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How Much Do Copywriters Make Per Project? What You Need To Know

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Copywriting is a crucial aspect of advertising and marketing, which involves creating written content that is persuasive and engaging to attract potential customers. If you’re considering a career in copywriting, you may be curious about the average pay per project. However, the amount you can expect to earn will depend on various factors, including your experience level, project type, and industry. This article will provide you with essential information on copywriting rates and guide you in determining the appropriate price for your services. Knowing the typical payment per project for copywriters, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, can aid in negotiating fair compensation and establishing a successful career.

How Much Do Copywriters Make Per Project?

Pinning down an exact figure for how much copywriters can make per project can be a bit tricky. After all, the scope of each project can vary widely, from short-form product descriptions to lengthy website copy or even case studies.

Each type of project comes with its own set of requirements, which can impact the final price tag.

That said, there are definitely some ballpark figures that you can use as a starting point. For example:

  • Long-form articles: These can vary in length, but typically range from 1,500 to 3,500 words. Prices can range from $100 for shorter articles to over $1,000 for longer, more complex pieces.

  • Case studies: These copywriting projects usually involve extensive research and interviews, and can take several weeks to complete. Prices can start at around $1,000 and go up to several thousand dollars.

  • WhitePapers: These are typically longer, more research-intensive projects that can take several days or weeks to complete. Prices often range from $2,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the project and the writer’s experience.

  • Website copy: This type of project can vary widely in scope, from a few landing pages and sales pages to a complete website overhaul. Prices can range from $200 for a smaller project to $10,000 for a larger one.

  • eBooks: These are longer-form pieces of content that go into greater depth on a specific topic than a blog post or article would. eBooks might be used as lead magnets to capture email addresses or as educational resources for customers or clients. They can also take weeks or even months to research and write, depending on the complexity of the subject matter. Because of this, some often charge at least $500 for such a project. 

Why Freelance Copywriters Use The Per-Project Pricing Model

Per-project pricing is the most common and widely accepted pricing structure for copywriters. This method involves setting a fixed price for each project, regardless of how long it takes to complete the work.

The price is agreed upon in advance (based on the scope and requirements of the project) and typically includes all aspects of the work, such as research, writing, editing, and revisions.

Such a pricing model is an attractive option for clients, who know exactly how much they will pay and are less likely to quibble over the final bill. Adopting the model is a great way for copywriters to guarantee a reasonable pay rate while taking on copywriting projects that challenge their creative and writing abilities.

Both parties can benefit from this pricing model, as long as the fee is fair and reasonable.

This pricing method is popular for several reasons:

Clarity and transparency

Per-project pricing is a straightforward and transparent way to communicate the cost of your copywriting services to clients. It helps to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion later on down the line, which is always a plus.

Flexibility

Per-project pricing gives you the flexibility to adjust your pricing according to the specific needs of each project. This means you can take into account things like the complexity of the project, the amount of research required, and the deadline.

Fairness

Rather than charging by the hour, you’re able to charge based on the value of the work you produce. This incentivizes you to work efficiently and effectively to ensure you’re delivering the best possible results.

Incentives

Per-project pricing can provide an incentive for freelance content writers, to work efficiently and effectively, as they are motivated to complete the project within the agreed-upon timeline and budget.

Customization

It allows you to customize your freelance writing rates based on the unique requirements of each client and project. This means you can be sure you’re charging a fair price for the work you’re doing.

Drawbacks of per-project pricing

While per-project pricing is a common and effective way for freelance writers to charge for their freelance writing services, there are some potential downsides to consider. Here are a few cons of the per-project pricing model:

Projects can take longer than anticipated

When you agree to a set fee for a project, you’re taking on the risk that the project will take longer than expected.

For example, let’s say you agree to write a series of blog posts for a client for $500. You estimate that the project will take you 10 hours to complete, which works out to $50/hour. However, if the project ends up taking you 15 hours to complete, your hourly rate drops to $33/hour. That’s a significant difference!

Scope creep

Another risk of per-project pricing is that the client may ask for additional work beyond the original scope of the project. For example, let’s say you agree to write a WhitePaper for a client for $1000.

However, as you’re working on the project, the client asks you to include additional sections or research additional topics. If you’re not careful, you could end up doing much more work than you originally agreed to for the same amount of money.

Difficulty estimating project time

It can be tough to accurately estimate how much time a project will take, especially if it’s a type of project you haven’t done before.

For example, let’s say you’ve never written a case study before, and a client asks you to write one for them. You estimate that it will take you 10 hours to complete, but it ends up taking you 20 hours. That means you’re earning half as much per hour as you would have if you’d charged hourly.

Pressure to deliver on time

With per-project pricing, writers may feel pressure to complete the project quickly to maximize their earnings. This can be stressful and may lead to lower-quality work.

