How much does decent copywriting cost?

Yellow tomato get yourself a decent blog writer

If you are a small business then you want to make sure that you have got control of your marketing budget and you may well be wondering how much employing a blog writer is going to cost you.

Good question

So if I had my sarky hat on I’d probably give you a picture like this;

Yellow tomato - awesome copywriting for small businesses

But I’ve got my professional head on today so I won’t do that. Instead, I’m going to try and answer your perfectly reasonable question using my adult voice.

Which frankly is making me feel a bit shaky…but here goes…

Answer the question – how much does copywriting cost?

OK so it depends what you want done and how big you are and who is doing it.

Now let’s start at the top.

If you are commissioning a big agency to do your copy and you are doing a big national campaign and you are a big company with a fat marketing budget then you are probably going to spend the thick end of £250 per hour.

Oh yeah.

But you’re not a company with a big fat marketing budget because they don’t care how much they spend and they don’t google how much does it cost…

You are probably much more intelligent than that.

Pay by the word

There are four main ways you can pay for copy

The first of these is to pay by the word.

You’ll often see prices quoted by the word for things like blog posts (like this one!) or for eBooks and stuff.

This is because it’s fairly easy to predict how long it will take to produce a thousand words on any given subject with or without research.

Now to be fair the main factor in how much it costs to get copywriting done will be quality.

So if you go on a platform like People Per Hour or Upwork then you can probably get some copy done for £8 per thousand.

Yeah really

What will it be like?

Well, it’s probably going to come from a copy farm where they blat out thousands of words using some software that doesn’t really care what it’s doing.

So if you want to spend the next hour proofing and editing the post you’ve just paid £8 for then…


In fact you can find out what happened when I bought some cheap copy here. Spoiler alert:- it didn’t end well.

Why buying cheap copy is a mistake
Want to know what happened when I bought cheap copywriting? Click the pic to find out.

Pay by the Hour

The second method of paying for copy is to pay by the hour.

This is often preferred by freelancers who need to do a lot of research before writing.

It’s also useful if there is an uncertain brief or where it’s just not clear how much work is really going to be needed.

Again good copywriters will charge you £250, bad copywriters will do it for £7 but on average you should expect to pay in the region of £25- £60 per hour.

Pay by the project

This is a really good way of making sure that the budget doesn’t go crazy and freelancers are often happy to use this method.

It’s good where there is a clearly defined project and where the freelancer knows the client and what they like.

So they may say for example they will write a set of five blogs for £250 all-in and this will include their research time and amendments.

Paying on retainer

Some clients (and many freelancers) like to pay by retainer.

This means that the client has a standard amount that they pay per month and the freelancer works a certain number of hours, almost like a part-time job.

This has the benefit that the client knows exactly what they will be paying for their content every month.

I have clients that do this to spread the cost of their content over the year, some months I do more, some less but it generally evens out.

What should you pay?

Well, I reckon that as an average you’ll pay somewhere between £30 and £75 per thousand.

It very much depends how much effort you want the freelancer to put into your post.

I don’t mean that unkindly at all.

For instance, some of my clients have posts and articles that they want rewriting in their house style, and that’s really quick for me to do.

The thing that takes the time is where I have to do desk research and then write up my findings.

So as an example, I’ve written reviews for things (software mainly) where I have to set up an account, install it, use it and then write up my thoughts.

So a thousand words take a lot longer.

How much does it cost?

This is a different question.

You see I know how much I have to pay for a plasterer to come and sort out my wall in my office.

I could do it myself but I’d get a worse job, it would take longer and I’d make a mess.

Just watching tradespeople do what they do proves why they are professionals and I am a writer.

So the price of a job isn’t the cost.

I might pay a plasterer £40 an hour to work but charge my clients £50 per hour.

My job gets done, I make money so the job has cost me minus £10.

Or I might pay them £60 an hour and while they are doing it charge £50 but have no stress and no mess at the end of it.

That’s why getting a professional writer to do your blog might not cost you anything!

Now you know how much it’s going to cost to get a professional and frankly amazing blog writer then why not drop me a line?

I’ve got some whizzy package deals on for new customers and if nothing else we can have a chat about motorbikes or plastering.

Check out this big mistake most businesses make with their blogs

Yellow tomato copywriting for small bsuinesses

Unbelievably, most SMEs make the same mistake with their business blog.

They don’t mean to of course, but they do, so I am here to tell you how you can get around it and make sure you don’t fall into the same trap.

They start off really well

When we start our businesses we all have good intentions.

We set up the website and work with a designer to make sure it looks great

We provide loads of copy and make sure we know how to handle the posting method

And then we write a few blogs and put them on our site and then one of two things happen

We get dispirited

We check out our analytics (because we’ve installed Google analytics console) and it’s disappointing.

Google has spotted us and gone ‘meh’

We don’t rank highly and our website isn’t driving traffic so we decide to put our effort into something else that might do better.

We get busy

Which is great right?

Our business takes off and the orders are flying in

Suddenly the blog doesn’t seem so important and anyway business is great so we don’t need to drive traffic.

