How much is the average rate per word for a writer to earn decently?

Profile picture of the author jocelyn by jocelyn Posted: 03/24/2009
Hi,
I have notice that the rate of copywriting, article writing, content writing is becoming cheaper as many are trying to write to earn a living, however, How much is the rate per word for a writer to earn decently?
#average #decently #earn #rate #word #writer

  • Profile picture of the author Traffic101
    Traffic101
    I would go to rentacoder.com and check the prices there. But really you pay for your experience. If you are a great writer, you can demand more money. If you are new to the field, you have to take those cheaper jobs to build experience.

    I was able to earn $700 a month writing part time, and working full time, you do the math to figure out what I was making.

    As a hint, because I am an established writer, I don't produce an article for less than $25 but really I prefer $100 an article.
  • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
    MontelloMarketing
    Originally Posted by jocelyn View Post
    Hi,
    I have notice that the rate of copywriting, article writing, content writing is becoming cheaper as many are trying to write to earn a living, however, How much is the rate per word for a writer to earn decently?
    You need to separate the professions. Article writing is "on the cheap." In order to make a living it's sort of like running a word mill. You have to pump out articles, or "content" quickly and consistently in order to eat.

    Even established article writers ain't getting rich anytime soon. Most established article writers you'll run into won't ever even wander into 6 figure territory. But...

    That is NOT COPYWRITING.

    Copywriting is a profession where you write words that directly cause people to make money. Copywriters are therefore well paid. And not only the established ones with a long reputation for generating money... but even those who are coming up among the ranks.

    Consider this... an article writer may start out at pennies per word, while many copywriters' first sales letter fees are in the thousands of dollars.

    Needless to say copywriters don't work on a "per word" basis.
  • Profile picture of the author I Web Content
    I Web Content
    Yes, it really only depends what kind of quality you're offering the client, and what your credentials are. An established writer, with a PhD can definitely charge more than some fresh undergrad. It also depend on the kind of writing that's needed. For a well researched e-Book, you're obviously going to be spending a lot more than you would for a blog article about kitchen utensils.
  • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
    MontelloMarketing
    Originally Posted by I Web Content View Post
    Yes, it really only depends what kind of quality you're offering the client, and what your credentials are. An established writer, with a PhD can definitely charge more than some fresh undergrad. It also depend on the kind of writing that's needed. For a well researched e-Book, you're obviously going to be spending a lot more than you would for a blog article about kitchen utensils.
    Listen... I get what you're saying. But you're really dancing around the real issue here.

    Copywriters don't get paid per word. If I write a sales letter that has 10 words on it and it makes my client a million dollars, he'll still pay my fees. If an ebook writer turns in 10 words they're not getting squat... and probably won't get hired again.

    For ebook (well researched or not), or article (good ones and bad alike) writers you are usually filling out space.

    I need a 100 page ebook... I need ten 500 word articles... etc. That's a world away from what copywriters do.

    And the truth is for some reason the warrior forum stands out among all the forums as having the most members who are clueless about this distinction.

    Even the best ebook writers you'll find on WF are not buying summer homes. Nothing wrong with that... I'm just sayin'.

    So many (usually article writers) like to lump us all together. Even the ones who make a distinction speak about the two professions as being related, when they're not.

    There are copywriters... then there's everything else.
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Raydal
    Now why are people who didn't read the forum stickies upsetting Vin?
    How many times the guy has to make this distinction?

    There's copywriting and there is article writing and never the twain shall meet.

    And pleeeeeze, stop upsetting Vin!

    -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author Adaptive
    Adaptive
    Jocelyn, I agree with those commenting that you need to indicate what kind of writing you're referring to. By comparison, how much does a driver get paid per mile? Indy 500 and pizza delivery have very different rates, but they're both paying drivers! So which type of writing are you interested in?

    Regards,
    Allen

    P.S. In my opinion, highest dollars per words are
    1. Ponzi scheme promoters as long as they get away with it
    2. Screenwriters who also direct their own new blockbuster on a shoestring budget

    Regards,
    Allen
  • Profile picture of the author jocelyn
    jocelyn
    Thank you for your clarifications, I think I must try all of them for me to know which kind I would prefer. As of this moment, one year experience in content and article writing will help me decide whether I will go forward or move on another dimension.
  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    John_S
    There's copywriting and there is article writing and never the twain shall meet.
    I would disagree, and maybe suggest that's one of the problems. Perhaps the twain can and should meet.

    Creating Persuasive White Papers: An Interview With Bob Bly This is the direct response copywriter Bob Bly -- writing a technical, informative, white paper -- that also gets results.

    While I don't know what Bly charges, you can bet it isn't per word pricing.

    Article writers, the low paid ones anyway, could use some copywriting tips on writing with a solid objective in mind (not infotainment) and actually understanding a target reader (not "site visitors," "the market," or "users.")

