Want to know how content writers charge the best rates for freelance work? This article will help you to set prices and earn top dollar.
At some point, the majority of businesses and companies will need the services of a good copywriter or content writer. Marketing, promotion, and advertising all require the creation of good, compelling copy to drive specific customer actions, and finding good writers can be tougher than it may first appear.
Copywriters and content writers who have the necessary skills and experience can command top rates for their work, and companies seeking talented creators will pay top rates.
Crafting articles and copy that engages the reader and keep them reading is a highly sought-after commodity, and businesses who want to connect with their audience know that to maintain interest, they will need to keep things like website blogs and social channels fresh and updated.
So just how much per hour can a content writer earn? What is the cost of hiring a freelance writer to perform work?
Command best freelance rates for content writing.
What was once seen as a fun hobby, or a weekend pastime for bloggers has evolved into a serious business and expert content writers who charge the top freelance rates have a mix of several different skills. Along with having an excellent grasp of the written word, freelance writers will need to have a number of other skills to be successful.
Rates for content writers tend to be higher when those freelancing are adept at generating content and articles simply from an outline or a list of requirements and can convert dry information or boring data into an exciting and captivating story.
Being an excellent wordsmith is a necessary talent, but for modern-day content writers, it is not enough on its own. To be a top-quality freelance copywriter who can earn the best rates, you will need to be part writer, part marketer, and part SEO specialist.
Not only will you need to be capable of writing appealing business content, but you will also need to understand the psychology behind what makes people click and read, and how your content will be interpreted by search engines if it is to have a chance of ranking well.
This is not to say that anyone with a bit of SEO knowledge can become a content writer, the occupation is a bit more complicated than that and successful freelance writers will have a subtle blend of skills and abilities and an innate sense of what will appeal to their audience. It can be a delicate balancing act but for those who have perfected it, rates for content writers can be high.
Some of the skills that are useful when pursuing a career as a content writer and that will enable you to charge top rates are:
- Expert writing skills
- Good punctuation and sentence construction
- Knowledge of marketing
- Basic understanding of psychology
- Understanding of on-page SEO
- Use of CTAs and lead generation
What rates can content writers charge?
This is a bit of an open-ended question, there are copywriters who operate on a freelance basis, or work part-time around other jobs, while other content writers create written articles as a full-time career.
Freelance rates for content writers can vary dramatically from just a few pence a word or a basic hourly rate at the low end of the scale to content writers who charge hundreds of pounds for a single article.
Newer writers tend to charge lower freelance rates for copywriting, and the type of industry that content is being written for can also affect the price.
Things that affect the freelance rates which can be charged are:
- Writer experience
- Type of industry
- Quantity of writing
- Turnaround time and deadlines
- Special or technical skills
Even with the huge variance of skills and requirements, freelance content writers at the top end of the scale can set their copywriting rates higher than the industry standard which is currently seeing an average range of £35 to £85 an hour and word rates of 0.05p to 45p per word.
The type of content being written can impact the kind of rates charged with ad copy for example costing much more on a per word basis than a 25,000-word ebook. Writers can be called upon to generate all kinds of content needed for informational, training, and marketing purposes and at any given time a writer’s client book may be requesting work for items such as:
- Social media posts
- Advertising copy
- Email marketing/newsletters
- Landing page copy
- Product descriptions
- Training material
Do qualifications impact a freelance writer’s rates?
This is another one of those questions that have no clear answer. Unfortunately, having a Master’s degree in English Literature doesn’t guarantee you a seat at the top content writer’s table, the same as NOT having qualifications doesn’t exclude you from freelance writing as a career.
Assuming you have the basic skills required, then adding to your education with courses or training that will enhance your writing and help you to understand marketing and SEO, may strengthen your position as a writer, and make you appear more desirable to hiring companies.
If you decide to specialise in a specific area and create content for a certain type of business or market sector then anything that supports that endeavour will be worthwhile.
Content writers who wish to supply content for financial services may undertake training to help them understand the many different areas of that particular market and learn about the regulatory standards that go along with providing financial advice.
