Copywriter Pricing Guide...

48 replies
I was wondering if there's ever been a pricing model, not only for new copywriters who wonder what to charge, but for those wanting to hire?

I'm not familiar with how different people think about pricing copy. So if this is a dumb idea, just say. Perhaps copywriters don't like being held to a certain conversion rate?

This is only for selling info products sold online. Prices are obviously fictional. And if there was a model like this, it would obviously be giving estimates, but would help people to price themselves, and for those hiring to budget.

Anyway, this was what I was thinking:

Product price: $7-27
Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $250
Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $500
Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $1000
Product price: $27-47
Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $500
Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $1000
Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $2000
Product price: $47-97
Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $1000
Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $2000
Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $4000
Thoughts?
#copywriter #guide #pricing
  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

    Product price: $7-27
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $250
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Product price: $27-47
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Product price: $47-97
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $4000
    Thoughts?

    It's a good idea on paper. The problem is, are you charging nothing up-front? What if the person doesn't even bother to pay, or to test the copy? What if they lie about the conversion rate, in order to get a discount? How can you confirm it? I don't think there's a way to place your own pixel on someone's site to get an idea of their conversions...

    Also, you'd have to take into account the quality of the traffic, which us, as Copywriters, have no control over whatsoever. Are they sending targeted traffic or untargeted? Are they posting banners on a diet/fitness website to promote their latest SEO product?

    Untargeted traffic can get the Copywriter a 0% conversion on a site where semi-targeted traffic could warrant him a 5%... so it seems good, but I don't see a way you could actually make it work. Even though, it would sound good to your clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Both Steve Slaunwhite and Chris Marlow sell copywriting pricing guides. They're both quite helpful.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
      Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

      It's a good idea on paper. The problem is, are you charging nothing up-front? What if the person doesn't even bother to pay, or to test the copy? What if they lie about the conversion rate, in order to get a discount? How can you confirm it? I don't think there's a way to place your own pixel on someone's site to get an idea of their conversions...

      Also, you'd have to take into account the quality of the traffic, which us, as Copywriters, have no control over whatsoever. Are they sending targeted traffic or untargeted? Are they posting banners on a diet/fitness website to promote their latest SEO product?

      Untargeted traffic can get the Copywriter a 0% conversion on a site where semi-targeted traffic could warrant him a 5%... so it seems good, but I don't see a way you could actually make it work. Even though, it would sound good to your clients.
      Of course you can charge up front if you like. 30% or whatever before the work commences.

      Do copywriters give a guaranteed conversion rate? If they do, surely it would be assumed that it would be based on targeted traffic, no?

      If I was a copywriter, I'd be wanting to see screenshots of the stats. Would a client lie if the pitch wasn't pulling in a previously agreed conversion rate? Perhaps. I would imagine it would be rare, though.

      What if you asked the client to install your own Google Analytics as well as their own? Would that help?
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      • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
        Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

        Of course you can charge up front if you like. 30% or whatever before the work commences.

        Do copywriters give a guaranteed conversion rate? If they do, surely it would be assumed that it would be based on targeted traffic, no?

        If I was a copywriter, I'd be wanting to see screenshots of the stats. Would a client lie if the pitch wasn't pulling in a previously agreed conversion rate? Perhaps. I would imagine it would be rare, though.

        What if you asked the client to install your own Google Analytics as well as their own? Would that help?
        30% of what? How can you charge a percentage up-front when you don't know what you'll be charging in the end.

        No, no good copywriters guarantee conversions, that's pretty widely known and accepted on these forums, but no worries.

        Screenshots can be edited and changed easily enough. Very easy actually.

        I don't know if you could install 2 Google Analytics to one domain, but I know that they could upload the copy to another similar website with a different URL, then send untargeted traffic to yours, and targeted to the other... There's just so many easy ways to fudge it.

        Would it be rare? Maybe. Maybe not...

        Edit: You also have to factor in the fact that the person may genuinely not know how to market, even if they ARE honest.
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        • Profile picture of the author Luther Landro
          Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

          30% of what? How can you charge a percentage up-front when you don't know what you'll be charging in the end.

          No, no good copywriters guarantee conversions, that's pretty widely known and accepted on these forums, but no worries.

          Screenshots can be edited and changed easily enough. Very easy actually.

