We want it cheap. But good. Great actually! We want to pay as little as possible. But have a HUGE ROI. We want a 50% discount right off the bat. But a better service.

Replace “it” with any service you can think of and you’ll have a sneak peek into most business negotiations. And I understand it perfectly.

We all want the best bang for our buck. And, as far as the cost of copywriting services is concerned, many people have had to come to terms with the shock that prices have soared in recent years.

Why?

I’m glad you asked.

The Explanation of the Recent Increase in the Cost of Copywriting Services

Years ago, when I was working as a freelancer, I used to charge and embarrassingly low rate. For an average of $10/article, I would churn up keyword stuffed pieces – about 10 per day. My freelance copywriter hourly rate wasn’t that much higher, either; it ranged somewhere between $15 and $20 depending on the topic and, honestly, luck.

Even now, if you go to Freelancer or Upwork, you will be able to find copywriting services pricing that go way beyond the ones above. But you shouldn’t hurry and hire those SEO writers.

The content world has changed significantly. Small and huge businesses alike have understood that it’s no longer enough just to have unique, keyword-stuffed content.

You need it to be worth something.

You need content that engages the user, that offers valuable information or that entertains. This is why we speak of authority content instead of 10 articles per day, written with the speed of light and with little care for what the readers actually want to see.

Rand Fishkin, the mind behind Moz and the co-founder of inbound.org coined the term 10x content to describe what the SEO copywriters you hire should do instead of keyword stuffing. In a nutshell, the term refers to content that’s 10 times better than the good, unique content readers are typically flooded with.

10x content solves a problem, delivers information, gets a reaction from the reader (surprise, awe), is trustworthy. It’s remarkable.

Now back to the cost of copywriting services: do you really think you can get remarkable content for $5 per article (at most)?

No, you can’t.

Remarkable, 10x content takes more than an hour to craft, irrespective of the word count. It takes tons of research, editing, not to mention keyword research and buyer persona research.

It’s a process, not something that you can churn out mindlessly. Every word is carefully chosen, every embedded link is there for a good reason and every CTA takes 3-4 drafts until perfection. The copywriting rates per word matter very little in this case. It’s just a fraction of the complete copywriting services pricing. What matters is the end result – a remarkable pieces that gets real results i.e. ROI.

Why Does Content Have to Be Remarkable and How Does this Impact the Price of Copywriting Services?

First off, user experience in general has changed a lot. Back when black hat SEO techniques were a hit, you could have made it big with 100 keyword stuffed articles.

Now you can’t anymore.

Since the Google Panda update, low quality backlinks and crappy content with little value to the user can no longer rank. In other words, Google has waged war against content farms and black hat SEO mavericks.

And it’s not just Google.

The expectations of the users have also changes. Now they demand a great UX experience AND quality copywriting. They want to be engaged and learn something from what you have to say. If not, they will switch the “channel” – you can see that in your Analytics account under bounce rate.

As a consequence, the cost of copywriting services has also changed. Quite a lot.

Today, more than 90% of marketers are using content to generate or close leads. 25% of their budget is dedicated solely to the custom creation of content.

This means that people are starting to see the value of remarkable copywriting services: users demand it, marketers know how to leverage it. There’s one thing left to do: pay a fair price for something better than good.

But how is that price determined? Let’s see what the major factors behind the cost of copywriting services are.

What’s Behind the Cost of Copywriting Services?

No two copywriting services are made alike, so forget about the average freelance copywriter hourly rate you’ve found online. Or, better yet, taking it as a starting point in your negotiations with professional writing services – it WILL go up from that.

As a freelancer and writing company owner, I’ve worked with other similar services, so I’ve seen a lot copywriting services pricing scenarios. Some better, some worse, some downright outrageous. But they are all based on a few common criteria.

  1. Quantity

Yes, quantity matters. This doesn’t mean that you should necessarily expect to receive copywriting rates per word, just that you should also take the length of your project into account.

Writing a blog article takes less time than crafting a high converting white paper, for instance. Creating the copy for a brochure also takes less time than the one for an entire website.

At Idunn, we price our copywriting services taking into account the length of the copy, but only along with other factors. This is why you may get very similar prices for an 800-word landing page and a 2000-word blog post.

There is no comparing the work and time needed to craft a lading page and a blog post. And this is shown in the cost of the copywriting services.

Which brings me to my second point.

  1. Time

Even if a copywriting firm doesn’t give you an hourly rate, but a price for an entire piece, this doesn’t mean that time isn’t factored in. After all, a day has the same number of hours for all of us.

