Amazon product description writer here ...

by D3x
8 replies
Hey guys,

I'm kinda new here but I've been a lurker for more than a year.

So I was an Amazon product writer before receiving a flat fee of $555 a month to work around 10 - 15 lists. So, there's a guy who would like to get my services for his business and he's asking for words per cent rate. I'm thinking about charging 8 cents per word because this is somewhere I'm comfortable at.

Although, I'm really curious what could be the rate that you guys are comfortable as well. I mean, will you be okay at $0.08 per word or do you think you're cutting yourself short? Is it a total rip off for the client?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
#amazon #description #product #writer
  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    Originally Posted by D3x View Post

    Hey guys,

    I'm kinda new here but I've been a lurker for more than a year.

    So I was an Amazon product writer before receiving a flat fee of $555 a month to work around 10 - 15 lists. So, there's a guy who would like to get my services for his business and he's asking for words per cent rate. I'm thinking about charging 8 cents per word because this is somewhere I'm comfortable at.

    Although, I'm really curious what could be the rate that you guys are comfortable as well. I mean, will you be okay at $0.08 per word or do you think you're cutting yourself short? Is it a total rip off for the client?

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks!
    I'm confused. You were taking $550 a month for doing email marketing for 10-15 lists...or a different service? If you're any good and your emails are converting, that's way too low for that many lists – even at one email per month. Up your rate.

    Also, I would never recommend giving a per-word quote. Hourly sucks too, unless you're doing editing work. Per project is the way to go. Tell your clients you quote on an individual basis and need to know the market they're in, the type and exact amount of work they need, and their deadline (you should always charge more for rush orders).

    You're doing yourself a disservice by charging per word (and certainly at .08 cents). Copywriters make money based on their skill and knowledge, not on how many words they can crank out.

    You are a commodity – remember that. Content writers can't do what good copywriters can and there's a reason one makes so much more than the other.

    Check out Ed Gandia's price list. They're premium prices, but you can always go a little under if you don't feel confident asking for those amounts. That list is a really good example of what you can expect to make when you've been writing for a while, though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
      Originally Posted by Jennifer Hutson View Post

      I'm confused. You were taking $550 a month for doing email marketing for 10-15 lists...or a different service? If you're any good and your emails are converting, that's way too low for that many lists - even at one email per month. Up your rate.

      Also, I would never recommend giving a per-word quote. Hourly sucks too, unless you're doing editing work. Per project is the way to go. Tell your clients you quote on an individual basis and need to know the market they're in, the type and exact amount of work they need, and their deadline (you should always charge more for rush orders).

      You're doing yourself a disservice by charging per word (and certainly at .08 cents). Copywriters make money based on their skill and knowledge, not on how many words they can crank out.

      You are a commodity - remember that. Content writers can't do what good copywriters can and there's a reason one makes so much more than the other.

      Check out Ed Gandia's price list. They're premium prices, but you can always go a little under if you don't feel confident asking for those amounts. That list is a really good example of what you can expect to make when you've been writing for a while, though.

      Hey Jennifer, thanks for posting that, that's a fantastic guide (and great post, also).

      I'd heard of Ed Gandia years ago, but just started consuming his material, and I really like that pricing schedule, and agree with most of the prices listed there as being fair and reasonable prices for a Copywriter...

      I have to say though, there's one which really struck as me being WAYY too expensive, and am curious what other people think about this one.

      PPC Ads - $150 (min. of 2)... so $300 for 2 text ads? That doesn't include any PPC management or anything like that (obviously). I just think that's way too much.

      I know Copywriters aren't paid by the word, but I mean, what are those things like, 25 character titles, followed by a 40 character body, and a display URL?

      I think $300 for two of those things is too expensive by literally ANY metric, lol

      What do you guys think, am I just selling myself short here, or are those priced bogusly?

      I was shocked those were so much higher than I thought they'd be, because I really do think the rest of the pricing is very quite reasonable. I hope that becomes a "gold standard" pricing guide for Copywriters at large, and I hope Ed Gandia continues to keep it up to date.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

        I think $300 for two of those things is too expensive by literally ANY metric, lol
        That's not really the highest paid per word that a copywriter gets. Those who
        write headlines for magazines get a lot more than $300 for a headline.

        Plus, again, it's not the number of words you write but the research time
        that goes into coming up with those words. The hardest thing to write is
        a short ad. That's when every word counts.