So we stop blogging.

Both completely understandable

And both mind-numbingly dumb. (people just don’t speak like that to potential customers do they? Maybe they should)

I can talk like this because I’ve done exactly the same thing with my business in the past (not this one obvs because this one is epic.)

I did this with my consultancy business Isango8. You can check out my desultory effort here http://www.isango8.co.uk

I started out with good intentions, got bored, got busy and stopped blogging.

Before long the only people visiting my site were girls from Russia who really wanted to be my friend and guys from Nigeria who had just been left elevntybillion dollars by their uncle – if only they could get it out of the country…

Blogs only work if they are active

Google knows full well what people do – because we all do the same things so it penalises sites that aren’t active.

What search engines want is to serve up useful, relevant and up to date information, not something you wrote late one night in 2016 in a fit of guilt.

The trick is to post little and often

If you do loads all at once then you get pretty bored with the process pretty quickly and it becomes this thing that you have to do rather than something you want to do.

Write about things that have happened, the latest industry news, something your business has done or even opinion pieces if you really must.

They don’t have to be hugely long, after all, no one wants to read war and peace but they should be relevant and to the point.

What will happen if I do this Stu?

OK so if I had my salesman’s hat on (did I tell you I write blogs for small businesses?) then I’d tell you that all of a sudden you’d get loads of sales from it.

But you won’t.

What will happen, especially if you promote it properly is that you’ll get a bunch of hits on the first day, then it will start to tail off and you’ll probably only get one hit per day per blog.

Google will still be saying ‘meh’ and you won’t be making any sales.

But you carry on doing one, maybe two pieces a week.

After ten weeks you have perhaps 15 blog posts on your site.

Each one of them is only getting one hit a day.

But that adds up to 15 hits per day

And now Google is saying ‘Hmmmm’.

You’re still not at the top of the rankings but you’re moving.

This is the point that most businesses give up

So you carry on.

In another couple of months you are getting 30 hits a day from your old content and if you are lucky one strikes a real chord and it drags in 10 people per day.

Then something unexpected happens.

You’re at a networking event and someone says ‘I saw that post you put up about how to fix a leaky tap and it worked….could you come round and quote on a new boiler?’.

You write more posts and suddenly Google thinks – ‘this guy knows about leaky taps’

And more people speak to you at networking events and people fill in your contact form.

More useful is the thing you don’t see.

When you speak to people about doing work who you don’t know, they go on your site afterwards to check you out and guess what?

They find someone who clearly knows what they are talking about because they have a business blog full of useful information about plumbing or landscape gardening or wedding cakes or accountancy.

So you get the sale but you never really know why.

Stu, get real I just haven’t got the time to write a business blog for my company and anyway what’s this long-tail keyword thing?

Aha! what a great point!

Get someone to do it for you.

Me preferably, but if not then find someone who can commit to producing one business blog a week for the next 12 weeks say.

Make sure they know about ‘on-page SEO’ and all that stuff, and then forget about it.

At the end of the time take another look at your site.

It won’t be ranking like BBC.co.uk but it will be better and more important than all that ranking nonsense when a potential customer visits it will be looking more professional and you will look like you know what you are doing.

Even if you don’t

Which you do.

So here’s the ad

I do copywriting for small businesses.

I write blogs, articles, eBooks and all sorts of stuff.

I even know about long-tail keywords

You can get me to write the odd blog or we can set up a standing arrangement where I’ll do the keyword research for you, write the blogs and even post them directly to your site for you.

All you have to do is pay my very reasonable bill.

Seriously, you know you have to do it so why not give me a call and get the problem off your desk?

Oh and if you are wondering whether blog posts actually get read – well you’re here aren’t you?

If you want more advice on content marketing for your Small Business then check out some of my other posts here

Use this simple trick to get more clicks to your small business blog

Yellow Tomato Copywriting - providing the best in small business blogs

When you are writing a small business blog it can be pretty disheartening when nobody reads your thoughts

But using this simple, 10-second trick will increase your click-through rate and hopefully encourage you to keep on with producing great content.

It’s all about listicles

Ever noticed how many lists of things there seems to be on the interweb?

A 2-minute search found lists on beard oil (didn’t even know that was a thing), best white trainers for this season and 29 healthy snacks to help you lose weight!

We love love love lists

So when you are planning your marketing effort you need to think about where you can add in a listicle.

Timing is everything in blogs

Hitting the sweet spot in terms of timing for your business blog can be epic.

For example, I subscribe to a site that produces a list of the best motorbike released at various motor shows.

I know that they produced a great list one year and I subscribed because I knew I’d want to read next year’s list.

So does your business sector have an event that you could spin a list off?

As an example, if I had a football-related business then I would spin a list off of the start of the season-best transfers of the close season, most likely to be relegated, that sort of thing.

‘The six best kits in the English Premier League’ has got to be a click magnet and if you are smart you’ll use it as a way of driving comments and therefore engagement

Oh and think both ahead of time and behind time.