A skilled copywriter knows the approximate amount of time it will take them to finish a piece off the bat. An experienced copywriter can type a 1000 word article in 20 minutes or less. But typing is the smallest concern here.

Keywords, buyer persona, linking opportunities, competitors – all these have to be researched even before opening a new document. Finding the right tone of voice, CTAs and influencers to cite also takes a lot of time. Of course, it all depends on the topic.

  1. Topic

A 1000-word blog post about getting the perfect beach body in three easy steps takes considerably less time than researching the IoT market and putting together a blog post that discusses security threats and financial opportunities.

For a “regular” copywriter – someone who is not specialized in tech.

Idunn’s main specialty is tech. We’ve worked with countless tech startups and established companies in SaaS, IoT, IIoT, smart homes, app development and so on. We know these markets like the back of our hands. Just as we know that our clients’ ROI from working with someone with extensive knowledge in their area is quite impressive.

However, we have managed to hold on to some of our tech clients for years, just because we didn’t abuse this fact. We still priced our services reasonably.

The industries where you should expect a higher cost of copywriting services are usually the highly competitive ones. Financial services, digital marketing, medical insurance – all of these are domains with a VERY high competition.

For the copywriters you hire, this means a lot of extra research work and a lot of time put into coming up with new angles and new ways of beating your competition at the content game. Expect to see this effort reflected by the copywriting price quotation.

  1. Expertise Level

As previously stated, it’s always advisable to work with professional writing services that have a solid background in your field. But that comes at a higher cost.

Of course, you can always hire a great copywriting agency without that background. If they are good at their job, they’ll know how to do the necessary research to compensate for their lack of experience.

But only up to a certain point.

You see, someone that is up to date with everything that moves in your industry knows about recent developments and, most importantly, how to leverage them in your favor. Such a copywriter also know what tone of voice speaks best to your audience – they’ve been using and perfecting it for years!

And you just can’t beat something like that with research. You also can’t expect to pay a very low fee for it.

  1. Type of Content

The cost of copywriting services depends a lot on the type of content you need. A lot! As previously stated, when it comes to more complicated types of content, criteria like copywriting rates per word or hourly rates are moot.

Depending on the topic, the most complex pieces of copy in an agency’s portfolio can end up costing 100 times more than the simplest one.

So how can you know which type of content costs more (assuming the word count is similar)?

Here’s a hierarchy that can guide you:

  • Entry-level blog posts – entry-level posts are those that require light research (both on the topic and the keywords).
  • Web content – depending on the niche and the competition level in your field, it can be much cheaper than authority content or twice as expensive.
  • Authority content – typically long-form blog posts, they take a lot of time to craft and research. You can read more about what it means to write authority content here.
  • Press releases – you need writers with a media or public relation background for this and such experts usually charge steep copywriting fees.
  • Sales or landing page – it can take days to craft a good, compelling landing page that beats your competitors’ and will bring a lot of ROI.
  • White papers and e-books – these are by far the most complex pieces of writing you can ask for. The amount of research put into them is huge and they usually require the copywriter has a background in your field.

 

  1. Delivery Time

At Idunn, we take a lot of pride in being flexible enough to accommodate strict deadlines and even emergencies. As an owner, I know which of my copywriters I can rely on to produce excellent copy even when pressed by time.

But I also know that my copywriters also have lives of their own. And whenever I rob them of their evening or their weekend, I need to compensate them accordingly.

In other words, emergency fees will be visible in the cost of copywriting services if you ask us (or another serious agency).

 

These are the main factors that typically make up the cost of copywriting services. What you should NOT be paying for are revisions. Professional copywriters who are worth their name allow for two free revisions. Of course, this doesn’t include the client changing the subject altogether.

I’m referring to common-sense revisions like adding more info in a certain section, emphasizing another one or polishing the call-to-action.

 

Want to work with a professional copywriting agency that offers unparalleled expertise and fair, transparent prices? Idunn never charges hidden fees or revision fees – you are informed about all the costs before the project starts and the price never changes.

Get in touch and let’s work on the type content that builds your business:

Talk to expert copywriters

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Showing 10 comments
  • Doreen Nanyama
    Reply

    Thanks for the insight into copyrighting costs. I didn’t know copyrighting is tagged on these factors. Now I know my bargaining power, thanks

    • Adriana
      Reply

      Glad to have helped you, Doreen!

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