          I don't know if you could install 2 Google Analytics to one domain, but I know that they could upload the copy to another similar website with a different URL, then send untargeted traffic to yours, and targeted to the other... There's just so many easy ways to fudge it.

          Would it be rare? Maybe. Maybe not...

          Edit: You also have to factor in the fact that the person may genuinely not know how to market, even if they ARE honest.
          There are some unscrupulous characters out there. Give them an inch and they'll take a yard. It is much wiser to take a deposit; this way both parties are committed for the better part.
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        • Profile picture of the author IamnotJohn
          Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

          30% of what? How can you charge a percentage up-front when you don't know what you'll be charging in the end.

          No, no good copywriters guarantee conversions, that's pretty widely known and accepted on these forums, but no worries.

          Screenshots can be edited and changed easily enough. Very easy actually.

          I don't know if you could install 2 Google Analytics to one domain, but I know that they could upload the copy to another similar website with a different URL, then send untargeted traffic to yours, and targeted to the other... There's just so many easy ways to fudge it.

          Would it be rare? Maybe. Maybe not...

          Edit: You also have to factor in the fact that the person may genuinely not know how to market, even if they ARE honest.
          I like your comments here.

          Hey, what about split-running the traffic to separate order forms?

          Meaning that the buyers of that percentage will pay you directly.

          That means, doing full service, too. Doing also the ad campaigns. Setting up the domain. And so forth.

          Any thoughts/insights on this?

          P.S. (By the way, I agree with Copy-assassin. If results are not delivered, why should get paid, why should get paid more than those who only trade their time and effort?

          You say you want to get paid more? You really want to make a lot of money? That's cool. But then become an entrepreneur. Don't be just a copywriter. As for entrepreneurs take more responsibility. They deliver results. Why?

          Because they are results-oriented. As for a true entrepreneur won't complain that this was not in my job description. Do you see what I am saying? Complaining that this is not what copywriters do, that is BS. If that is true, that copywriters only write copy. Then it is simple:

          Don't be that scumbag copywriter. Get out of it. Jump out of that BS box. An if you don't want to become an entrepreneur - don't worry about it. Invent a new word: maybe become a remote salesman? Without question, it is a much better box to be.
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          • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
            Originally Posted by IamnotJohn View Post

            I like your comments here.

            Hey, what about split-running the traffic to separate order forms?

            Meaning that the buyers of that percentage will pay you directly.

            That means, doing full service, too. Doing also the ad campaigns. Setting up the domain. And so forth.

            Any thoughts/insights on this?

            P.S. (By the way, I agree with Copy-assassin. If results are not delivered, why should get paid, why should get paid more than those who only trade their time and effort?

            You say you want to get paid more? You really want to make a lot of money? That's cool. But then become an entrepreneur. Don't be just a copywriter. As for entrepreneurs take more responsibility. They deliver results. Why?

            Because they are results-oriented. As for a true entrepreneur won't complain that this was not in my job description. Do you see what I am saying? Complaining that this is not what copywriters do, that is BS. If that is true, that copywriters only write copy. Then it is simple:

            Don't be that scumbag copywriter. Get out of it. Jump out of that BS box. An if you don't want to become an entrepreneur - don't worry about it. Invent a new word: maybe become a remote salesman? Without question, it is a much better box to be.
            Copywriters earn high rates and percentage deals because they have a rare skill that is in demand. (Just to be clear, I'm talking copywriting, not content writing).

            You think it is some kind of propped up market like soybeans? It's capitalism.

            If you don't agree that copywriters are worth high fees, that's fine. Your business, your call. However, plenty of top marketers know it is worth every penny they invest in great copywriting.
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          • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
            Originally Posted by IamnotJohn View Post

            I like your comments here.

            I appreciate it, but not sure why you had to grave-dig a 4-year old thread...
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      • Profile picture of the author Ansar Pasha
        Banned
        No copywriter will guarantee you a certain conversion rate... and if they do, they're lying to your face.

        Even the best copy can bomb for no apparent reason... someone had mentioned this before, but the best you can do is stack the odds in your favor with someone who has a track record.

        Ansar
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        • Profile picture of the author AndyBlackSEO
          Originally Posted by Ansar Pasha View Post

          No copywriter will guarantee you a certain conversion rate... and if they do, they're lying to your face.

          Even the best copy can bomb for no apparent reason... someone had mentioned this before, but the best you can do is stack the odds in your favor with someone who has a track record.

