I’ve recently been trawling the internet to help set a different way of pricing my copywriting service, after agency client Terra Ferma Media asked me for a cost per 100 words.
I was unsure about costing my work out this way. Every project is different and it’s pretty hard to quantify how long it will take, which is why I often work on a project fee or hourly rate.
There are so many things to weigh up: the subject; its complexity; what style is required; how much research is needed; are changes to be made by committee or is one person responsible; will there be any client meetings or long telephone conversations – etc.
While I was researching what other copywriters charge on a per word basis, I came across a number of helpful articles including one on The Professional Copywriters’ Network, which recommended pricing by the job as preferable, followed by pricing by the day, or hour. ‘We strongly discourage pricing by the word’, they say, because they believe it may encourage writers to work too fast and submit substandard copy.
I also discovered many comments about the freelance portals where you bid for work. I have always had an innate distrust of these, although I admit to the odd foray during quieter periods. But, seriously, look at the price people want to pay for website copy or a press release, it’s peanuts! Sorry, you get what you pay for and I’m not going there again. One online ‘agency’ requests a full tender document with samples, breakdowns, examples, illustrations, references, the lot. I tried this once, and it took so long that I’m not going there again either!
I work with Terra Ferma Media regularly and I love them ‒in fact I wrote the section about copywriting and content for their website. So, just for them I came up with a cost for 100 words, which they were happy with. And I also reminded them that they can always negotiate, or just tell me they have £2.50 and that will be fine (okay that’s a slight exaggeration).
Clients need to pay a reasonable rate for copy if they want it to cut the mustard, and really I don’t mind how the fee is worked out. As long as it’s fair, I’ll delve deep for originality and make the words work really hard. That’s my commitment to my clients!