        There is a story behind the Nike "Just Do It" tagline, but I can't recall
        it now. But I think that person was paid handsomely for coming up with
        that line. Three words!

        -Ray Edwards
        Signature
        The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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        • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
          Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

          That's not really the highest paid per word that a copywriter gets. Those who
          write headlines for magazines get a lot more than $300 for a headline.

          Plus, again, it's not the number of words you write but the research time
          that goes into coming up with those words. The hardest thing to write is
          a short ad. That's when every word counts.

          There is a story behind the Nike "Just Do It" tagline, but I can't recall
          it now. But I think that person was paid handsomely for coming up with
          that line. Three words!

          -Ray Edwards
          Good points, but one of the reasons I think it's too expensive is that, even if you're a good Copywriter, chances are if you write only two of them, neither of them are going to get a high CTR. You really need to test like 20-25 before you get a few that have really high CTR's... they're really a "success" by numbers thing. A good Copywriter writing 20 however is more valuable than a bad Copywriter writing 150, so there's still a lot of value there, but even if you really take your time with it, chances are out of two of them, you won't be NEAR the ideal click-thru rate for that ad and those keywords.
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    • Profile picture of the author D3x
      Originally Posted by Jennifer Hutson View Post

      I'm confused. You were taking $550 a month for doing email marketing for 10-15 lists...or a different service? If you're any good and your emails are converting, that's way too low for that many lists - even at one email per month. Up your rate.

      Also, I would never recommend giving a per-word quote. Hourly sucks too, unless you're doing editing work. Per project is the way to go. Tell your clients you quote on an individual basis and need to know the market they're in, the type and exact amount of work they need, and their deadline (you should always charge more for rush orders).

      You're doing yourself a disservice by charging per word (and certainly at .08 cents). Copywriters make money based on their skill and knowledge, not on how many words they can crank out.

      You are a commodity - remember that. Content writers can't do what good copywriters can and there's a reason one makes so much more than the other.

      Check out Ed Gandia's price list. They're premium prices, but you can always go a little under if you don't feel confident asking for those amounts. That list is a really good example of what you can expect to make when you've been writing for a while, though.

      Hey thanks for the reply,

      Nope. I was responsible for the copies of his Amazon listings (i.e. headline, bullet points, descriptions, key search terms) . So yeah, it's more than just writing stuff but more of research, optimization, writing and editing. Which if you look at it is just too much for a measly pay. But since I had to get portfolios, I had to accept his offer.
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      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by D3x View Post

        But since I had to get portfolios, I had to accept his offer.
        That's a myth which holds a lot of new writers back. You don't have to submit to measly pay just to get a portfolio. You just have to know what you're worth and consistently do work which makes your rate worthwhile.

        Writers who tell themselves that they have to start out that way are just creating their own glass ceiling which will be damn hard to break through later. Most of them never do. They just submit to being another "pay per word" commodity. It's an easy hole to dig, and a hard one to climb out of.

        More important, clients who pay per word don't get the value of a good writer. They don't understand that the real work is done while the words aren't being written. It's done in the writer's mind. They also don't understand that 20 words written by an expert are better than a trillion written by a wannabe.

        Don't waste your time on these people. Working for cents per word rates will make you just as worthless as the clients who hire you to work for them.

        I suggest repositioning yourself as a specialist. Become the go to expert for writing amazon product descriptions. Find a few products which you know you can do REALLY great work around and narrow your focus to those.

        Search the Amazon marketplace and find descriptions that are working. Write a few critique blogs on those.

        Most important, start contacting the people who have great products but lousy descriptions and offer them a test drive of your services. Once they get a taste of the results you can provide, quote them a rate worthy of a specialist. If they pay it, great, if they don't, find someone who will.

        Don't waste your time with clients who treat you like a commodity. Just get damn good at finding the ones who will pay you what you're worth and making their investment pay for itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author D3x
    Hey Jennifer,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And Ed's price guide is super helpful. Appreciate it. I'm still new to the business, so I'm going to study Ed's price structure and adapt it to my services.
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  • Profile picture of the author D3x
    Thanks guys,
    Can't find the "Thanks" button for some reason but thanks for the replies. I'm seriously looking at Amazon copywriting as my other client is looking to hire me for 180 listings more! So I'm really considering how to charge him-- will it be per hour/per word / per project. I like to know how are you going to approach this type deal if you were in my shoes.
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