How Much To Charge For Website Copywriting (how writers decide)

I think we can all agree that knowing how much to expect freelancers to charge for website copywriting is an important part of your business growth.

You need to be able to afford the right copywriter while staying within budget. I’ve personally worked with content writers for online content at both ends of the scale, from low-cost to high.

And to be honest, I’ve lost a lot of money finding the right fit.

Over the last ten years I have learnt a lot about hiring an experienced freelance copywriter, with a whole bunch of mistakes along the way. In this post I’ll dig deep into what website copywriting is, and how much you should pay for it. Then I’ll talk about the best practices for hiring a writer.

So let’s get into it.

What is website copywriting?

Thanks to peakfreelance.com

Website copywriting is what happens when a professional copywriter creates copy for a website. This can include:

  • Blog post writing
  • Landing pages
  • Product pages
  • Product descriptions
  • Web page copy (About Us page etc.)

And plenty of other aspects. Basically, any writing on your business website, or linked to your website, is website copywriting.

Why is it important for my business?

If you are starting or running a business, there is every need to care about website copywriting. Firstly, your website has to pull in readers rather than send them away. Good website copy does that.

Bad website copy makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy.

Secondly, as your business begins to grow, you will need plenty of marketing assets. This includes landing pages, brochure copy and product descriptions, as well as plenty of other asset types.

If you don’t have a solid website copywriter working for you, you’re going to come up with sub-par content. That only leads to poor quality marketing campaigns, a lack of engagement and a lack of sales.

What are the different kinds of website copywriting services?

When you are running a business, you will find that there are a number of different types of website copywriting that you need to manage. Below is a list of some of the types you may need:

SEO copywriting. This is arguably the most important type of copywriting that a business owner can pay for. The vast majority of businesses have a website, and that website is only really useful if it is found online.

Finding it online relies on having a strong presencve in search (Google etc.). An SEO copywriter can use stong keyword research to create content that is designed to rank highly with organic traffic in search engines. This means your site gets found in search results by your target audience and because it’s great content, engaged with regularly.

Blogging. Another vitally important part of your web copy, blogging is easy to do but difficult to do well. Great copywriters create blog posts that keep your audience engaged and they also allow you to build authority. The very best blog posts use SEO alongside great writing.

Landing pages. The first page that a visitor sees when they encounter your business is the landing page. This could be a page that has an opt-in form for email addresses. It could simply be your website home page. Or it could be a particular page that answers a problem for the customer and then leads on to further exploration of your website.

Great website copywriters can create landing pages that ‘convert’. A page that converts turns site visitors into paying customers.

Ad copy. Every business needs ad copy at some point. From small Google Ads to full-pages in a magazine, the best copywriter will create ad copy that is incredibly powerful.

What business owners need to think about when hiring a website copywriter

Not all website copywriters are the same. The pricing model each copywriter uses is not the same either. You need to think about a few factors before you start shortlisting possible web copywriter candidates.

Each of the factors below will be responsbile for the many different website copywriting rates you come up against.

Their experience

This is a key part of the selection process and should be treated seriously. Imagine if you were looking for someone to fix your car. Would you choose the brand new mechanic who had just started work? Or would you choose the mechanic who has been employed and working on cars for a number of years?

Choosing any writer who has less than 5 years of experience is a surefire way of ending up with a poor quality job. You will meet a lot of writers in your search for the one who can handle your business writing, but don’t even bother talking to anyone who hasn’t had that magic 5 years plus of expereince.

With that experience, they will have met with numerous clients and worked on large and small jobs. They will also have managed projects that require complex and demanding skills. In other words, they will do the best job possible for you and your business.

There is also the added benefit of working with someone who has plenty of previous clients you can talk to. This will allow you to get a clear picture of how good the writer is.

To sum up, there are a million average writers out there, and significantly fewer exceptional writers. Be careful to check their experience before you start to consider them for the job. This gives you the best chance of finding a good website content writer.

Industry knowledge

Going back to the car idea, having a mechanic working on your car who knows your car inside out makes a lot more sense.

If you can find a writer who knows your industry inside out and can communicate effectively to potential customers, that’s bound to make a difference. Sure, most writers work for a number of different clients from a wide variety of industries, but if you can find one that knows your business and your audience then choose them.