          Ansar
          Also, if the product isn't that good then it may result in poor sales also.
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post


      Also, you'd have to take into account the quality of the traffic, which us, as Copywriters, have no control over whatsoever. Are they sending targeted traffic or untargeted? Are they posting banners on a diet/fitness website to promote their latest SEO product?
      Dietriffic,

      I COMPLETELY understand your frustration on the topic of "Copywriting Fees vs Results".

      I too have spent WAY more money on copy that never produced than I'd ever care to admit.

      And it always makes me laugh when copywriters go on and on and on about needing to provide a guarantee they NEVER would offer to their own clients.

      Hello, ever heard of the "Golden Rule"?

      Yet, most copywriters won't offer a guarantee (although, they'll gladly take your money upfront with a smile. And if the results suck, "Sorry").

      The reason I quoted Cam Connor above is because the dude has a valid issue.

      So here's what I'm thinking and I would love your thoughts on this:

      Super-Duper Copywriter partners up with Super-Duper Traffic guy. Client offers an upfront fee, and places the remaining amount in an escrow account. Client pays for copy and traffic at same time.

      Get results, and the money is released. Or maybe escrow releases money by agreed upon milestones.

      Yes, Super-Duper I & II have to screen their clients. Yes, Super-Duper I & II have a clear agreement.

      Let's eliminate excuses and give our clients what they really want:

      RESULTS!!!

      Your Thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
    Fair enough.

    Just thinking out loud. I appreciate the feedback and honesty.
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    Weight loss/fitness marketers earn 75% per sale with... The Fat Reversal Formula
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Dietriffic,

      Marcia pointed out two solid resources for you.

      Copywriter prices definitely range across the board. It can depend on the experience level, track record of the copywriter, and what they feel their time/expertise/skills are worth.

      Since I write both offline and online marketing, I quote by the project. Otherwise, my fee schedule would resemble a Chinese menu.

      The biggest thing that non-copywriters don't realize is how much time a professional copywriter can spend on each project.

      A "typical" online salesletter from scratch is a 40 hour time commitment minimum for me. That's what I need to study the product, target market & competitor analysis, write, edit, proof, polish the copy. I also have multiple rounds of writing & editing until the copy is where I feel it's ready for prime time.

      The other factor on fees are the average monthly fee your copywriter has to charge to meet their bills. Someone who charging $197 is relying on writing a lot of salesletters each month to meet their bills. They can't realistically commit as much time to each project as someone who is charging $4000 or more.

      Hope that helps,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author SusanLandry
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Since I write both offline and online marketing, I quote by the project. Otherwise, my fee schedule would resemble a Chinese menu.
        Ditto for me. I think there's a danger in having a set fee schedule, because projects vary so much in terms of topic complexity, existing reference materials, availability of research information, etc. A better bet is quoting a ballpark range with the disclaimer that firm prices are only provided after a review of the project scope. The worst thing is being pigeonholed into canned fees you previously supplied to the client, after discovering the project is far more labor-intensive than you initially thought.
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      • Profile picture of the author Key Seek
        The key to good copy is revisions. Perspiration over inspiration.


        Most people (at least most of my students when I taught the 13-16th grade) think turning in a rough draft is acceptable. They think I am some sort of fascist when I tell them to do 3 full iterations.


        People love my work because I do 4 or 5 revisions. They think my PhD means I am really smart and whip out quality pages every 5 minutes. I am not that smart (took me 8 years to finish a 6 year PhD program, lol). I just work hard.



        The last client project I did ended up netting me about $45 an hour for my work.


        My current project took me 4 weeks, just to finish a 12 page site.



        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Dietriffic,

        Marcia pointed out two solid resources for you.

        Copywriter prices definitely range across the board. It can depend on the experience level, track record of the copywriter, and what they feel their time/expertise/skills are worth.

        Since I write both offline and online marketing, I quote by the project. Otherwise, my fee schedule would resemble a Chinese menu.

        The biggest thing that non-copywriters don't realize is how much time a professional copywriter can spend on each project.

        A "typical" online salesletter from scratch is a 40 hour time commitment minimum for me. That's what I need to study the product, target market & competitor analysis, write, edit, proof, polish the copy. I also have multiple rounds of writing & editing until the copy is where I feel it's ready for prime time.

