Immediate caveat: I’m one of those writers. I charge a minimum of 22 CPW if you’re a new client, to get about 15 CPW after WriterAccess gets their cut. Certain subjects, types of content, and other factors result in higher rates.
So since WriterAccess uses the star level system, why do some writers go beyond those rates– far beyond them in some cases? What exactly factors into writers setting their own rates if there’s no external forces like unions or the staff setting these prices? There’s several moving parts, here’s why some writers charge more for their services.
Isolated Niches That Are Difficult to Fill
There’s a reason the phrase “niches equals riches” exists. If your needs only entail basic web copy designed to be read at or beneath a sixth-grade level for a fairly generic product mix, chances are you’ll be fine with a writer getting standard Level 6 pay or lower. The same goes for copy that needs to be repurposed or inspired from an existing post opposed to entirely original content.
But if you’re dealing with high-level subject matter such as law, medicine, engineering, or technology, or fields that have uniquely tiny and isolated traits like video games? You’ll want to go with that tax law and games writer who charges 22-35 CPW so you get high-quality content the first time instead of generic-sounding copy from a generalist writer.
It’s not just about being able to talk shop with the writer, it’s expressly profiting from their degrees, current or former professional licenses, and work experience that makes them uniquely poised to fulfill your content needs immediately and with their perspective that shows they’re at home in your field.
Experience Matters: Length and Type
It’s not just specialized experience that matters, either. Writers with less writing for hire experience tend to charge less than highly experienced writers who know the ins and outs of content writing.
You’re paying that more experienced writer for their finesse, skills, and being able to deliver what you need with no or fewer revisions than a less experienced writer. For content writing in particular, experience also brings the likelihood of being more familiar with how the end clients use the content they’re creating and thus being able to give you more insight and direction on your content strategy.
Getting the wrong writer can be a costly mistake. If you’re not aiming at a high enough level for your subject matter, it’s also a matter of style and other kinds of expertise. For instance, an accounting writer who’s predominantly served small CPA firms is likely just as knowledgable in GAAP or tax law as their counterpart whose experience is largely with Big 4 firms. But if you don’t communicate that crucial difference in firm size if it factors into your content’s needs, you could end up getting the wrong writer.
You Need the Writer for More Than Just Writing
Content strategy is a whole other discipline related to, but separate from, content writing and many copywriters go on to become strategists. The writer’s knowledge of how search engines and other people interact with your content really helps justify their higher rates in comparison to someone who’s solely writing basic copy.
Is the writer becoming more familiar with your business processes? Your go-to person for everything content? That is highly valuable, because having to get a new writer familiar with your processes can cause a major time lag which quickly snowballs into productivity plummeting.
But if you’re looking to your writer for help with content strategy, social media marketing, editorial work, or other types of outreach that could factor into their per-word or flat rate or as separate deliverables. In either case, star-level rates won’t cut it.
Good Pay Means Dedication and Motivation
A writer who feels they’re being fairly compensated for their credentials is not only likely to want to keep serving you, but also go the extra mile for you and show up with ideas and pitches that are mutually beneficial: you get new content that’s on point your audience and constant monitoring of it, and they get paid what they’re worth and feel incentivized to keep delivering value for you.
Paying writers what they’re worth goes a long way!
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.