters, it's on a per hour basis since I don't know how much time I'll be spending in front of the computer just to find something valuable. That's $25 per hour.

    Hope that gave you some insight.
     
    John Pagulayan, Oct 15, 2014 IP
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