        The other factor on fees are the average monthly fee your copywriter has to charge to meet their bills. Someone who charging $197 is relying on writing a lot of salesletters each month to meet their bills. They can't realistically commit as much time to each project as someone who is charging $4000 or more.

        Hope that helps,

        Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
    I thought some of you pros had this stuff down to an exact science??

    You're talking here like a bunch of 'creatives'.




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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I thought some of you pros had this stuff down to an exact science??
      If what you want is cut-and-dried information on pricing, get one of the pricing guides I mentioned in my earlier posts.

      Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Hi Melanie & all,

    Here's another pricing model: "Advance against the future percentage."

    So the copywriter gets paid what looks like a retainer or upfront fee for a certain period of time, and the if the results are not achieved during that time frame, the deal ends. And depending the original expectations and subsequent follow through on everyone's part, the fee may or may not be refunded to the Clients.

    The only consultants/copywriters I see using this model are those on the high end. It works for the copywriter because the copywriter knows the Client has skin in the game and is serious about the project. And it works for the prospect, because if the deal ends without achieving the results, there's no money out of pocket spent on a failed endeavor. Only time and opportunity costs.

    The key to making this model work is a solid, detailed agreement as to future expectations.

    ----

    Marcia's right: Those are the two best pricing guides out there.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      The best way for a copywriter to price his/her services is by value.

      1. Determine how much value you bring to the table
      2. Persuasively communicate that amount to the prospective client
      3. Apply a percentage to that amount, and that's your price.

      Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author Len Bailey
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Hi Melanie & all,

      Here's another pricing model: "Advance against the future percentage."

      So the copywriter gets paid what looks like a retainer or upfront fee for a certain period of time, and the if the results are not achieved during that time frame, the deal ends. And depending the original expectations and subsequent follow through on everyone's part, the fee may or may not be refunded to the Clients.

      The only consultants/copywriters I see using this model are those on the high end. It works for the copywriter because the copywriter knows the Client has skin in the game and is serious about the project. And it works for the prospect, because if the deal ends without achieving the results, there's no money out of pocket spent on a failed endeavor. Only time and opportunity costs.

      The key to making this model work is a solid, detailed agreement as to future expectations.

      ----

      Marcia's right: Those are the two best pricing guides out there.

      - Rick Duris
      Rick's right -- this model can work very well for everyone involved.

      FYI -- Bob Bly also has a pricing guide. Don't know if he's kept it updated, but in addition to listing rates it does a great job explaining the various types of jobs -- word counts, examples, etc. If anyone wants the link, PM me.

      One last thought: Not sure if anyone mentioned this ('cause I didn't read all the posts)... but be careful basing your copywriter's fee on the product price and conversion. That's fine for performance bonuses, but I've written 24-page tabloids (10,000+ words) selling a $9.95 trial. Even with the high conversion rates we enjoyed, using the OP's suggested model I would have earned only a small fraction of what I did.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I just wrote in my blog: "When you know your worth, it’s solely up to you to communicate your value so the audience you’re broadcasting to gets it."

    Your fees are a direct reflection of what you believe your worth.

    But never, evvvvver guarantee results... even if you're willing to remain on a project indefinitely.

    And no, there isn't a perfect fee schedule for copywriters.

    You have to ask (upfront) for what will keep you motivated to produce results... whatever that number is for you.

    If the client doesn't want to pay it, YOU don't want to work with them.

    Never reduce your bid for a client who has money issues.
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  • Profile picture of the author RefundHost
    Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

    I was wondering if there's ever been a pricing model, not only for new copywriters who wonder what to charge, but for those wanting to hire?

    I'm not familiar with how different people think about pricing copy. So if this is a dumb idea, just say. Perhaps copywriters don't like being held to a certain conversion rate?

    This is only for selling info products sold online. Prices are obviously fictional. And if there was a model like this, it would obviously be giving estimates, but would help people to price themselves, and for those hiring to budget.

    Anyway, this was what I was thinking:

    Product price: $7-27
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $250
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Product price: $27-47
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Product price: $47-97
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $4000
    Thoughts?

    I like your honest style - copy should get money when it earns.

    However, you are converting on traffic - good or bad or non-human hits.
    Oops!
    Charge on SALES...not traffic. Traffic is WORTHLESS until it is a SALE.
    If someone hired you to write an OPT-IN page ... look at their SALES month to month from then on. If they don't sell anything - DONT DO IT!