    The penny ante articles I've read make me think I just wasted precious minutes I could have spent doing something else. They don't convince me the "expert" they write for knows anything special or compelling. These so-called writers don't even convince me their client is an expert.

    Slap dash penny-per-word articles are dashed off like a high schooler copying wikipedia for a paper due the next day. Of course it's pay per word, because these people aren't writers -- they're typists. I don't know what you think you're selling but the client is buying typing.
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Raydal
    Originally Posted by John_S View Post
    I would disagree, and maybe suggest that's one of the problems. Perhaps the twain can and should meet.

    Creating Persuasive White Papers: An Interview With Bob Bly This is the direct response copywriter Bob Bly -- writing a technical, informative, white paper -- that also gets results.

    While I don't know what Bly charges, you can bet it isn't per word pricing.

    Article writers, the low paid ones anyway, could use some copywriting tips on writing with a solid objective in mind (not infotainment) and actually understanding a target reader (not "site visitors," "the market," or "users.")

    The penny ante articles I've read make me think I just wasted precious minutes I could have spent doing something else. They don't convince me the "expert" they write for knows anything special or compelling. These so-called writers don't even convince me their client is an expert.

    Slap dash penny-per-word articles are dashed off like a high schooler copying wikipedia for a paper due the next day. Of course it's pay per word, because these people aren't writers -- they're typists. I don't know what you think you're selling but the client is buying typing.
    John,

    You have to take that statement in context. It wasn't intended
    to be a dogmatic statement but if you take into consideration
    the jocular spirit of my post you'll realize that Vin has been on
    a 'warpath' to get people asking about article writing to post
    in another forum and leave this to copywriting.

    I know that white paper writing could arguably be considered
    a fusion of copywriting and article writing. I write them myself.
    But the forum distinction still remains hence that statement.

    -Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
    MontelloMarketing
    Originally Posted by John_S View Post
    I would disagree, and maybe suggest that's one of the problems. Perhaps the twain can and should meet...

    ...Article writers, the low paid ones anyway, could use some copywriting tips on writing with a solid objective in mind (not infotainment) and actually understanding a target reader (not "site visitors," "the market," or "users.")
    There is no disagreement here. I concur with all of the above.
    The penny ante articles I've read make me think I just wasted precious minutes I could have spent doing something else. They don't convince me the "expert" they write for knows anything special or compelling. These so-called writers don't even convince me their client is an expert.
    And that was basically my point. What you took from my comments was that copywriting and article writing are not related.

    Instead, what I was saying was that article writers (as we know them) and copywriters are unrelated. On one side you have a fraternity of well trained (in the best scenarios) writers who employ advanced skills to get someone to act. On the other you have "so-called writers" who fill space.

    That doesn't mean, and I never implied that copywriters could not be used to turn what is normal a time waster into something that can sell.

    A good example is sitting in my inbox right now.

    Someone wrote to me this morning. Said he wanted a 10-15 page "report" to generate leads and customers. I didn't say, "sorry you want an article writer..." I said, "the report could be used (much like a magalog) as a selling device."

    I then asked the budget. His reply "$250."

    And there in lies the problem. No copywriter worth his salt would do that job for less than 10 times that amount. It wasn't until then I told him to get an article writer.
  • Profile picture of the author briancassingena
    briancassingena
    Originally Posted by Raydal View Post
    Now why are people who didn't read the forum stickies upsetting Vin?
    How many times the guy has to make this distinction?

    There's copywriting and there is article writing and never the twain shall meet.

    And pleeeeeze, stop upsetting Vin!

    -Ray Edwards
    Gee Ray, doesn't seem too hard to upset Vin. Although you'd expect him to fire up if he's the Godfather of Persuasion. So if you're new to writing then don't take it personally, just take the advice.
  • Profile picture of the author Dean Dhuli
    Dean Dhuli
    I think it's pretty common for people... particularly those who only
    deal with articles and website content day in and day out... to
    think that article writing is a part of copywriting.

    And then, I've also come across a number of other forums where the name
    of the section is "Copywriting" but all the threads in it are related
    to articles.

    So IMO these could be two reasons why new people take them to be one
    and the same.
  • Profile picture of the author MontelloMarketing
    MontelloMarketing
    For the record...

    Ray, this thread hasn't upset me at all. Sure some of these kinds of threads have frustrated me in the past but this one really made me feel like "damn... there are so many people trying to get into marketing that know nothing. I mean... NOTHING. about it."

    Really just trying to educate the newbie marketers so they don't make fools of themselves.

    It's funny just how pervasive it is. I've been around. People in this biz know who I am. They know I book up fast and ain't cheap. The $250 offer I got... was from a guy who when filling out my form said he knew me from the WF.

    And... if I recall correctly he was looking to launch in like 2 weeks. Sure there are some vets that refuse to pay a lot for copy... and really expect you to drop everything to service them... but these newer guys are clueless.

