Are you a copywriter, wondering how much to charge for copywriting services? Well, when it comes to copywriting, there are many ways you could negotiate your fees.
The first thing you have to understand is this: Not all copywriting services are the same. In fact, not all copywriters are the same. There are essentially two types of copywriters. The low-income copywriters and the high-income copywriters.
Low-income copywriters have specialized in a way where they can’t charge high prices for their services. Maybe they work on certain projects where clients aren’t willing to pay much. Or maybe they lack skills and can’t ask for more money because of the quality of their work.
High-income copywriters, however, know that their writing generates great results for their clients. They focus on projects where they can charge higher prices. They know very well what to focus on.
A big distinction between low-income and high-income copywriters is how they would charge for copywriting services. Let’s take a deeper look at how much to charge for copywriting services below.
How Do Low-Income Copywriters Charge?
Let’s discuss the way that low-income copywriters charge. You’ll see this on the internet and on all the freelancing websites out there. They ask for lower fees and try to quantify their writing. That could mean to charge per hour, per word or per page. They focus on delivering the copy and that’s it.
Sometimes, copywriters charge per word. They would see how many words they write and charge clients based on the word count.
I don’t like this charging method because the copywriter and the client aren’t on the same page. Because if you charge per word, your goal is to write as many words as possible. For the client, on the other hand, the goal is that you write as few words as possible – so you don’t overcharge them.
The client wants crisp, concise copy – not wordy copy.
So, this charging system wouldn’t be very beneficial for the relationship between the copywriter and the client.
Common rates to charge per word are between 10 cents and $1. To make that profitable, you’d have to write a lot. Maybe even stretch out your copy just to write more. That doesn’t make any sense. Your writing should be focused on value rather than length. Charging per word is more of an old way that stems from journalism. It doesn’t make any sense in the copywriting world.
Next, a low-income copywriter could charge per page, depending on how many pages they write. But this way, they would be arguing about font sizes, double space, and other formatting aspects. Larger fonts would mean you write less and charge more. So that’s not a very good charging method either. There is no ideal page length for good copy. Nobody can guarantee that a ten-page copy would sell better than a one-page one. How long it has to be, comes down to the target market, the actual offer and how easy to understand the product is.
Common rates for charging per page start at $25. But pricing by page wouldn’t ensure that what you write on that page actually makes sense. Your clients can’t guarantee that your writing is focused on producing results, rather than just writing as many pages as possible.
Low-income copywriters also charge by the hour sometimes, which is a pretty bad payment model. They take notes of how much time it takes them to work on the copy and charge for that. But that causes problems. When they get better, they probably take less time for the same amount of work. They have to charge less because they’re faster, even though they’re actually better and that’s why they’re faster.
Maybe writing a Facebook Ad took them 4 hours before but as they get more skilled, it now only takes 2-3 hours. What would that mean? It would mean they earn less for better work. What’s more, if you charge hourly rates, your client likely will want you to write shorter copy so you would spend less time on it. They wouldn’t want you to overcharge them.
The problem is, that time alone doesn’t mean anything. Working 10 hours on one piece of copy doesn’t automatically mean it will perform 10 times better. So again, this isn’t a useful pricing system.
What are some common rates that other copywriters would charge per hour? Actually, it depends on their skill level. Junior copywriters who have been in the business for 2 years or less would charge $50–$80 per hour. Mid-level copywriter $80–$120 per hour and the top copywriters about $120–$200 per hour. It might sound a lot at first but I don’t advise you to exchange your time for money. If you want to scale and increase your income, your payment has to be detached from your time.
Why Charging Like a Low-Income Copywriter isn’t a Good Idea
So whether if you are charging per word, per page or per hour, it all creates a conflict between you and the client. Charging methods like this focus on the wrong thing. The real focus should be on the value your writing brings for the client.
Sometimes, a result-generating piece of copy might be short, sometimes it’s long. It might take a long time to write or you can be done very fast. A good piece of copy could have 10 pages or only a few lines. It doesn’t make sense to charge for these factors because they will be different for any piece of copy.
For a successful copy, the copywriter needs to do research on the audience and tailor the copy to them. It’s not about pleasing the client, it’s about actually getting customers to buy.
So, now you know what not to do. What’s the real answer to how much to charge for copywriting?
How Do High-Income Copywriters Charge?
So, how do high-income copywriters charge for their services? They charge in a way where they can actually focus on delivering value to their clients. What does that look like? Let’s take a look below:
For example, they can charge per project. So that would be a clear project scope. Let’s assume the client needs 10 emails, 5 ads, and 5 landing pages. For that scope of work, you charge the client a certain amount of dollars. Usually, you would get some money down – depending on how big the project is – to get the project going. For example, you could get one third down beforehand, one third when it’s halfway done and one third when it’s completed. Or sometimes you charge 50% down in the beginning and 50% when it’s completed.
The actual rates for a project can be very different – depending on the type of project. Blog posts could be anywhere from $100 – $750, depending on the length. A landing page could cost about $250 and an email $100-$200.
As a high-income copywriter, you are focused on earning your clients back more than you charged them. So if you charge $100 for an email, that email might make your client $500 or more. Price isn’t an objection because you create actual revenue for them.
Now, another way you could charge is per month. Even a monthly retainer. That’s a smart way of charging for copywriting services, because that way you don’t need to hunt for new clients all the time. That’s what I teach to all my copywriting students. Let’s assume you are charging the client two thousand dollars a month and in exchange, you write a certain amount of copy for them.
