If you’ve been trying to price out web content, by now you probably feel like the numbers are all over the place. The difference, for example, between what one writer charges and what another bills can be extreme.
I can’t speak for why others charge what they do, but I can tell you about my own rates. Here’s an explanation straight from my Fees page:
I charge per-page fees instead of billing my services by the hour.
Fees for writing and editing include all stages of preparing content — interviewing you and your key people, researching your business and industry, working on the content, and making revisions based on your suggestions.
This is more fair for everyone involved. You know exactly what your content will cost ahead of time, and I’ll get paid based on the value of good website copy.
That’s good and all, but it doesn’t answer what many people consider the essential question… How much should you expect to spend?
Pages like your home page and your “About Us” page are often your prospects’ first introduction to your site and your business. Quality writing makes them inviting and informative.
For core web pages, my fee starts at $300 per page.
The cost of a blog post will depend on its length, how many others you order at the same time and the amount of research involved. Two-thousand word “thought leader” pieces with multiple people interviewed will be more expensive than 400-word “top five” lists. But it’s like that with all web content — the more you need, the more money you should think about investing.
I’ve got a process that helps me do blog posts less expensively, so these start at $180 per post.
If you have a limited web content budget, spend as much of it as you can here. A landing page — like this one for Business Blogging 101 — represents sometimes your only chance to turn a visitor into a lead. That means, then, that there’s a lot riding on your pitch; accordingly a great deal of finesse is required. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if none of it converts.
Landing pages require more work than regular pages, despite the fact that they can be a lot shorter. With me, they start at $450 per page.
Think of these as landing pages on steroids. A good sales page walks a reader through the buying process and makes them want to spend their money there and then. Sales pages cost more than typical web content because they can be quite difficult to write; to be effective, the writing needs help a buyer identify a problem, demonstrate why your product is the answer to that problem, and counter any objections the buyer might have. Tricky stuff, psychologically speaking, but very powerful.
Sales pages are the hardest to write of all, and they take the most specialized skill. My rates here start at $2 per word. (I like to tell clients they’re not paying for the length of time it takes me to write them… They’re paying for the length of time it took me to learn how to write them.)
Email marketing / autoresponder email series
Today’s marketing automation software enables you to create email messages and send them out — automatically — in a defined sequence and at specified intervals. The goal? Reach out to prospects and help convert them to warm leads and then to buyers. In some cases, the contact starts after a prospect requests information; in others, emails are sent when a buyer first purchases, and then periodically afterward to win new sales. The average email series runs between five and 12 emails and is designed to move prospects through the different stages of the sales process.
Email series start at $200 per message.
Free ebooks, white papers and special reports are invaluable assets in a properly functioning content marketing campaign. Offering well-written information reports for free helps build client trust and forges the beginning of what often can turn into a a long-term and profitable relationship.
These kinds of download is much harder to price, since the specs can vary so much. Generally, however, they price out around the same as web pages — $300 per page.
What other kinds of web content are you looking for?
I’ve discussed the content I write for clients most often, but there are other types that don’t fit easily into any of the above categories. Here’s a point to remember — just because I haven’t talked about it here doesn’t mean it can’t still be of great value in a digital marketing campaign. A skilled web content writer can product press releases, email newsletters, company bios and a number of other assets for your business.
In other words, if you don’t see it listed here, go ahead and ask.