How Much to Charge for Web Copy Projects

It’s the question that always gets asked, and never gets answered:

“How much should I charge for my web copywriting services?”

And up until now the only answer you’ve ever received has been: It depends.

And for a good reason. There are a lot of variables to consider when pricing projects for prospective clients.

But during last week’s Bootcamp, I tackled this topic head on during my presentation titled “How to Become a Successful Working Web Copywriter in 2009.” And today I’m going share that information with you.

To start I’d like to first back up and answer the question often asked first:

“Should I give an hourly rate?”

The answer is no. You should never charge by the hour, and here’s why …

As you gain more experience, you’ll begin to work faster and more efficiently. For example, the first time you write a landing page, it may take you five hours. As you continue to write them, they should take you less. If you were to charge by the hour, you’d actually end up making less money per project!

So now that you’re charging by the project, you’ll need to think about the following six variables when determining your project fee …

  1. Your Self-Marketing Strategy
    If you’re just starting out and are looking to build up your portfolio, it makes sense to charge a little less. You’ll be able to build up your portfolio quickly, and at the same time warrant higher fees by proving that you can deliver results.

    On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned online copywriter with more work than you can handle, you should be working your way up the pay scale. You can afford to raise your rates with current clients, and go after new clients who will pay you higher fees.

  2. Your Experience
    Even if you have a fairly solid portfolio with a wide range of work, you still may have less “hands-on” experience writing certain types of web copy.
  3. Project Value to Your Client
    Why do good copywriters make so much money? Because their clients make a lot more money. So the more money your web copy will potentially make for your client, the more bargaining power you have.
  4. Client Size
    How big is your client? Are you writing copy for a Yoga Studio in Austin, or are you writing for Nightingale Conant? There are different pros and cons to working for either size company, but you’ll want to take the client’s size into account when pricing.
  5. Page Length
    Is the sales page you’re writing for a toaster oven, or for an investment advisory service? If it’s for the latter, the sale will most likely require much more copy. While it won’t always apply, this variable is a great example of why one price will not fit all with web copy.
  6. Time Spent
    With every project, estimate how much of time it will take you to complete. Then multiply the number of hours by an hourly rate you’re comfortable with. But remember, you don’t want to charge less simply because you’ve become more efficient at what you do. But your time is valuable and will become more valuable as you perfect your web copywriting skills.

You can see why very few web copywriters actually list how much they charge for their services. There are a lot of variables you need to first consider before naming your price.

And now that you have the variables to consider, we can finally get down to the pricing. What follows are standard ranges for a working web copywriter. Copywriters just starting out will be at the lower end, while more seasoned professionals may be well above the high end.

Pricing Guide for Web Copywriters

SEO Copywriting Fees (Search Engine Optimization):

  • Optimizing a Page
    Re-write a client’s current web copy, so that it can be found by the search engines for a desired keyword or phrase.
    Fee Range: $100 - $400 per page
  • Writing a Small Website
    Write a five to six-page website using SEO strategies.
    Fee Range: $1,500 - $3,500
  • SEO Strategy and Training
    Help a client with keyphrase research, or train him how to optimize copy.
    Fee: $150-$500/hour
    Note: This is usually bundled in with the SEO copy, but doesn’t have to be.

PPC Fees (Pay-Per-Click):

  • Single PPC Ads
    Write the ads that appear on a search engine’s results page under the “Sponsored Links” heading, based on the keyword research provided by your client.
    Fee Range: $25 - $250 per ad
  • Full PPC Campaign
    Put together all of the creative for a PPC campaign including the keyword research, 10 different ads, a landing page, the welcome page, and a welcome email.
    Fee Range: $1,000 to $2500
  • Pay-Per-Click Campaign Management Fees
    In addition to writing the creative for a PPC Campaign, you can elect to manage the entire process on an ongoing basis. This includes placing, managing, and continually testing the PPC ads, and then tweaking the copy as needed.

    Fee Range: 15% of PPC ad fees spent by the client, or $500 to $6000 per month

Note: The range is large due to the number of potential campaigns. For example one client may have two PPC campaigns running, while another has 50 campaigns. Again, you’ll want to consider the value of your time.

Landing Page Fees by Type:

  • Homepage
    This is the most important page of a website, and is often the most difficult to write.
    Fee Range: $450 to $4,500
  • Information Page
    An “information” page contains good relevant content such as a “How To” articles, product reviews and any other information your prospect might need as part of the decision process. The goal of an information page is not to directly sell something, but to move the sales process forward in some way.
    Fee Range: $250 to $750
  • Subscription Page
    Product description is minimal; the focus is more on the benefits the prospect will experience once they complete the transaction
    Fee Range: $450 to $4,500
  • Sales Page
    A page that directly sells a product or service. These can range from a short product description page (similar to the ones you see on Amazon.com) to a full blown sales letter.
    Fee Range: $450 to $10,000

    Sales Page Fees Broken Down By Equivalent Length in Print:

    • One Page
      Fee Range: $450 - $1000
    • Two to Four Pages
      Fee Range: $1,200 - $2000
    • Six to 20 Pages
      Fee Range: $3,000 - $10,000

Email Fees:

  • Standalone Sales Email
    Similar to promos, these emails close the deal.
    Fee Range: $250 to $2000
  • Newsletter/E-zine
    Articles and editorial for a online magazine.
    Fee Range: $150 to $750
  • Articles
    Ranges by complexity of topic and client size – generally 400 to 1200 words.
    Fee Range: $75 to $300
  • Regular E-letters
    A personal email from your client to his readers.
    Fee Range: $50 to $200 per email (usually priced by month.)

Now you have your pricing guide. But here’s the best part … we’ve only scratched the surface!

Just remember in the game of pricing, every assignment is different. And every client is unique. Make sure you understand the full scope of the project, and consider all of the variables, before giving your client a fee.

Until October 30th:
Enrollment Open for Circle of Success

Join Circle of Success, AWAI’s most comprehensive learning program where you have complete access to all AWAI resources for life … plus all kinds of help, support and training to help you become an "A" level professional copywriter. This is your last opportunity to join Circle of Success and receive FREE admission to our annual Bootcamp for life! Learn more here.


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Published: November 19, 2008

2 Responses to “How Much to Charge for Web Copy Projects”

  1. I am fairly new to copy writing. I am just wondering if 130 pounds (around about 400 dollars) for 52 product descriptions is fair or not?

    Guest (Jon)September 27, 2013 at 3:39 am

  2. Hello, I'm wondering if the figures you quoted at the end of the article apply to beginning copywriters as well. I'm talking first job beginner.

    Thanks so much, this was quite helpful!

    Collette

    Guest (Colletteseline)March 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm


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