    They really think "2 weeks is more than enough time for a copywriter to do this." And "250 bucks is surely more than enough to get someone good." When I tell them the reality of the situation they're stunned. As often is the case they weren't being cheap... weren't being insulting. They just never considered lead time or paying real money for the words they expect to sell their product.

    So no... this thread didn't upset me. But sometimes I just feel like I want to take the clueless and shake reality into them.
  • Profile picture of the author Mark McClure
    Mark McClure
    Vin,

    $250 for a report? What a ripoff!
    Send him to Elance... he'll get it for $25 by tomorrow coz "this is a simple job for anyone who knows what they're doing."

    Actually, come to think of it, there are enough articles on this thread to make it a special report. I could flog it for $9.99 on freelance writing sites:

    "Attention Starving Typists! Stop Filling Up White Space... Here's how"

    I just need some rabid anti-testimonials from Vin, Ray - and a couple of "this article's great copy" from 99 clueless copy writing board newbies.

    Right, off to see how many times my 10c/word masterpieces have been e-lanced in bidding jousts today :-)

    L8r
  • Profile picture of the author D.K. Magnus
    D.K. Magnus
    If I understand what you are saying, gaining some copywriting skills would help improve my article writing skills?

    But in a article writing market, were prices seem to be dropping, would people be willing to pay for articles that get results?


    Originally Posted by John_S View Post
    I would disagree, and maybe suggest that's one of the problems. Perhaps the twain can and should meet.

    Creating Persuasive White Papers: An Interview With Bob Bly This is the direct response copywriter Bob Bly -- writing a technical, informative, white paper -- that also gets results.

    While I don't know what Bly charges, you can bet it isn't per word pricing.

    Article writers, the low paid ones anyway, could use some copywriting tips on writing with a solid objective in mind (not infotainment) and actually understanding a target reader (not "site visitors," "the market," or "users.")

    The penny ante articles I've read make me think I just wasted precious minutes I could have spent doing something else. They don't convince me the "expert" they write for knows anything special or compelling. These so-called writers don't even convince me their client is an expert.

    Slap dash penny-per-word articles are dashed off like a high schooler copying wikipedia for a paper due the next day. Of course it's pay per word, because these people aren't writers -- they're typists. I don't know what you think you're selling but the client is buying typing.
  • Profile picture of the author David Raybould
    David Raybould
    DK-

    Copywriting skills will mean you can
    write circles around 99.99% of all article
    writers.

    You'll be able to provide your clients
    with articles that get them a staggeringly
    high CTR, compared to what they're used
    to.

    You bet your ass clients would be willing
    to pay more for that.

    Think about it for a second...

    Would you pay $6 per article that brings
    10 visitors a day...or $15 per article that
    brings in 50 visitors a day?

    I've got a free report in the war room to
    help you get the most traffic from your
    articles, it will definitely help you.

    -David Raybould
  • Profile picture of the author D.K. Magnus
    D.K. Magnus
    Thanks David.

    When I see people flocking to the $5 per article offers, on sales pages that the seller obviously hasn't even checked for spelling and sentence structure, it makes me wonder.

    I am interest in offering my clients quality content, but I cannot compete with $5 offers and still take the time to do the research and proof-reading necessary.

    I'm going to the War Room now.

    Originally Posted by David Raybould View Post
    DK-

    Copywriting skills will mean you can
    write circles around 99.99% of all article
    writers.

    You'll be able to provide your clients
    with articles that get them a staggeringly
    high CTR, compared to what they're used
    to.

    You bet your ass clients would be willing
    to pay more for that.

    Think about it for a second...

    Would you pay $6 per article that brings
    10 visitors a day...or $15 per article that
    brings in 50 visitors a day?

    I've got a free report in the war room to
    help you get the most traffic from your
    articles, it will definitely help you.

    -David Raybould
  • Profile picture of the author OnlineWriter
    OnlineWriter
    Article writers vs. Copywriters ....such confusion.

    I rarely do articles for less than 4 cents per word but will take a 2 cent/word job if I have some downtime. Article writing is like those guys who barely get into the Army and spend years digging holes and bitching. Copywriting is like calling in a precision airstrike on a specific target. If you ever get a "copywriter" who gives you bland and uninteresting stuff, odds are it's really just an article writer testing the waters. Make sure you get a small original sample around the 300 word mark before you shell out $1000 or more as a down payment.

    The easiest way to make sure you are talking with a real copywriter is to give them the product, tell them the desired demographic, any limitations (language, humor, etc), and let them go for a 300-500 word "draft". Have a few people you know read what they wrote and rate it on a scale of 1-5 or something in areas like "is it interesting?", "do you know what they are talking about?", "would you buy this product based on this copy?".

    If the guy sucks tell him to screw off in a polite yet firm manner.
  • Profile picture of the author regan
    regan
    I used to hire a writer for 10 cents a word, and she was amazing writer. I still am giving more work to write a good articles.

Related discussions