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How Much Should You Pay A Writer?

July 12, 2019

Here is the big question that every potential client wants to know and what every single freelance writer needs to explain. How much should you pay a writer? Well, right out of the box I have to say that you get what you pay for. There are a lot of writers out there, everything from content writers, copywriters, ghostwriters, freelance writers who write on various topics, content strategists and the list goes on. What do all of these writers have in common? Their goal is to engage the reader on various platforms by persuading, entertaining, educating and informing the reader so that the reader can take some kind of action. What is the difference between these writers? Some are educated and specialize in writing while others simply have decided to call themselves a ‘writer’ because, well, they are able to put words on paper. The big difference here is that, regardless of education, some people can write intriguing, interesting, and engaging copy while others are simply putting correctly spelled words on paper. Which do you want?

When it comes right down to it, it is so true that what you give is what you get. If you want to pay someone to write for you for .10 a word or, let’s say, $10 an hour, the copy you get will reflect this very low price. Can someone who charges so little write great copy for you? On the other hand, if you want the experience of working with a professional writer who interacts with you and writes great copy in an efficient and timely manner, then you are going to pay more.

I just finished a project for a client in the United States who initially hired a writer at a very low price. The fellow said he could write content for an 8-page website for the low price of $300.00 which included any research as well and an unlimited number of edits. So, how did this great price work out for the client? Well, the project took over two months and, because the writer probably had a daytime job, he could only correspond with the client via email late at night. Needless to say, the content was poorly written, not engaging, and, at times, there seemed to be an uncertainty about the product in which he was writing. Was any research even done on the product to aid in the writing of the content? Probably not given the content he produced. Similarly, the client’s tone and style were not reflected in the writing to the point that the client was having to edit things himself. Unfortunately, after a lot of time spent, the client decided that he couldn’t use any of the content that was written for him. Oh, did I mention that the product he was selling was bow ties? Not exactly rocket science to write about ties.

So, the question remains, how much should you pay a writer? If you want to be able to engage with the writer and interact via telephone or email until your copy is exactly the way you want it, you’re going to pay more than an online company that just gets one of their 100 ‘writers’ to just shoot out copy for you. To really get it done right, you need to be able to speak with the writer as to what you would like and also have the writer put their input in as needed. Rather than going back and forth through your email looking for one boring draft after another, get it done right the first time by actually speaking with and discussing the requirements of the project on the telephone with the writer. This process will save you a lot of time and money, guaranteed. Is this the writer that’s charging $300 for a whole website, absolutely not! This educated, interested, and professional writer is going to charge you more. For example, a great writer will charge about $1200 for an 8-page website. If they are consulting with you on ideas, brand strategies, and other components of the business they may charge even more – anywhere from $1200-$25,000 depending on the breadth of the work.
Typically, for content writing for websites I charge anywhere from $800 – $2500, however, a quote is always given and along the way if the work turns into more or less, the quote would be adjusted accordingly. Regardless, depending on what type of writing you need, whether it be speech writing, business proposals, articles, website work, editing, or something else, the bottom line is always the same and that is YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

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