This way, it’s agreed upon and you are sure that the client needs this amount of copy every month. It’s a smart way of doing it because this way you can focus most of your time on how to deliver your best work.
Now, once you get very good – and I mean very, very good – you see high-income copywriters doing something else. They charge per percentage. Most 6-figure and 7-figure high-income copywriters do this. Maybe they provided the copy for a website that produces a certain amount of dollars. Or they optimize an existing website to make more money.
For example, if a client has a website that produces half a million dollars, they go in, optimize it and the website makes now $700K. They would get a percentage on that upside.
That’s possible when you are already very good and have a track record. There also has to be trust between you and your client. You have to trust them that they would pay you when the money comes in.
If you charge per project, per month or even per percentage, you are never forced to write shorter or longer copy. You don’t have to stretch the time you are working on it because you don’t get paid on hourly rates.
This way, high-income copywriters ensure that they can focus on what’s actually important. To understand the client, understand the audience, know the client’s offer and craft copy that will successfully sell the product. They don’t waste their time with counting words or tweaking the formatting so they would write more pages. That doesn’t make sense.
High-income copywriters are value-driven. They are the silent rainmakers who generate revenue for their clients. And because they focus on value and skill, they have the potential to earn 6 or even 7 figures.
How Much To Charge For Copywriting?
Now, whether you are a low-income copywriter or a high-income copywriter, how much to charge for copywriting might also depend on other factors. What factor would that be?
Your Income Goals
How much to charge for copywriting also has to be aligned with how much you want to earn. Let’s say your goal as a high-income copywriter is to earn $10K a month. It will be very hard to reach that goal if you undercharge yourself.
Let’s imagine you charge for your services per page. One page is $10. You would have to write 1,000 pages a month to reach your income goal. That’s an awful lot of pages. Maybe you won’t reach big income goals right away when you are just starting out. But ask for a fair price that makes sure you can cover your expenses and scale up from there.
Some people would argue that your experience level will determine how much to charge for copywriting. While it might be a factor, I think your skill level will be even more important. If you develop your skill and can actually generate results, then it doesn’t matter if you only have been a copywriter for 2 years for example. Experience matters but skill and value matter even more.
How much to charge for copywriting might also depend on your target market. Do you target startups that don’t have much money to spare, to begin with? Or do you want to work for companies that are already successful? I call that “help winners winning more”. If you want to make money as a copywriter, working with those who are already successful will get you ahead. But it will also mean that you have to be skilled. Not everybody can do that.
If you still want to help out startups or small businesses, you can do that too. But don’t do it as your main income source. Approach them as if they wouldn’t pay you at all and treat these as side projects.
How much to charge for your copywriting also depends on how specialized you are. In the beginning, you might work on different projects across all niches to get some practice. But as you get better you will want to specialize. Don’t be a copywriter for everyone. Rather, be the writer for a few chosen projects.
When I started out as a copywriter I was focusing on selling events. Why? Because I knew I could make a lot of money with that as such events are usually high-ticket offers. I was able to charge a few thousand bucks. My client knew that if my copy would sell 3-4 seats at their event, then they already made back what I charged.
Now, don’t copy what I did. Instead, find out what you are good at and what you are actually interested in. Which niches do you like? What kind of projects are you good at and truly interested in. All of this will become clearer as you work with more clients. And if you are the only person who can do a certain thing, then it allows you to charge more.
Turnaround Time: Rush Fees
Some copywriters would charge more if the client needs the copy very fast. This makes sense as it shows the client that your time is valuable. It’s called a rush fee.
What Not To Focus On
When it comes to how much to charge for copywriting services, some people focus on completely irrelevant things. Let me give you some examples of what not to focus on:
Others would argue that copywriters living in cities could charge more because the living costs are more expensive. I believe that the location doesn’t matter at all if you charge for the value you bring. After all, you could be a very skilled copywriter living in the countryside and finding your clients on the internet. Or maybe you live like a digital nomad and work from anywhere in the world. The location won’t affect your rates that much.
What Other People Charge
So many copywriters that are just starting out would base their price on what other people charge. That isn’t a smart idea because that way you are competing on price. But actually, you have no idea why the other person is charging x amount of dollars. Competing on price only does get you that far. At some point, you have to stop competing on price because you would heavily undercharge.
What should you do instead? Work on your skills and become uniquely qualified so you can charge fair prices based on the demand in the market.
Selling Money at a DiscountThe best high-income copywriters do what I call “selling money at a discount”. They know that their services will generate huge revenue for their clients. That’s why they can charge high-ticket prices, as they know the client will earn it… Click To Tweet
They also know how much it will cost the client if they don’t work with them. The money the client would lose if they didn’t do anything. They are aware of all that and charge accordingly. They communicate that to the client and become extremely valuable. That’s how they can reach such a high income.
The Secrets To Becoming A 6-Figure Copywriter
So, wouldn’t it make sense to be a high-income copywriter and work towards earning 6 or 7-figures a month? That’s what I would recommend working towards.
You see with my high-income copywriter program, I teach my students not just how to price your services. They also learn what some of the most profitable areas within copywriting that you should focus on are. Because there are areas where, even when you are very good, it’s difficult to make money. So wouldn’t make it more sense to focus on areas that are high in demand? In such areas, you will find more clients who are willing to pay per project or monthly retainers. It’s easier for you to do well and make more money as a copywriter.
If you want to find out more about my high-income copywriter program, you can check out my free masterclass. Enroll now.