For a long time, copywriters the world over have been accepting very low rates of pay. It goes without saying that someone living in Asia would be able to offer their services for a lot less than a professional copywriter based in the UK. However, there are certain standards which need to be maintained whether it’s the rate of pay or the quality of copy provided by professionals.
Correct and fair copywiting rates allows freelancers to provide top quality content that meets the demands of discerning clients who know the value of well written content and how it can benefit and serve their businesses.
Pricing per Project/Job
It is always that much easier for both an employer and the copywriter to agree on a fair price before the work commences. However, clients need to be very clear in their brief and not alter it in any way, shape or form which might entail more work for the copywriter.
If this happens, the copywriter has every right to renegotiate their fee to cover the extra work and time they spend on the project. However, should the client go the other way and reduce the amount of work needed, then this should be considered as their loss and not the copywriter’s fault. As such the original fee would still stand even though less copy has been provided.
Copywriters should ask for a minimum of 50% upfront BEFORE they even start the work. Ideally this figure should stand at 75%, but many employers baulk at the prospect of having to pay out two thirds upfront whereas 50% seems more acceptable.
It is particularly important to get a deposit from ALL new clients because this offers you peace of mind and it provides a little in the way of guarantee that you are dealing with a serious client.
Obviously, the more experienced a copywriter is the higher they can set their fee. If a copywriter excels in certain fields and niches, they can charge a premium because of their knowledge and quality of copy.
However, there’s a lot to factor in when pricing up a job and this should not be left solely up to the client. They naturally may have a budget to work to, but this has to be realistic which all too often it is not. If you feel a client is not offering an acceptable rate, then you may be better off walking away from the job.
Hourly Copywriting Rates
Should a client prefer to work to an hourly rate, it is essential the number of hours a project will take is agreed by both parties at the outset. With this said, knowing the accepted hourly rate, helps copywriters when they need to work out a set fee for a job because it makes it easier to work out the hours a project might take and then multiply this by the hourly rate. This provides a realistic and fair price for a job.
As a rule of thumb, the hourly rate for professional copywriting services are as follows:
£30 per hour for less experienced copywriters, but who can provide top notch work and who has an excellent portfolio that covers a range of topics
£100 per hour for copywriters with years of experience under their belt having provided excellent copy and who boast a portfolio covering a range of topics
Should the client want to work to a daily rate, the accepted, fair rates of pay are as follows:
£250 per day for less experienced copywriters, but who can provide top quality work and who have excellent portfolios
£800 per day for copywriters who boast years of experience in providing top quality work to clients and who boast excellent portfolios
Pricing by the Word
This is never a good idea because it tends to lower the standard and quality of copywriting, turning it into a commodity rather than what has come to be accepted as a professional and much needed service in a fast moving world.
Often the result of price-per-word deals sees work being written far too quickly without the necessary research having been carried out. This in turn, results in a piece being factually incorrect and of a substandard quality. In short, pricing per word encourages volume and quantity over the much needed quality and as everyone knows ‘Content is King’.
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