What does a copywriter actually cost?
Anyone with a keyboard can formulate sentences, come up with a title and look up information online. The profession of writer is therefore anything but protected; anyone can call themselves a copywriter, copywriter or copywriter. With a little googling you will find parties that produce a text for next to nothing, or you can put the intern to do the writing. Still, a little manager prefers to hire a good freelance copywriter. Why? And what should all that cost?
When purchasing a service, there are three factors of which you can usually only choose two: quality, speed of delivery and price. If you want good quality quickly, you pay for that. Do you have all the time and does quality not matter? Then you usually pay a lot less. In practice, copywriters use two methods of calculating prices:
- Hourly bill. The costs are then hourly wage times the registered number of hours. Matters such as possible travel time, project management and consultation are explicitly referred to as working time or not. Hourly wages range from €25 to €150 excluding VAT. A starting entrepreneur without customers is more likely to be at the bottom, an experienced entrepreneur with more than enough work will set the price higher.
- Fixed price. A fixed price per word or project. The copywriter then reduced all costs and time to an easy number that clients can easily calculate with. Prices vary from 2 euro cents per word to large amounts per project. Points for attention are how extra work is dealt with due to extra customer wishes.
Nice summary, but what is being calculated in practice?
Tekstnet Rate Monitor
Tekstnet is the professional association for text professionals. They conduct annual research among their members into the rates charged by professional copywriters. These are the three most striking findings of Tekstnet:
- The most commonly used rates are €80 and €85 per hour;
- 63% sometimes gives a discount, 10% is the most commonly used discount;
- 85% uses multiple hourly rates.
For more current figures, see Tekstnet's Rate monitor.
The bottom of the market
If you search for 'costs of a copywriter' then you may also be curious about how cheap it really can be. Here are a few entries with the corresponding prices and expectations:
- Sitedeals.nl. The largest trading website for website owners, where you will find freelancers in everything around the internet and various price ranges. On the part Freelance / Work do you find ads from professional copywriters who offer themselves for 2.3 cents per word. That 500-word blog only costs € 11.50. Sometimes you can even find offers for € 0.01 per word. The most commonly used application for these texts is filling sites that are further used for SEO. If you want slightly better texts – without language errors, for example – then you will have to try a number of copywriters. Typically the delivery time is a few weeks. If you want your SEO texts faster, you can also find already written content packages on Sitedeals. Example? The lyrics on this site cost 1.7 euro cents per word.
- fiverr. This gig platform promises all kinds of services for just a 'fiverr' – five dollars – so too Dutch copywriters can be found here. The price may also be more than that five dollars (plus Fiverr service fee a $2.28). Always pay close attention to exactly how many words you get and how often you edit. Here you will also find the real rascals who just throw an English text through the translation machine for a Dutch text about Bali, for example. If you have a French or English text to check, you will find native speakers here for the best price. Again, try a few freelancers before you find the right one.
- Textbroker.nl. Another one gig platform where you post assignments and freelancers respond to them, internationally oriented, so also for English, German or French texts. Placing an assignment does not always result in a willing copywriter. Here too you will have to try a number of freelancers to see who fits your market and message. Once you have a good match, Textbroker works quite nicely. Please note: you may not publish these texts in your own name as with a ghostwriter, but only under the editorship or company name. Conveniently, Textbroker checks all texts for plagiarism: these texts are therefore always unique. Example: this text cost 5.7 euro cents per word.
When can you opt for those cheap texts?
SEO texts are often cheap by definition. The idea is that Google does not see the difference between the text of a qualitative copywriter and a mediocre copywriter. However, Google focuses on an optimal experience for the user. Content quality is an important part of this, as is often reflected in the Google Webmaster guidelines. The Google algorithm is learning more and more what users like and don't like, so that mediocre content that offers a mediocre experience gradually leads to less and less results. But should you always go for those 'expensive' copywriters? When can you try such a freelancer on Sitedeals, Fiverr or Textbroker?