Word count

When it comes to SEO content in particular, a high word count does not necessarily mean better content. And some writers are very well paid just for writing a couple of paragraphs. Content length isn’t necessarily a big issue.

When looking at word count you will see some writers who base their fees on the numbers. This is fine. But only as long as you know exactly what you want to say and how the content will align with search intent.

Deadlines and copywriting costs

If your website project has a very tight deadline the writer may well up their fee a little (or a lot) if they don’t have much time. Deadlines are deadlines, but you could try and make things a little easier financially by arranging for a draft to be written by yourself or someone a little less costly.

This is a way to avoid a full copywriter’s rate. Once the draft is done, you can pass this on to the high quality copywriter who will then be able to polish it and make it effective.

The best way to deal with turnaround time affecting your costs is to simply plan ahead, and make sure that any projects are created and assigned well ahead of time. This prevents your writer from having stress due to there being less time to complete work.

Is your business growing? Why not?

Stop kicking the tyre and start selling on purpose.

Project size and scope of work

This is kind of obvious but a content writing project that takes two months to complete will cost more than one that takes five days. If you know that your project is going to be of a considerable size, then you need to be ready for writers to go big when they decide how much to charge for website copywriting.

As a freelance writer, I have had clients in the past with huge projects. One decided to divide his project up into four parts, with a month in between each part. This way, he could manage his budget better and not face a huge bill upfront. Understanding and managing your project scope could actually make your budget stretch further.

Thinking about the complexity of the project and the scope is important if you’re going to maintain momentum and manage your budget well.

Extra stuff

You may find that you need additional aspects for your type of content. These could include infographics, email campaigns and so on. That’s great, but just expect additional costs.

Sometimes these come up as the project is moving forward. You can’t help this, and it may just pop up out of nowhere that you need an infographic to make your blog post more effective or an About Us for a new website. Writers will factor this in when they are deciding how much to charge for website copywriting.

How much to charge for website copywriting: pay per hour or per word?

Thanks to peakfreelance.com

This is the age-old dilemma when it comes to hiring writers. There are many pros and cons to both sides of the argument. You need to take these into account, because if you’re not careful you could end up paying a lot more than you need to.

Hourly rate

Pros

This certainly seems like it is the way to go at first. With this model, you are paying for work done. This includes research, writing and edting. You know what you’re getting because you’re paying for time. The more time you pay for, the more work gets done.

Cons

You may find that you’re paying for time that is used for communication. That’s the kind of communicaion that frustrates, not illuminates. For example, a writer may charge you for the fifteen short emails that you sent to each other on a Tuesday morning. Not much got done, but it took her time to read them.

There are ways around this particular ‘con’ though. Using time tracking software ensures your writer is at their desk. Also, you could specifiy what you will pay for within the hours worked. Whatever you do though, don’t leave the number of hours ‘open’ at any point. Unless you have a very solid relationship with a writer, be precise and limit the clock.

Per-word rate

Pros

This is what they call ‘the motivator’.

Here a writer is literally paid for the number of words they create. It means you have a guaranteed amount of work that fits the word count you are aiming to hit to rise up in the search engines. If you are in a position where you need a 1000 word blog post for SEO purposes, this is at least a guarantee that you will get the word count you want, or you just pay less.

Cons

Exactly what you would expect. If a writer is writing to a word count, you may get a situation where they are just trying to pad out the piece. You probably won’t get crisp, concise copy anyway. If they have to hit those 800 words then they will hit those 800 words, even if it means a paragraph or two you could do without.

The writer will most likely not create a plan for the work they do, or outline the content. And the editing will be simple at best.

The way around this one? Create a content plan that at least ensures you get the topics/aspects covered that are needed for optimum results.

How an experienced writer decides how much to charge for website copywriting

You can tell an experienced, quality copywriter by the way they set their fees. They will charge by the project. This is often referred to as the ‘project fee’.

You get a guaranteed fixed price fee per project and you’re not wasting money on extra time or word counts. An experienced copywriter is going to consider each of their copywriting projects as an individual project, and will quote accordingly. The base fee is a starting point, and a good copywriter will make that clear. Once the spec for the project has been agreed, the copywriter can then offer a fee.

