3 Good Reasons You MUST Charge Higher Writing Fees

Making professional fees concept: US dollar symbol flourishing topiary on green grass against blue sky

Pricing is a common predicament for many copywriters. It's right up there with getting clients.

Project fees mystify new, aspiring writers. That's what I faced when starting out. The fees I felt comfortable quoting were WAY too low. And on top of that, I wasn't structuring my fees professionally.

You may not be charging nearly enough either.

By the time you finish this article, you'll know for sure.

There are actually three very good reasons you must charge higher, more professional fees.

  • Your clients (and their customers) deserve higher professional fees,
  • Your business's growth relies on higher fees, and
  • Your dream of a writer's life … depends on them.

We'll wrap up with one of the most valuable resources available.

Now that you know where we're headed, let's start our journey to professional fees.

But first, let's take a quick look at three ways writers price their work.

Pricing your work: word count, hourly fee, or project fee?

Pricing by the word or word count is the easiest way to figure your fee.

However, it's often the hardest way to write effectively for your client! It's impossible to know exactly how many words it will take to create an effective sales letter, blog post, or other content.

The other drawback is pushback from the client. For example, if you charge fifty cents per word, a 600-word project would cost $300. If the client thinks that’s more than he wants to spend, he may ask you to lower the word count.

And because you charge by the word … you have no options other than to comply or turn down the work.

Hourly fees also present some major issues for copywriters. The biggest one is that the faster you complete a project …

The less money you make per project.

In fact, you could almost say you get penalized for getting better!

I charge project fees. That means I charge a set fee for the work. During the first call with a client, I quote a fee range.

For instance, blog posts/content marketing articles are quoted as a range of $300-$800. If their budget is within that range, I ask them to send more information so I can send them a proposal with an exact fee for the project.

In my opinion, this is the best way for both parties. The client knows exactly what to budget. The writer knows what he or she will be paid.

And, it’s easy to split the fee into a deposit up front and the remainder at first draft submission.

But … why are higher fees necessary for both you and your client?

Your clients deserve higher fees

Unless the project is fairly easy to write, you’ll need to spend some time researching the information and developing the content. You’ll probably write several drafts before you submit the work to the client for review.

You’ll also want to give the client opportunity for revisions. That adds time to the projects.

If your fees are low, you’ll be tempted to take shortcuts. As a result, the client may not get your best work.

They deserve your best work.

And so do their customers. Charge enough that you can afford to spend quality time on their project.

Your business’s growth depends on higher fees

Back when I started out, I wrote for the low-paying job boards. And by low … I mean really low.

In fact, my first article brought in a whopping five dollars!

The pay was figured exclusively on word count.

By the end of my first year, I was bringing in an annual income of $2,000. And … I only had to write 400 articles to do that!

When you write for a low-paying client at word count rate, there is only one way to make more money … do more work. And let’s face it, there are only so many hours in a day!

For the last two years, my annual copywriting income has been over $40,000. In other words, about 20 times what I made my first year of writing. (And that’s writing part-time!)

There’s no way I could spend more time to write more projects. In fact, I write a lot fewer gigs and get paid more money for them. The reason is that I now charge more professional fees.

And again, I can spend more time on each client’s project to bring the best results possible.

So, my business has grown significantly because of the higher fees.

But … there’s another upside to charging higher, more professional fees.

Your dream of a writer’s life depends on higher fees

I like to write. It’s kind of fun when I’m putting digital words down on electronic paper. But …

I don’t want to do it all the time!

My dream of a writer’s life includes more than sitting at a computer, pounding away on a keyboard.

A lot more!

By charging higher, more professional fees, I get paid more for less work. That means I have more “free” time.

Time to spend with my wife Mary.

Time to spend with my kids and grandkids.

And plenty of time to relax and have fun!

It also means I can help other family members financially, without holding back. Like when Dad was sick with cancer, and the money we sent helped pay medical bills.

By charging higher, more professional fees … our whole family benefits from my writer’s life dream!

So, what about you?

Are you ready to enjoy your dream of a writer’s life?

The best way to grow into that dream is by learning to charge higher, more professional fees to grow a bigger business faster.

It’s what you deserve. It’s what your clients deserve. And …

It’s what your dream of a writer’s life deserves.

Not sure what to charge? Download our free annual Pricing Guide here, which covers 75 different project types.

Not only will this valuable resource help you learn what to charge …

You’ll learn why.

Do you have any questions about setting professional fees or talking about money with clients? Share with us in the comments so we can direct you to more resources.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: May 29, 2019

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