Figure Out What to Charge for Your Next Web Writing Project
I’ve lost count of how many times web writers have asked me, “How much should I charge for web writing projects?”
The answer is, inevitably, that it depends. There’s a good reason for this answer. It’s because it’s true.
But it’s also frustrating for the web copywriter trying to get a feel for how to set her fees.
So I set out to provide a more definitive answer to this age-old question, and I’m going to share that information with you today.
To start I’d to answer a separate question first. That question is whether or not you should charge and hourly rate. The answer is a definitive no, and here’s why:
- As you gain more experience, you’ll begin to work faster and more efficiently. When you charge hourly, you’ll make less the better you get.
- Hourly fees make budgeting more difficult for your client. A flat project fee is easier to plan around.
- Hourly fees limit your earning potential. You don’t want to charge for your time, you want to charge for the value you bring to your client.
So now that we’ve established you should charge by the project, here are some things to think about when setting a free for your web writing projects.
Your Self-Marketing Strategy: If you’re new to writing for the web and are looking to build up your portfolio, you’ll want to charge a little less. Then you’ll be able to build up your portfolio faster-something that will help you to charge higher fees in the future. On the other hand, if you’re experienced at writing for the we and you already have plenty of work lined up, then your focus should be on working your way up the pay scale. Consider raising your rates with current clients, and going after new clients who will pay you higher fees.
Your Experience: Even if you’ve got a solid background writing for the web, their may be certain types of projects that you’re still green at. Adjust your fees accordingly.
Project Value to Your Client: A good copywriter gets paid well because they increase their clients’ revenues. If you’ve proven time and again that your work brings in money, then you can start charging more.
Client Size: Bigger clients can typically afford to pay more than smaller clients. If you enjoy working with smaller businesses-and there are a lot of perks-be prepared to adjust your fees downward to accommodate tighter budgets.
Project Scope: Are you writing a 2,000 word landing page for a toaster oven or a 10,000 word landing page for an investment advisory newsletter? The two are clearly of a different scope and would command different fees.
Time Spent: Even though you don’t want to charge by the hour, you do want to track how much time you spend on each project. This will help you plan your project fees better in the future.
You can see why very few web copywriters actually list a pricing scale on their websites. There are so many variables you need to consider before setting the fee for any particular project.
Even so, let’s take a look at some of the standard ranges for a variety of web writing projects.
Pricing Guide for Web Copywriters
Fees for Search Engine Optimization:
Optimizing a Web Page: Rewrite a current web page for better search engine rankings for specific key phrases.
Fee Range: $100 – $400 per page
Writing a Small Website: Create the content for a five to six-page website using SEO strategies.
Fee Range: $1,500 – $3,500
SEO Consulting and Training: Help a client with key phrase research, link development strategies, or site submissions or train him how to optimize his site for better rankings.
Fee: $150-$500/hour-This is often offered in conjunction with the SEO copywriting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Pay-Per-Click Copywriting Fees:
Single PPC Ads: Write ads for a PPC campaign (“Sponsored Link” ads), based on the keyword research provided by your client.
Fee Range: $25 – $250 per ad
Full PPC Campaign: Create an entire PPC campaign including conducting the keyword research and writing 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: Write the creative for a PPC Campaign and manage the entire process on an ongoing basis. This includes placing, managing, and continually testing the PPC ads, and then refining the copy and target keywords as needed.
Fee Range: 15% of PPC ad fees spent by the client, or $500 to $6000 per month
Note: The range is large because different clients will run a different number of campaigns. Remember to consider the value of your time.
Landing Page Fees by Type:
Homepage: The homepage is the most important page of a website, and often the most difficult to write.
Fee Range: $450 to $4,500
Information Page: An “information” page contains relevant, useful content such as “How To” articles, product reviews, interviews with industry experts, and any other information your prospect might need as part of the decision process. Information pages do not directly sell something, but they move the sales process forward in some way.
Fee Range: $250 to $750
Subscription Page: The focus of a subscription page is on the benefits the prospect will experience once they complete the transaction.
Fee Range: $450 to $4,500
Sales Page: This page will directly sell a product or service. Length can run 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, depending on length.
Standalone Sales Email: Similar to a promotional letter, these emails close the deal.
Fee Range: $250 to $2000
Newsletter/E-zine: The email equivalent to an information page online, but sent out on a regular basis-usually priced per month.
Fee Range: $150 to $750
Now you have a pricing guide to guide your project fees. But this isn’t a complete list. There are tons more web writing projects that you might be asked to write.
Just remember in the game of pricing, every project is different, and so is every client. Ask lots of questions, and make sure you understand the full scope of the project, and consider all of the variables, before giving your client a fee.