Good copywriters also consider the ROI (return on investment). If there is a need to gain returns (in the way of sales via a landing page or email sequence) then the cost of the work will be higher. It has to acheive a specific result with a target market, and that result involves money.

A final factor in how an experienced copywriter decides how much to charge for website copywriting is their experience. A writer with 20 years experience will not charge as much as one with 3 years of experience. It just doesn’t make sense.

Also, top copywriters are often subject matter experts, which means that you get the very best quality of work for your money.

Be careful

Be careful when hiring freelance copywriters. Make sure your copywriter achieves your goals. It’s the copywriter that makes all the difference between a successful campaign and a flop.

Copywriters create web content that converts into sales with conversion-focused systems.

The revenue-generating copywriting system is what you’re really paying for.

Your brand needs a great copywriter, and it takes time to find one. It doesn’t happen overnight, though.

How to hire a (good) website copywriter

I don’t want you to waste money and time, so I’ve put together a process that should ensure you get a good copywriter.

First of all…

Does your business need one?

If you’re not getting traffic or sales, you’re going to say yes. However, there are some things copywriters can’t do.

They can’t save your product if it stinks. If you haven’t carried out any market research or sold a significant number and want to scale up, the chances are that you have something that cannot be sold. And good copy can’t sell bad products and services.

This means that if you’re sitting there and thinking that copy can solve all of your problems, you may need to just check and see if there is a clear, hungry market for your product first. And if you’ve sold stuff, even better.

That is when copy can increase sales.

Where do you find one?

Honestly, the very best way to find a high quality copywriter or content writer is by looking aorund the Internet for content you actually like. Once you have done that, contact the company that owns the website and ask who their copywriter was. If it was in-house, they might not be able to work with you. But it may have been a freelancer. If so, this is a great way to contact someone you like quickly.

Get their number

Once you have connected with a few writers in this way (you can hit places like UpWork and PeoplePerHour but you will find it harder to identify quality) it is a good idea to follow this checklist:

During the first call:

  • When the copywriter’s prospecting, do they ask lots of questions? In addition to your current copy and what you like or don’t like about it, a good copywriter should also know about your business, voice, market, strengths, and programs; testimonials from former/current students; and what your goals are for the project (why are you writing this copy, for whom, and with what results).
  • How did they explain your promotion or product during your first call or two?
  • Are they enthusiastic about the entire project?

 During the hiring process:

  • Are there any copy samples available or can you get in touch with their previous clients to check the quality of their work? The background of your copywriter is something you need to be happy with.
  • Are they experienced in your niche or similar niches?
  • Did they review your material before conversations? It is important that they do a thorough “audit” of your website and have a good grasp of what you do.

When negotiating:

  • How do they decide how much to charge for website copywriting and what packages do they offer? Flat fee? Different prices that confuse you? Do they offer a day rate?
  • Is their price for copywriting work consistent with their experience and skill level? A low quote can be just as problematic as a high quote.
  • Have you provided them with a good brief and do they understand it? They need as much relevant information as possible if they are to do the very best job. And don’t forget a clear brief helps them decide how much to charge for website copywriting.
  • How responsive are they to your suggestions and goals, or are they set on a particular course of action? You should consider a copywriter to be a partner – someone who can combine their expertise with your own.
  • Is the freelance writer clear on the drafting process? Will they provide a first draft within your preferred time frame?
  • Are they responsive to comments, questions, and suggestions? Can you imagine how hard communication will be once they have your money if they take so long to respond?

How much to charge for website copywriting: sample copywriting rates

Below are some sample current rates from, respectively, AWAI and Growthlab:

How writers decide how much to charge (thanks to AIWA)
Growthlab- How writers decide how much to charge for website copywriting

How much to charge for website copywriting: conclusion

Your business will need website copywriting. At some point it will need copywriting that is created to sell more products and scale your business.

I hope the information in this post has given you a little more insight into the process.

My name is Sahail Ashraf. My goal is to give you the best business ideas, money-saving tips and health advice for your entrepreneur journey. If you liked this post, please consider checking out The one question that will boost your sales.

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Sal Ashraf

I'm a freelance writer. This site is all about getting more business, and keeping that business, whether you're a solo entrepreneur, or a large company.

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