So what I mean by this is that you can do a list based on something that is going to happen (English football:- the 10 teams most likely to get relegated) or something that has happened (English football:- the ten managers who overachieved this year).

Business blogs need to add value

OK so here’s my listicle.

You’ve enjoyed it hopefully and it has given you some food for thought and some value.

but just ramming in a listicle for no good reason that doesn’t inform, educate or entertain (where did I get that from?) is going to be pointless

Worse than that it is likely to really annoy people who will mark your site down in their heads as a time-wasting clickbait site.

So why for instance do I subscribe to a motorbike list?

Well it entertains me because I love motorbikes

It informs me because it gives me the reviewer’s view of what things hit them mark this year

And it educates me in that I get to understand what is on the market now and what their features are.

And that is essentially what you have to do, no matter what your particular niche is, you need to give people a listicle that will add real value to their small business blog.

So that’s it then.

Get yourself writing.

P.S. don’t forget to let me know how you get on with your listicles in the comments section below.

PPS -if you’ve found value here then a share would be absolutely smashing and a backlink would be treasured like gold.

The advert

Look we know that theory is great but when you are building and running a busy business then blogging probably comes quite low down on your agenda.

Let me take the hassle away and write your blogs for you. I may even do a Listicle!

Contact me here and let’s chat about how I can help

But wait… there’s more

This is a page from a series which focuses on getting more clicks for your business blog so why not check out some of my other stuff here?

5 Ways to increase clicks on your small business blog

5 ways to increase clicks on your small business blog

Yellow tomato - copywriting for small businesses

I spend my life doing small business copywriting and there are a few tips of the trade that tend to make my life easier.

One of these is getting the titles right as a way of encouraging clicks.

Now let’s be honest, if you don’t promote your posts or if you promote them in the wrong place then you’re never going to get clicks

But if you make a tiny bit of effort with your post title then you can drag more visitors to your business blog and that can’t be bad.

#1 Listicles

People love a list, not sure why but doing a list gives a nice structured method of providing information

You’ve definitely seen these – you know the kind of thing – ‘the 6 best brands of beard oil’ that sort of thing

Oh hey, you’re reading a listicle now!

#2 Proven methods

So yeah, I could have called this post ‘5 proven methods to increase your post click rate’ or something a little more elegant.

Using the proven methods blog title will help you get a bigger readership for your tips.

# 3 Mistakes

Using a mistake that people commonly make in your line of work as a post title certainly increases readership.

This is especially useful if you have something that you find people always do.

Can also be combined with a listicle

‘6 common mistakes that people make when buying a car.’

# 4 Secrets

Everybody loves finding out a secret right?

Having a blog post headline that promises to let people in on a secret is a great way to drive engagement

‘The secret way to make delicious bread at home’.

Admit it you really want to know that secret now right?

# 5 Hacks & Shortcuts

Nobody wants to go the long way round nowadays

Including a hack or shortcut in your title gives people the expectation that they can get things done quicker, easier or cheaper.

‘Try this life hack to manage your inbox’

OK so that’s my listicle done but the absolutely epic news is that I’ve done a separate, in-depth post on each of these, in turn, to help you get a bit more engagement in your writing.

The in-depth posts on ways to increase clicks on your small business blog

Here are some examples of how these work, some of these are guides to the method and some are example posts that use the method.

Oh and no post would be complete without a little advert, amaright?

My job is to produce top quality small business copywriting.

I love writing for businesses that don’t like doing it or can find more value in working on their business rather than writing blog entries.

Why not contact me and let’s have a bit of a chat about how I can help you drive engagement and get more people to speak to you.

Use this great hack to make sure people read your content

small business blogs are like spinning plates

If you are writing small business blogs for your company then you may well be disappointed at how many people actually click through onto your site.

After all, what’s the point of writing this stuff if no-one ever reads it right?

Unbelievably there are a few ways to make sure people click on your links and I bet you know most of them but don’t realise it.

And you have just fallen prey to one of them

Can you see what it is yet?

It’s all in the blog title

There’s a list of post titles you can use to boost your click-through rate.

Now they won’t save every type of blog post, and to be fair if you promote your content in the wrong place then there’s no helping you.

So for example, if you have a post about industrial valves and you post it to an undertakers discussion forum then I reckon it doesn’t matter what you write or how you write it.

But, if you are writing the right thing and it’s relevant to your target auduence then we’re in business

Or rather you are.

You can find my list of great blog titles to boost click-through rate here

So what’s this great hack then?

It’s including ‘hack’ in the title.

Have you noticed how clickbait farms tend to use this one a lot?

that’s because we are busy people and finding a way to circumvent the normal rules of behaviour really does appeal.

Also, a hack is a bit naughty, but not massively so and this plays to our sense of humour.

Things to remember about your hack post

There does actually need to be a useful tip or trick that the reader can use.

After all, after reading this post you now have a hack that you can use to aid your click-through rate right?

Shortchanging people on your small business blogs is a bad way to go.

And you mustn’t require people to sign up or have any of that nonsense going on. If you do you won’t get repeat visitors and frankly they probably won’t sign up anyway.