Other pricing models used by freelance copywriters

Other than per-project pricing, here are other pricing models:

Hourly

As a freelance copywriter, you can charge clients an hourly rate for your work. This can be a good option if you’re working on a project that requires a lot of research, revision, or communication with the client. Hourly copywriting rates can range widely depending on your experience level, niche, and location.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate for copywriters in the United States is $29. However, keep in mind that your hourly rate should take into account your skill level, experience, and expertise.

Pros:

  • With an hourly rate, you are guaranteed payment for the time you spend working on the project, regardless of the final outcome.

  • Hourly rates can provide a more predictable income stream, as you can estimate how much you will earn based on the number of hours you work.

  • Hourly rates can be beneficial for short-term freelance writing projects where the scope of work is well-defined and there is little uncertainty.

Cons:

  • With an hourly rate, there is little incentive to work more efficiently or complete tasks more quickly, which can lead to lower productivity.

  • Tracking hours can be time-consuming and can lead to disputes with clients over billed hours.

  • Some clients may be hesitant to pay higher freelance copywriter rates, which can limit your earning potential.

Per-Word Pricing Models

As the name suggests, a per-word copywriting rate means that a freelance copywriter charges their client a specific amount of money for each word they write.

For example, let’s say a writer charges 10 cents per word, and they are hired to write a 1,000-word article. The total cost for the article would be $100 (1,000 words x 0.10 cents per word = $100).

Pros:

  • Per-word rates offer a clear and transparent pricing structure, as clients can easily estimate the cost of a project based on the word count.

  • Per-word rates can incentivize writers to be more efficient and concise, which can improve the overall quality of the work.

  • Clients can budget for projects more accurately with per-word rates, as they know exactly how much they will pay per word.

Cons:

  • Per-word rates may not be suitable for more complex or research-intensive freelance writing projects, as the per-word rate may not adequately compensate experienced copywriters for their time and effort.

  • Per-word rates can incentivize writers to prioritize quantity over quality, which can lead to lower quality work.

  • It can be challenging to calculate an accurate per-word rate for a copywriting project, as there may be additional factors to consider such as research or revisions.

Retainer

With a retainer agreement, you work out a set payment schedule with a client in exchange for a guaranteed amount of work each month or quarter. It can help build a long-term relationship with a client and ensure a steady stream of work.

Retainer agreements can be structured in a variety of ways, but typically involve a set payment in exchange for a certain number of deliverables each month or quarter. For example, you might agree to produce 10 blog posts per month for $2,500.

Pros:

  • A retainer agreement can provide writers with a predictable income stream, as they are guaranteed to be paid a set amount each month.

  • Clients who have a retainer agreement with a writer may prioritize their work over other clients, as they have a contractual agreement in place.

  • Retainer agreements can foster long-term relationships between writers and clients, as they often involve ongoing work and communication.

Cons:

  • Retainer agreements typically require a freelance writer or copywriting agency to commit to a set amount of work each month, which can limit their ability to take on other clients or other freelance writing projects.

  • A freelance writer who is working on retainer may feel pressure to constantly produce work for their client, which can lead to burnout and decreased quality of work.

  • Clients may be slow to pay or withhold payment altogether, even with a retainer agreement in place.

Revenue share

With a revenue share agreement, you receive a percentage of the revenue generated by the content you create. Royalties is often used in copy for marketing or advertising contexts, where the content is designed to drive sales or conversions. 

Revenue share agreements can be structured in a variety of ways, but typically involve a percentage of the revenue generated by the content over a certain period. For example, you might receive 10% of the revenue generated by a white paper over six months.

Upfront payment

With upfront payment, you ask clients to pay you in full before you start work on a copywriting project. This can be a good way to ensure that you get paid for your work, but it may be a harder sell for clients who are wary of paying before they see the final product.

Upfront payment can be structured in a variety of ways but typically involves a set payment in exchange for a certain number of deliverables. For example, you might charge $2,000 for a white paper, with payment due in full before you start work.

Contest or grant

Writing contests and grants can be a good way to get paid for your work and build your portfolio. Contests typically involve submitting a piece of writing for consideration and competing against other writers for a prize or publication.

Grants are often available for writers working on specific types of projects or in specific niches. For example, the National Endowment for the Arts offers grants for writers working on a variety of projects, including novels, poetry, and non-fiction.

Keep in mind that the best payment method for you will depend on your individual circumstances and the type of work you’re doing. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different payment models and a different copywriter cost to see what works best for you and your clients.

Final Thoughts

Per-project pricing offers transparency, flexibility, and fairness in copywriting. It allows you to set a reasonable pay rate and take on challenging projects. However, exploring different pricing methods is crucial to finding what suits you best.

Whether it’s hourly rates, per-word pricing, retainers, or revenue sharing, experiment to strike the right balance between financial stability and creative fulfillment.

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