Morning everyone, I hope you’re having a wonderful start of the week. Today I’m delighting you with a topic that I think is pretty important for those seeking to learn more about copywriting and content writing services, as well as those who offer them. Friends and clients alike ask me frequently what in the world is copywriting and content writing, how much do these individual services cost and why the price differences, are they justifiable?
First up, I invite you to take a look over my introductory piece on content writing and copywriting if you’re a beginner so you can understand exactly what each specialist does in the online world. From here on out we can discuss how much these services cost and why
If you have a business, a Facebook page, a blog, it’s obvious to understand you literally can’t exist without content. Almost everything in the online world is content, whether we’re talking video content, text, graphic elements or pictures.
When it comes to text (content writing or copywriting), things get a little more complicated because it’s not an exact science, but a laborious process that involves research, creativity and, of course, writing, it is something quite relative to assess, which is why price variations ensure inevitably.
Content writing services vs. copywriting services – why the price difference?
I’ll start by clarifying one important aspect – each specialist comes up with his individual fee/rate (if we’re talking freelance writers). It can either be a wordcount rate or an hourly rate. If we’re talking agencies, each comes up with certain prices, higher or lower, depending on its policy (an estimate starting price for a small agency in Romania would be 90 Lei/20EUR per 500 words).
The price differences between content writing and copywriting services are determined by a number of factors:
- The specialist’s decision to bill his work differently
- Content writers and copywriters have a different skill-set, although they both work with words
- The work and creation process is different (for example, a content writer will do more research and produce more articles, volume-wise, whereas a copywriter will produce less in terms of volume, but the mental strain can be a lot greater because he needs to persuade in as little words as possible)
- An agency’s policy to reduce costs/prices in order to attract more customers (usually the case of small agencies) OR attract only CERTAIN customers/accounts after gaining capital and experience on the market (large agencies). Usually, big agencies start „hunting” big accounts, in other words very prestigious clients (Renault, Coca Cola etc.) in order to improve and expand their portfolio
If I haven’t lost you thus far, I’m going to also share some of my experience to strip things down and make them as simple to understand as possible. I was both a content writer and a copywriter, in a freelance capacity and as part of a specialized agency.
And what I can tell you is that, in my humble opinion, copywriting services are more expensive and they should be. I promise you that, if a copywriter knows what he’s doing and he’s charging a lot for it, he’s not seeking to scam you.
Although the job offers/prospects for any writer are not exactly promising, in Romania at least, the salary of a copywriter in a respected agency is still higher than that of a content writer. So why is that?
The estimate rate of a copywriter
A copywriter deals with texts that are meant to sell, predominantly (landing pages, brochures, banners and website texts etc.). It becomes obvious to understand that the creative process becomes a lot more laborious, because a copywriter most often has a space limit that’s a lot more rigid than that of a content writer.
If a content writer has the chance to convince you in 500 words (the standard article length), a copywriter doesn’t have that luxury.
The copywriter must do it, most often, via the use of short texts (50 words or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, 50 characters or even less).
A copywriter’s job also involves research, of course, but the copywriter allocates more time to the creative process. He/she can spend minutes on end crafting a single slogan or website headline. Moreover, he must also have advertising knowledge, sales knowledge, a mind that’s open to new and even eccentric in order to give the client something bold, edgy and original to really make his product/service stand out.
That is why, the fee/rate that a copywriter will ask is higher and it should be higher, it’s entirely justifiable.
An honorable starting point, to my mind, for copywriting in Romanian at a level that’s at least intermediate would be 65 lei/13EUR per 500 words (the lowest) to 90 lei/18EUR per 500 words or even more depending on the topic and the end-goal of the writing.
If you think that’s a lot, remember that no one who offers to write for 5 lei/1 EURO will deliver quality, quite the opposite. For English copywriting, especially if we’re talking native English, the costs can double.
The estimate rate of a content writer
Unfortunately for content writers, I can safely say that their work is not respected or valued in the slightest. In my time working alongside them, I was flabbergasted to see offers such as 3 lei/less than 1 EURO for 350 words coming from independent individuals or even companies. They are shameful, even disgraceful but they exist because people want quality for pennies.
My lovelies, next time you want an article from a content writer, start by respecting his work. These people spend dozens, even hundreds of minutes researching beforehand in order to produce the content itself. Therefore, when that person bills you for 500 words, you must also take that into account. Before he could write about forklifts, gardening, motors or other crazies, he had to learn your entire niche from scratch. If you haven’t offered any info/additional support, you only made his work harder.
So why do I think, in spite of all that, that a content writer’s fee/rate should be lower than that of a copywriter, if both types of work come with an individual set of challenges and should be equally respected?
To my mind, a content writer can also be „manufactured”, created if you will, if he has absolutely no experience, but not anyone can do copywriting. You have to have a native calling for it and actually enjoy it, otherwise you’ll only go crazy.
I won’t forget this one instance a former agency colleague who had only done content writing thus far came to my desk one day, wanting to see what was the deal with copywriting. After a single landing page, she’s had it. Not because she wasn’t a brilliant writer, but because she simply hated it and couldn’t do sales via text.
This is precisely why, I would say that an honorable starting point for content writing services in Romanian at a level that’s at least intermediate should be 50 lei/10 EUR per 500 words, leading up to 80 lei/16EUR per 500 words or more for very technical or specialized texts.
Each specialist values and prices his work differently and usually, on demand, will also offer additional justifications for the rates he charges depending on the material. Don’t forget that the price can also vary depending on the field/niche (a technical article involves a lot more effort than one about cat toys, for instance).
When we talk about content writing services vs. copywriting services, it’s also important to keep in mind that low prices do not translate into quality, quite the opposite.
If you see someone offering to write for 5 or 6 lei (1 EURO), keep your expectations low. That person either undervalues his work (a sad case, but unfortunately an ever-present one in our line of work) or he simply doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s producing loads of content on a conveyor belt.
A high price doesn’t guarantee quality, either, which is why I encourage you to demand to see prior work from a specialist before soliciting content writing services or copywriting services. Another solution, for your safety, is to ask for a paid test article.
Always communicate with the service provider and don’t forget that writing is just one part of the equation and creative process for both types of professionals and that you must first offer respect in order to receive it.
Good luck finding the best possible collaborations!
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