Hiring a Wordsmith? Freelance Copywriter Rates Demystified!

freelance_rates_demystifiedStruggling with your freelance copywriting budget? Keep this in mind: it’s all about project scope! Hiring a freelance copywriter isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. The rate you’ll pay is largely determined by:

  • Experience and expertise of your writer.
  • Type of writing; long form versus short.
  • Amount of time given to complete the task.
  • Research and/or project management requirements.
  • Frequency of phone calls and/or meetings.

Experience is a billable commodity.

Writers who are highly experienced or have niche expertise charge higher freelance copywriter rates.  For example, you will pay more to hire a technical copywriter with domain knowledge of hardware and software systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Likewise, a healthcare or pharma copywriter with a deep understanding of chemistry or biology will have higher freelance copywriter prices because of their value-added expertise.

Domain knowledge isn’t just technical. A copywriter trained in direct response, SEO, digital or UX will also demand higher freelance copywriting rates. These professionals deliver immediate value to your writing project by applying best practices to the work they do for you.

Avoid making the mistake of hiring a general copywriter to produce content that demands domain knowledge. The money you save on the front end could easily be mitigated by the excessive rounds of review (which could come at a surcharge to you), as well as the time and resources needed to rewrite content.

What’s the ROI of experience? A freelance copywriter who produces high-quality, original content and promotional copywriting can elevate your brand and improve your conversion rates.

Word count matters.

For long-form content pieces, many freelance copywriters estimate a per-word rate. Not only is it easier to calculate, it’s an industry-standard practice in editorial circles. If you go this route, provide your freelance copywriter with a target word count. If you’re unsure how long the finished piece needs to be, ask your copywriter for a recommendation based on his or her best practice.

Paying per word? Know what’s included in your freelance copywriter fee. Phone calls, meetings, research, interviews and project management might cost you extra. This is especially true for copywriters who charge a lower per-word freelance rate.

Short-form copy is long on skill.

Shorter-form content such as emails, landing pages and social media posts are petite yet require a great deal of strategic thinking. Case in point, you would not expect to pay a freelance copywriter $10 for a print ad with a few lines of text. Many freelance copywriters will charge a fixed fee for a single deliverable or integrated campaign. If you need three emails or 25 pay-per-click ads or 50 tweets, a fixed fee eases the task of budgeting.

Paying per project? Ask your copywriter how many creative concepts and revision rounds are included so that you know what you’re getting.

Time is money.

Some copywriters estimate an hourly charge for their writing work, meetings, phone calls and project management. It’s easy to track if your copywriter is on-site, but it’s more challenging to measure on remote writing jobs. If you’re using a per-hour payment structure, work with your copywriter to set a minimum and maximum amount of time you want him or her to dedicate to your project. This can avoid confusion on project scope and cost.

Paying per hour? Per-hour copywriting rates are best suited for on-site and retainer-based engagements in which you agree to a certain number of hours of your copywriter’s time for ongoing work.

Which is right for you?

Freelance copywriter prices can vary widely. Be sure to choose the right copywriting rates for your budget — and your business. For instance, avoid an hourly fee if you have a complex integrated campaign that has a high potential for scope creep. Make the most of fixed fees in order to maintain budget predictability and ease of billing. And most important, be sure to choose a copywriter who has the knowledge and experience to deliver on your goals.

Questions? Want to learn more? Contact us for a no-obligation freelance copywriting estimate.