Is a freelance copywriter worth the wedge?

5 min read

We’ve all found ways to save money. Some of us might take shorter showers, others might regift unwanted presents, and the real penny watchers might reuse a teabag. Saving money feels good.

But when it comes to loo roll, craft beer and website copy – going cheap isn’t an option. In fact, choosing the cheap option for copy could be the most expensive mistake you ever make. So, if you want to:

  • get ahead of your competition
  • turn website visitors into customers
  • build a trusted tone of voice; and
  • improve visibility on search engines

…then you should seriously consider giving a freelance copywriter a call. But before you do, here are a few things you need to know.

First up: what’s the average day rate?

Copywriter rates vary hugely.

Junior copywriters might charge a fee somewhere between £150 to £200 per day, whereas a senior could charge anything from 800 big ones upwards.

Similar to most industries, a copywriter’s rate is determined by:

  • experience
  • demand
  • niche
  • capabilities; and
  • client status

A 2023 survey shared by ProCopywriters (the UK’s largest association for commercial writers) estimated that the average day rate for a copywriter is £433.

And although some copywriters may seem fixed on their day rate, there may be a little room for negotiation if the copywriter really wants the gig.

In the creative world, we call this the “fun factor” – a dream project where a copywriter can really get their hands dirty and flex their creative muscles. Don’t tell anyone I told you that!

What do I get for my money?

A quote from an expert copywriter is likely to raise an eyebrow. After all, you’re only asking someone for some copy, right?

Well, not exactly.

When it’s done properly, copywriting goes further than bunching some flowery prose together and hoping for the best.

It involves creating benefit-driven copy with a strong call to action. Copy that builds brand trust and makes people want to cross the bridge to choose your product or service over any other.

It involves a deep understanding of your business, your tone of voice, your target audience and your competition.

You’re not just paying for a writer, you’re paying for a researcher, an interviewer, someone who is outside the circle – and someone who is able to showcase your brand with clear, compelling language that really hits the mark.

What’s the preferred pricing model?

It really depends on you and the copywriter.

Some copywriters prefer to charge by the hour, but others, like me, prefer to charge a fixed rate fee tailored to your project.

My clients love this pricing model because we all know where we stand – there are no costly surprises!

The super organised copywriters might even provide you with a payment schedule when they send their proposal.

It means the copywriter doesn’t have to worry if they can afford to buy coffee or cat litter. Instead, they can completely focus on what matters – your copy.

If you’re lucky enough to find a solid copywriter who understands your brand, you might want to think about a retainer agreement.

This is a monthly service agreed with you and the copywriter to secure their services for a set amount of work.

It’s designed to take the hassle out of finding a copywriter time and time again. Something you’re probably doing right now.

Finishing up…

Copywriters can be expensive, but it’s for good reason. A website with popping, attention-grabbing copy will turn visitors into customers, so in a way, it pays for itself (and some).

Yes, you could write the copy yourself or get an AI chatbot to do it for you. But is that a decision your business will thank you for later down the line? I doubt it.

Now where did I put that teabag?

Tom Davies is a freelance copywriter based in Brighton.

Book a free 20-minute discovery call

(Before your competition find me)