    To challenge someone's comment "what if they don't pay"?
    I get paid for results, not my self-proclaimed competency or "experience".
    ALL my copy done ON SPEC.
    When it earns - they pay - or they see "DMCA" in their email
    and the words "SUSPENDED" where their site once was.

    But you need to prequalify your clients carefully.
    Great copy on a bad domain not indexed and selling a crap product that nobody would want anyway and for which no real launch or PUSH ( even blogging, youtube, facebook etc ) exists .... you won't earn your target.
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  • Profile picture of the author PAA1
    Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

    I was wondering if there's ever been a pricing model, not only for new copywriters who wonder what to charge, but for those wanting to hire?

    I'm not familiar with how different people think about pricing copy. So if this is a dumb idea, just say. Perhaps copywriters don't like being held to a certain conversion rate?

    This is only for selling info products sold online. Prices are obviously fictional. And if there was a model like this, it would obviously be giving estimates, but would help people to price themselves, and for those hiring to budget.

    Anyway, this was what I was thinking:

    Product price: $7-27
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $250
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Product price: $27-47
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Product price: $47-97
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $4000
    Thoughts?
    well there are many things attached as far as the prices are concerned

    what if you are writing for a service such as web development - whose prices always varies with respect to the type of website.

    or perhaps what if you are asked to write a help file or a company merger document (i've faced all these)

    Besides, copy writing also concerns the country's language standards. Though English is the common language but pattern differs from country to country i.e., the writing patterns for US will differ to that of Australia, Australia to that of UK, UK to that of Middle East, Middle East to that of Europe and so on...

    I think the better thing is to quote a fixed price on type, length of content.
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  • Profile picture of the author TS Glickman
    I don't think there's an easy way to track this. It would be hard to collect payments.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mel White
    There's also the issue of "tracking" and "how long will this keep going?"

    You're going to have to assume that the site owner gets the rate they say they are and that if they say "oops! no sales!" (and sneakily move your slightly modified copy to another site) that they're not trying to pull a fast one on you.

    In the art world, we do jobs on spec but we have a "kill fee"... perhaps something like that might suit your needs?
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  • Profile picture of the author manny2513
    WOW How many good tips in just one thread. Thank god I came to this thread before hiring my Copy Writerr now I fell more prepared.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonymac001
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  • Profile picture of the author Ansar Pasha
    Banned
    "CopyAssassin", your theory has so many holes it's laughable...and proves you have NO IDEA what you're talking about.

    I work with my mate behind the scenes on his copy projects and write for myself, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to predict conversions without it going live. Sometimes even the best copy will bomb for no obvious reason. I know of a lot of tests that fly in the face of normal copywriting wisdom and still manage to outpull "traditional" copy techniques.

    Your comment about "taking money with a smile" is ludicrous.

    ... some copywriters will rewrite it if it doesn't convert, but like Cam said, you need solid proof that the client actually drove the traffic and tested the results.

    Ansar
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Originally Posted by Ansar Pasha View Post

      "CopyAssassin", your theory has so many holes it's laughable...and proves you have NO IDEA what you're talking about.

      I work with my mate behind the scenes on his copy projects and write for myself, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to predict conversions without it going live. Sometimes even the best copy will bomb for no obvious reason. I know of a lot of tests that fly in the face of normal copywriting wisdom and still manage to outpull "traditional" copy techniques.

      Your comment about "taking money with a smile" is ludicrous.

      ... some copywriters will rewrite it if it doesn't convert, but like Cam said, you need solid proof that the client actually drove the traffic and tested the results.

      Ansar

      Ansar,

      Thank you for providing feedback on my model for creating win-win copy that, "has so many holes it's laughable".

      I guess you and my wife have a lot in common -- I make her laugh too --because she also tells me, " [You have] NO IDEA what you're talking about"

      Which usually means I either didn't fully explain myself, or, I'm wrong.

      Just in case the former is the issue, I'd like to fully explain myself. And if I make a fool out of myself, well, I'm good at that too!

      All I ask is that you be open to me having a valid point, and reserving judgement until you've read the entire post.

      So here goes:

      The goal of my model is to create a situation where the client is paying for results.

      Because clients want copy that produces results, not words on a page that look nice. Nor do clients really care how much time you've spent researching. Clients don't even care you missed lunch and/or dinner because you were in the copy zone.

