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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turnbull

How Much Does Copywriting Cost for a Website?

Birdseye view of a laptop on a table top, with glasses, a phone and a cup of coffee

Hmmm… how long is a piece of string?

I can’t give hard and fast rules on what it costs to write copy for a website, because – obviously – each website is different. But I can give you some indications of pricing to give you an idea.

I’ll also explain some of the factors that affect how professionally written web copy is priced – and what bumps that price up or down.

How much does copywriting cost for a website?

My web copy usually starts at around £1200 for a four-to-five-page brochure website.

The highest cost I’ve charged for web copy to date is £4000, but it was a big site with lots of complexities and some optional extras. So, at the moment, that's my range!

When I’m pricing, I always give a ‘base price,’ then the client has the option to add extras if they want to.

How's pricing worked out?

Website copy isn’t priced on the final output – how many words are produced. Let’s face it, the person who came up with ‘Just Do It®’ probably didn’t get paid by the word! Projects are priced on time.

And it’s not just time to write those words down on paper, copywriters have to factor in lots of different elements.

Some of the factors that affect pricing are things like how many pages are needed. Obviously, a four or five-page site is going to take considerably less time than writing a site of 20 pages, so this all needs to come out right at the beginning so accurate pricing can be given.

One of the first things is to learn about the project in a discovery call. This runs through the scope of the project; how many pages; how much input and background the client can provide; how much research is needed. This time is used to talk about:

- What does the client want from the site?

- What action do they want their target audience to take?

- What’s their product or service offering?

- Do they have any brand guidelines?

This discovery call can take about an hour and gives the copywriter the information they need to put together the pricing proposal.

If the pricing fits, contract documentation needs to be created which sets out the business arrangement between the two parties.

I produce this in a Terms of Business document and this is, generally, a one-off. Unless there are significant changes in the business relationship, I produce this once and it sets out how the two parties interact on a higher level for the whole of their working relationship.

I also produce a Statement of Work – a throwback from my project management days – which sets out the scope of the project, time frame, price, responsibilities, etc. I produce one of these for every project I work on, even with the same client.

A project usually starts with a kick-off meeting between the copywriter and client and this is where the detail is delved into deeper. Once all this is wrapped up, it’s actually time to start work on the project.

Let research begin!

All this takes time.

So, a lot of copywriting is research and preparation - before writing actually begins. Obviously, the price will be dependent on the number of pages that a copywriter needs to produce, as well as prep time and research.

Copywriters always build in a little wiggle room for revisions as there, no doubt will be some backwards and forwards to get things spot on.

Some copywriters do a rough first draft and build from there. Others, like me, try and get a near-as-dammit finished copy for the first draft and then make (hopefully) minor changes and corrections. That just depends on how the individual works, but either way should balance up with something near the price in the proposal that’s been agreed on.

Factors that can change the pricing – up or down.

The more information that the client can provide, the better. This saves the copywriter time in research and theoretically should make the job quicker. The type of information that’s valuable is brand guidelines, tone of voice documentation, product or service information (the features) and any good quality information to speed up research.

Scope creep can negatively affect pricing. If all of a sudden new elements and pages are added to the mix, it’s likely to increase the copywriter’s workload – for which they’ll need to be paid.

This is one of the reasons I write a Statement of Work at the beginning of the project. The statement of work sets out who’s doing what and what the deliverables are. It keeps things clean for all parties!

Optional extras obviously can affect the pricing of a copywriting project. This is different from scope creep – especially if they’ve been documented in the proposal at the beginning.

For example, it’s a legal requirement for e-commerce websites that they have Terms and Conditions of business as this covers distance sales, returns and refunds etc. Brochure sites aren’t legally required to have Terms and Conditions of website use, but some clients elect to have them. I write these for about £200 and this includes a privacy policy that covers the GDPR regulations.

Scrabble pieces on a desk that spells out SEO

An SEO package obviously affects pricing as it’s another optional extra. Basic SEO includes keyword research, creation of meta titles and descriptions and is a great way to get the website kick-started for Google indexing when the site is launched.

For more complex SEO, however, I always recommend going to an SEO specialist. My focus is copywriting with some basic SEO thrown in. SEO specialists spend all their days and nights thinking, living and breathing SEO and keep up to date with the constant changes. But be prepared to pay – great SEO doesn’t come cheap!

E-commerce sites with lots of product descriptions can be priced differently too. One of the easiest ways to price for the core pages then price per product description. The reason for this is that many people forget the full extent of their product range and the portfolio tends to grow!

So, the best and easiest way to create accurate pricing between parties, especially for websites, is plenty of information up front. The more information the client can provide, along with clear guidelines on expectations and success criteria, the better.

When I provide pricing, I always give a (maximum) fixed price. Unless there’s a change in scope, the price will never go above this. Clients pay 50% at the start of the project, but if I complete the project quicker than I anticipated, the final invoice is reduced. I do this because it’s the way I’d like to be treated - and means everyone is happy all round.

For more information on costs for different types of copywriting project, please visit my pricing page. I give indicative prices, but am always happy to have a chat to understand your project and then can give a more detailed and personalised quote.

Like to know about other services and have an idea of the prices? Take a look at some of these other articles:

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Fancy a cuppa and a chat? I offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation on Zoom. I'm happy to give some guidance, much of which you can probably implement yourself. Get in touch, it will be great to meet you!



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