How to successfully negotiate a copywriting job

Let’s face it…Pricing - sign series for business terms.

Pricing copywriting work is a pain.

It used to be tough… now it’s tougher, with all of the new jobs social media has brought.

In 2005 my first Freelance Copywriters Fee & Compensation Survey™ offered statistical pricing on 20 copywriting jobs, most of them traditional.

In 2007 I published stats for 40 more traditional copywriting jobs.

Fast forward to 2014, and the new Freelance Copywriters Fee & Compensation Survey has copywriting stats for nearly 90 jobs — many of them for today’s new media.

If you’ve been a copywriter or an online marketer for any length of time, you’ll recall what a mess social media was about five or six years ago. No one knew what to do with it, or how to charge for it.

About the time social media became all the rage, blogs took off. So today, it’s not just about copywriting…  it’s also about “content.”

And thanks to Google’s love affair with “content” — (high quality content, that is)… “content” contract work for copywriters is here to stay.

Over the years there’s been a lot of bellyaching over “those penny a word” writers who were suspected of siphoning off the good jobs.

But once social media and blog posts became measurable for ROI, the value of content went up. This is proven in my new Freelance Copywriters Fee & Compensation Survey just published in February 2014.

What’s more, with Google’s new “semantic search” —which rewards quality content and punishes those who pay pennies for drivel — content has found firm footing as a mainstream copywriting category.

In fact, the 2014 Pricing Survey proves that blog articles and social media posts now command the same pay rate of any mainstream job that is priced according to your regular, hourly rate.

That’s great news! No longer do quality clients place low value on tweets, blog posts, and social media content.

For instance, one friend of mine reports that she’s getting $1,000 per month retainer for 2 Facebook posts per week, 3 or 4 Tweets per week, and 1 blog post per month. Nice! She’s also getting a flat rate of $750 USD to write 2 blog posts at 350 words each.

Why so much? Simple. All of the work is tied to a particular objective. It’s not random. There is a goal, so all of the marketing is integrated. (And she’s in technology — a high paying niche).

Let’s see what the 2014 Freelance Copywriters Fee & Compensation Survey says about social media bundles:

A monthly social media bundle (on retainer) consists of 8 Facebook posts, 36 Tweets and 1 blog post (300 words). Pricing was tied at between $1,000 – $1,099 and $1,500+. For both of these stats, response was tied at 21.1 percent each. That’s more than 40 percent of respondents!

So as you can see, that’s solid pricing. Never underestimate your value! Clients love to negotiate, and if they’re a small business, it’s routine.

BuPam_magnusont few will argue with stats. This just came in from nutraceuticals copywriter Pam Magnuson, and was the inspiration for this post:

“I used your pricing info with my client just a few weeks ago. He was being a snit about my fee, so I told him where I got the price. He backed off, calmed down, and we worked out a compromise. We’re all happy with each other now and my invoice has been paid. Is there some app I can shoot off firecrackers?”

So bottom line… no matter what kind of work you do as a copywriter, don’t sell yourself short! We all know that words are mightier than the sword… we just sometimes forget.

And if you ever get weak, just imagine a world without copywriting. Really.

No billboards, no blog posts, no tweets. No press releases, no websites, no brochures. Only pictures. See how valuable you are?

© 2016 Chris Marlow, All Rights Reserved

P.S. — The 2014 Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey™ is available only inside the S.S. Treasure Hunt where you are invited to become a member.

About Chris Marlow

The original copywriter's coach, Chris Marlow has worked with copywriters since 2003. Her acclaimed Marlow Marketing Method™ Client Acquisition Course has produced hundreds of successful copywriters. Chris' S.S. Treasure Hunt membership site not only houses this course but four more on the subjects of Copywriting, Advanced Copywriting, Productivity, and Closing Clients. The S.S. Treasure Hunt also contains the world's only statistical pricing database for about 100 copywriting jobs. Chris has put together this resource to give copywriters everything they need to succeed — and nothing they don't. Chris is committed to helping copywriters focus on what's important, saving them from the time- and money-wasting Bright Shiny Object Syndrome so prevalent on the Internet.

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2 Responses to How to successfully negotiate a copywriting job

  1. Kevin Dawson April 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Chris Marlow has revolutionized copywriting in three ways: First, with her course (and coaching) – second, with her pricing survey – and third, with her latest update that includes the all-important “new media.”

    I haven’t found the “Buy” link for her new survey yet, but when I do… it will pay for itself quadruple with the first client I invoice afterwards!

    Thanks, Chris.

    • Chris Marlow April 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words Kevin! As to finding the 2014 Freelance Copywriters Fee & Compensation Survey, more than 100 pricing statistics are now available to S.S. Treasure Hunt members in an easy to access, searchable database located inside the membership. Interested parties can learn more about it at

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