      Nope. Clients care about results. They care about this:

      If you put $1 in, how much comes out!

      And I personally believe if you charge your client any amount ($495, $4,995, $49,995), that amount should be a fraction of what that takes in. That is a TRUE INVESTMENT.

      And I think copywriters should guarantee that.

      However, it seems word "guarantee" scares the living daylights out of MOST copywriters.

      Conventional wisdom is that a copywriter NEVER guarantees a conversation rate or results. And if they do, that is an immediate sign they are a "scam artist". And very FEW guarantee an INCREASE in conversion rates or sales.

      The conventional reasons behind this are:

      * A copywriter doesn't control the traffic sent to the offer
      * The client has small marketing budget
      * "Sure-fire" offers fail all the time without a "good reason
      * A copywriter can't promise the results will last because market conditions change, making both the copy and offer outdated
      * The client will lie to regarding the results
      * Nobody can say with certainty a copywriter can get a specific result because that is just plain impossible
      * the market is saturated for your product, meaning an increase in sales in unlikely
      * You already converted your best prospects [assumes offer is already public]
      * Copywriter can not control client from raising the price, killing demand
      * The client changes the copy, which kills conversion rate
      * Client has send autobot traffic to kill conversion rate; therefore killing performance bonus
      * The product/service has no demand
      * Client don't have a backend
      * If the project bombs, I'm out my time and effort
      * other factors that are out of our control as copywriters

      Let me be clear:

      These are VALID and MATERIAL concerns for a copywriter.

      But God Dammit, we're ****ing copywriters.

      It's our job to overcome objections. It's our mandate to innovate.

      It's a calling that inspires us to look deeper in the mines. Explore for veins others dismissed as "impossible".

      And lets overcome some KEY objections:

      A copywriter (cw) doesn't control the traffic sent to the offer
      The CW should partner with a traffic specialist or firm that uses PPC, Social Media, Affiliates, and offline direct response marketing. When the client signs and pays their initial retainer agreement, a significant portion of the retainer will be used to drive targeted traffic. The client will receive comprehensive traffic reports, and conversion metrics at key points of action.

      The client will also allow the copywriter and traffic specialist to insert their OWN tracking script in the webpages AND have access to the website stats

      By combining both copywriting and traffic into one package, the copywriter now can control the traffic or have a very detailed understanding of whats going on.


      Market Conditions Change
      The engagement letter between the client and you should CLEARLY state a specific time period the results are good for. I think a term of 6 months is reasonable.

      I'd also include a continuity program to maintain the results of the copy after the specified time period, if the client chooses.

      Client has a Small Marketing Budget
      Don't take them on as a client. Make sure, given your history, they have enough money to promote their product. When you and traffic specialist meet, you need to come up with a "safe" number to tell the client they need.

      If they say, "No way Jose." Reply, "Adios MF"

      Clients Lie
      YOU must preform your due diligence on the client. I'd call 5 previous/current vendors and get a feel for the client. If they screw people over in the past, they'll do it again in the future. If a vendor feels they got screwed over or ripped-off, then confront the client. Look, problems happen. Just see where they are coming from.

      As for stats, make sure you have access to logs and other key databases. No access. No engagement.

      Have language in your engagement that allows you to insert your own tracking code in the pages them self.

      And of course, good judgement is always key

      The Client Changes The Copy
      Be upfront: You change the Copy, you void the contract. Period.

      The Product Has No Demand:
      Before signing to do the project, do a QUICK feasibility study. This is where you as the copywriter need to decide if you want to take a chance on this pony.

      Project Bombs And I have to actually Refund
      Play the odds here. If 1 in 3 projects fail, increase to account for the risk factor. If 1 in 10 fail, increase to account for that risk factor.

      However, because not many copywriters are willing to offer a guarantee, you can account for your risk and a market premium. In words, if 1 in 10 projects fail, raise your fee by 10% plus ANOTHER percentage amount because of the uniqueness factor.

      The Client has No Backend
      Either dump the client or assist the client in creating a backend. Make a choice.

      What Results Do I promise
      That is up to you do decide depending on your skill level. However, at the very least, you need to be able to prove to the client that your 1) costs pays for itself + 2) the opportunity cost of time to fulfill the sale.