Or if training and development is your chosen field then it can be worthwhile to learn about things like academic course construction and mapping achievements to outcomes.
How you can improve your writing rates
All this may leave you asking yourself how you can charge higher freelance rates for your own content writing. The fact is that you may be undercharging for your work. As we mentioned many newer writers charge lower rates due to a lack of confidence.
But that’s not the only reason, as we have seen, the rates for freelance writers can spread across a broad range depending on the kind of work requested and the industry.
The reality is that many content writers are charging lower rates than they deserve simply because they have no idea what to ask for, or what the industry will support. If that sounds familiar then it is fairly safe to say that it’s time you took a look at the rates you are charging for writing content, and it could be time to raise your prices.
On average, professional rates for content agencies may run much higher than individual writers and not all the companies they deal with are huge organizations. Smaller companies pay their rates willingly because they believe in the quality of the writing and trust in the service they are receiving.
So how can you do the same? Try the following steps and start charging your best freelance rates ever for copywriting and content creation.
Do some research
As we have already established, charging the best rates possible for content writing can depend heavily on various factors, so do some research into the current market levels. Find out what rates other content creators and agencies are charging on the high and low end and see how your writing rates compare. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to compete on price, rather take an honest look at what you offer and the quality of your work and set your rates accordingly.
Companies who expect to pay reasonably well for writing services are often happy to pay higher rates for content writers, especially if they can get the kind of quality work that they need.
Review existing clients
Sometimes you can increase your earnings by targeting low-hanging fruit, which in this case may be clients who are paying low rates for your services. Maybe they were some of your first clients when you started working as a content writer. Often, that means that you quoted them a low rate and never increased it, and now they are getting work for an extremely reasonable price.
Frequently these clients don’t pay you more simply because you never asked, so a well-worded email can help you to bring your writing rates more in line with current market prices. You will be surprised at how many clients will readily pay more, especially if they are happy with your work.
Search on freelance sites
When you are setting your content writing rates freelance sites can be a huge source of information and provide you will the details you need. Just as you will have research agencies and content creators to find out their rates, these sites can give you a lot of data about the freelance market.
Look at individual profiles and use the filtering tools provided to see how much writers are charging for specific tasks and industries. Freelance sites are a great resource that can help you keep ahead of market shifts and changing trends
Set your content writing rates higher
Whatever you are charging, increase it. If you suddenly find that no work is coming your way then it’s a sign that your writing rates are higher than the market can tolerate. But if you find that clients are willing to pay the higher rates then you could increase your average order value overnight.
Raising your rates for content writing services can not only improve your income, but it has the bonus of filtering out low-value/high-stress clients – you know the ones. The ones who are more effort than they are worth. There will of course always be the occasional customer who is a pain in the neck, but by raising rates you will filter out most of them.
Where can I find jobs for content writers that pay the best rates?
There are a ton of methods you can use to find work from cold calling to email pitches there are lots of tactics you can employ to make connections with hiring companies. Leverage work associates and colleagues to see who they know and ask for an introduction.
Scour the internet and make connections with businesses using social media channels like Linkedin. It is a numbers game, the more connections you make the more work will come your way, but it is worth having a website or an online portfolio to share examples of your work.
Freelance sites are abundant and job aggregators like GigLeads will search the internet on your behalf and email the latest job listings directly to you, so you don’t have to spend valuable time searching.
Many of the freelance sites are competitive, so they may not pay the top rates for content writers but they will keep you in business.
Local companies often like to hire locally so add your details to online directories and make full use of channels like Google My Business to reach your audience and gain paying clients.
There are many writers who can command premium fees and make an extremely good career by providing written articles to business users. Most companies understand that a blog is a good way of connecting with potential customers, answering questions, and building loyalty.
Things like use cases and case studies can demonstrate company success and clearly explain how their product or service works – and someone (you) needs to write all of this marketing material.
If you are planning to keep working on a freelance basis then you will need to charge the best rates for content writing. Take a good look at your experience, skills, special talents, market sector and decide what you want to be paid. Then update your prices and start charging the good rates for content writing.