As a content creation agency, Bloeise also engages these freelancers itself. For example, most editorial texts on Bloeise are written by the same ghostwriter, who is brought in via Textbroker. That is someone who understands how we want to transfer knowledge, who can do research where necessary and who also thinks along with what does and does not work. The reason is simple: this is cheaper than the hours that can be spent on your own texts for customers. It took a while before we found this suitable ghostwriter, and an extensive briefing remains necessary for every assignment, small or large.
Eight points to consider when engaging a copywriter
There are plenty of reasons to stay away from that bottom end: the time it takes to find a good match, quality that isn't good enough for what you want to use it for, no unique texts et cetera. You choose the middle segment and above that for convenience and professionalism. There are a number of things that you need to fine-tune when you hire a copywriter:
- One-time or continuous. From the desire for a lower price often comes the promise that 'much more work will follow'. Every entrepreneur has chopped this ax at some point. Make there bright if this, then that agreements, so that you both start working together with a good feeling.
- How does the price come about. As a copywriter you can hide behind your general terms and conditions and invariably put 10% project management on top of every assignment, but without explicit explanation you will not work on a long-term relationship.
- What is being done? Certainly with inexperienced clients there can be a wrong idea about what a copywriter does exactly. Things like travelling, preparing an interview, transcribing the interview neatly, online research, reading through 200 pages of PDFs, e-mails in between, coordinating with an editor, processing feedback and checking text in the layout, are all things that somehow add value to the total product. These are hours that are spent on the assignment, so are included in the final price in either direction.
- Estimate or agree. An interview that overruns because the contact had a Zoom meeting that overran. An internal manager who nevertheless believes that the white paper should be different. Or take that extra customer case with you while you're at it. Whether you agree on or estimate the hours, they are based on assumptions. And the practice can sometimes be more unruly. State explicitly how that price or hour estimate came about.
- Royalty. The right to use a supplied text can be restricted in various ways. Think of only use offline or online and exclusively for that trademark. If you, as an online marketing agency, want to cleverly reuse that one text for a customer for a new site, you will need to know about copyrights. Otherwise you could suddenly receive an extra invoice, especially if the relationship with that copywriter was not so close after all.
- Usage. What exactly is the text used for? Online? Then SEO writing is an important point to tune. Who does the keyword research and how far do you want to go with processing the keywords?
- Delivery time. Responding quickly and delivering is something that usually every client wants. For copywriters, this is the way to distinguish themselves extra and to retain regular customers. That one good customer will get it quickly. There is value in it, so that is also something that plays a role in determining a price.
- Size of the project. Few companies have an in-house copywriter. Most copywriters are single-person or small agencies. They are not always waiting for a very large trajectory at a low price with which they commit themselves for weeks or even months to just one customer, while existing customers who pay well have to wait.
The value of good texts
Every company needs texts, and therefore also someone who writes them. With the digital boom due to corona, the demand for texts is also increasing sharply. Companies that used to do little online must now suddenly have a story to tell. The tendency may then be to opt for texts that are a bit cheaper, because so many other costs are already added. But then you see texts mainly as a cost item, and not as an essential distinguishing tool. And then applies: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Certainly B2B companies that present themselves seriously, also need seriously good texts. Content is king. With the following advantages you will look differently at the value of good texts:
- Findability on Google. Well-written texts have headlines that communicate, identify issues and clarify complex topics. Just the way Google likes it. Add to that SEO writing and your texts drive more traffic, leads and sales day in and day out.
- Sharpen your story. Every company has a story. But is it also a good story that reaches the target audience? The copywriter takes care of that.
- Makes you think. The copywriter you hire to put your story down will ask you all kinds of questions and make suggestions. This makes you think about who you are to your customers and what you do to create value. You get this fresh look for free.
- Time saving. A copywriter is a professional who produces texts on a daily basis. This happens much faster if you as an organization work on this yourself.
- Cost reduction. Texts that efficiently sell your company reduce the demand for advertising. On the one hand because you get more organic traffic through Google, and on the other because you serve the traffic you get through ads and Google a better converting story.
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