      In other words, if you charge $5,000 to the client, you need to have added $5,000 to the BOTTOM line plus the rate the client charges for their time to fulfill the order.

      So if the client charges $100 for his time, and it takes 1 hour to fulfill the order, at a copywriter charge of $5,000, then you need to produce $5,100 net.

      Before "costing" your client $5,000 dollars, I would set up milestones along the way. Meet the milestone, and then proceed. If you fail a milestone, stop the engagement and cut your loses there.

      The End

      I look forward to reading your response!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Sanchez
    Marcia...anyway you could provide some links for those guides?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ansar Pasha
    Banned
    Wow. You went all out on your theory didn't you.

    Let's be honest here:

    - You're asking a copywriter to spend hours of time researching a client so you don't get "ripped off" (whereas clients who understand the power of good copy are usually willing to fork out a nice chunk of change anyway - tell me why someone should go through this trouble when they don't have to?)

    - You're expecting the copywriter to do traffic generation tasks which is usually not the expertize of a copywriter - keyword research, article marketing, blogging, SEO, backlink building, whatever - it's none of the writers business. And no writer should have to "team up" with someone else, dependent on THEIR success to get paid.

    I think this is clear enough to see why your pricing model is flawed. The best in the industry don't guarantee you a conversion rate. I think it was Vin Montello who put it like this a while back, but you still pay lawyers even if you lose in court. You still pay doctors if surgery goes wrong. Why is this any different?

    Tell your wife I said hi

    Ansar
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Ansar,

      Thanks for your quick response.

      BTW, I'm coming from the copywriters point of view in terms of offering something unique in the market place.

      This model is not for everybody. You would need clients in the $10,000+ range for this model to begin to work.

      And I think, as you indirectly pointed out, the client would need to pony up some immediate money to show they are serious.

      Answers below...

      Originally Posted by Ansar Pasha View Post


      - You're asking a copywriter to spend hours of time researching a client so you don't get "ripped off" (whereas clients who understand the power of good copy are usually willing to fork out a nice chunk of change anyway - tell me why someone should go through this trouble when they don't have to?)

      Ansar
      Yes. The copywriter should have a shared risk. The copywriter should also be charing a healthy premium.

      Originally Posted by Ansar Pasha View Post


      - You're expecting the copywriter to do traffic generation tasks which is usually not the expertize of a copywriter - keyword research, article marketing, blogging, SEO, backlink building, whatever - it's none of the writers business. And no writer should have to "team up" with someone else, dependent on THEIR success to get paid.

      Ansar
      If a copywriter has a solid partnership with a traffic guy, that would be unique in the market place.

      I COMPLETELY disagree in the concept of tying your success with others. Wealthy people DEPEND on several key business relationship to continue their growth.

      Lets build a business here. Not a J-O-B.

      The best in the industry don't guarantee you a conversion rate.
      I'm not suggesting you guarantee a conversion rate. Rather, you guarentee positive cash flow proformance.

      I think it was Vin Montello who put it like this a while back, but you still pay lawyers even if you lose in court.
      Valid. However, legally, lawyers CAN NOT do that. It's ILLEGAL.

      Trust me, if they could, they would, and gladly write-out the losses in exchange for the premiums they would charge.

      Also, Vin is a brand. Brands get to play by different rules.

      And I HIGHLY doubt he would take on a loser for the money. Close to 0%.

      And if a client did lose on a project he was working on (a real bomb), I'd bet you make up for that in the next project, or attempt make the situation right.

      At that level, you work with a client many times. Its not a one-night-stand.

      You still pay doctors if surgery goes wrong.
      That is false. You don't pay. Then you sue for malpractice.
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      • The plain fact of the matter is...

        Even...

        Clayton...
        Carlton...
        Garfinkel...
        And Me...

        We can't guarantee results.

        But... I don't know about those guys but I have a guarantee that I will bust my ass to make you money. Doesn't mean it'll work... but it means I will leave no stone unturned in an attempt to squeeze every last sale out of a project.

        But we too fail. We just do.

        The thing is though... when you're a "brand" as someone here put it, you have to protect that brand at all cost. That's why I think we work harder.

        Sure... wanting to do well for our clients is a big part of it... but when you feel as I do that your reputation can all hinge on the very last 2 or 3 projects you've done... you tend to roll up your sleeves a little higher... dig in your heels a little deeper... and try to do every last legal and ethical thing you can do in order to make your clients money.

        Results are how I earned and continue to earn my reputation... results are how I can lose my reputation.

        But guaranteeing success... that can only be done by people who don't work hard or long enough. Because when you invest the kind of man hours into a project like I do... or like the members of my team do... you can't just give money back.

        It's impossible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
    I'm kinda annoyed I brought this up.

    But only because some of it is a bit aggressive and defensive.

    I just wanted to start a conversation and get a bit more insight into the workings of the copywriters world.

    As I said near the beginning. I was just thinking out loud.

    @Vin
    Hubby is enjoying your 'Sermons'. He hasn't been on live yet, but he's enjoying the recordings.
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    • Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post


      @Vin
      Hubby is enjoying your 'Sermons'. He hasn't been on live yet, but he's enjoying the recordings.
      well... tell him to get on live tonight... The replays are only through this week... then we're not going to replay. We're just going to put up highlights and force you guys to actually call in.

      The devious plot.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
        Originally Posted by MontelloMarketing View Post

        well... tell him to get on live tonight... The replays are only through this week... then we're not going to replay. We're just going to put up highlights and force you guys to actually call in.

        The devious plot.
        Fair enough, but it's not always easy at 1am.
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        • I understand, I do... But I figure it's gotta be worth it a couple times a month though.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
            Originally Posted by MontelloMarketing View Post

            I understand, I do... But I figure it's gotta be worth it a couple times a month though.
            He decided to stay up. He got on the list about 15 minutes before the call.

            Obviously not soon enough. He didn't get emailed the link.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtunkelo
    Whatever the pricing model, the worst mistake you can make is succumb to giving a quote before you've properly discussed the project and you both understand what's involved. It's the kiss of death.

    Earlier on in my career I gave in a couple of times to "just tell me your usual pricing and we'll work from there" and as soon as I did, they'd either tell me point blank they couldn't afford me or disappear without another word.

    So don't do it. Unless you're working with old clients or established players who know what they're paying for, you must be an educator before you can be the copywriter.
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  • Profile picture of the author godinu
    I don't know of any copywriter that bases their fee on conversions -- there's no way to predict that. It could be that the copy is excellent but no one finds it online -- that can happen. Even if a copywriter isn't charging by the hour, they do think about how much time it may take them (researching and writing), pricing accordingly. It is sometimes tricky to even figure that out because sometimes the client doesn't really know what they want, and it may take multiple calls/meetings just to get a basic idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author onehalf
    Originally Posted by Dietriffic View Post

    I was wondering if there's ever been a pricing model, not only for new copywriters who wonder what to charge, but for those wanting to hire?

    I'm not familiar with how different people think about pricing copy. So if this is a dumb idea, just say. Perhaps copywriters don't like being held to a certain conversion rate?

    This is only for selling info products sold online. Prices are obviously fictional. And if there was a model like this, it would obviously be giving estimates, but would help people to price themselves, and for those hiring to budget.

    Anyway, this was what I was thinking:

    Product price: $7-27
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $250
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Product price: $27-47
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $500
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Product price: $47-97
    Conversion: 1-2% then Copywriter fee: $1000
    Conversion: 2-4% then Copywriter fee: $2000
    Conversion: +5% then Copywriter fee: $4000
    Thoughts?
    This is not fair for the writers.
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    • Profile picture of the author IamnotJohn
      There are ordinary writers. And then there are "remote sales people".

      Most people here bitching about how conversion can't be tracked or fees cannot be based on conversion and the like, they really secretly want to just be writers.

      And Frank Kern is right, "most" people in Warrior Forum are amateurs. And then there are charlatans. And then there are some savvy marketers too, of course. Like me.
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  • Profile picture of the author sprucevn
    . Optimizing a Page
    Re-write a client's present web copy, so that it can be found by the search engines for a wanted keyword or phrase.
    Fee Range: $100 - $400 per page
    . Writing a Small Website
    Write a five to six-page website using SEO strategies.
    Fee Range: $1,500 - $3,500
    . SEO Strategy and Training
    Support a customer with keyphrase research, or train him how to optimize copy.
    Fee: $150-$500/hour
    Note: This is usually bundled in with the SEO copy, but doesn't have to be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jennifer Hutson
    Ed Gandia has a really good one, which you can find here.
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