You Get What You Pay For: Figuring Out a Rate That’s Fair for You and Your Writer

Posted on December 4, 2013 by Amy F

What to Pay Your WriterYou want to start a blog on your company’s website, but know that you won’t be able to handle writing the posts yourself. That’s where hiring a writer comes in handy. But, deciding to bring a writer on board raises more questions and issues, chief among them, how much should you pay? When you hire a copywriter, the rate you pay should be fair to you and her. Think about the amount of research required and the quality of writing you expect, as well as the volume of writing you need.

Lower Budget, Fewer Assignments

Your budget for copywriters or bloggers might be very limited. You can go in one of two directions in that case. Either pay a writer a lower rate per post or article, or reduce the amount of content you order, so that the writer receives a higher amount per project, but has less to work on. For example, if your budget for the blog is $200 per writer, per month, instead of asking the writer to compose 10 posts for $20 each, ask for four posts for $50 each. If you end up with four engaging, well-written posts, you’ll get a better return on your investment than if you end up with 10 posts that aren’t engaging or well-researched, or that the writer wrote quickly in an attempt to get a higher hourly rate.

Look at the Research

Another way to figure out a fair rate to pay your writer is to take a close look at the amount of research required on her part. If you’re asking someone for an opinion piece, you can probably get away with paying a lower rate, according to a recent discussion on The Awl. But, if you want a piece that’s full of facts and figures and will take longer to research than to write, paying at least two or three times as much for the same number of words seems only fair.

Be Reasonable

It’s your business’ hard-earned money and you want to see it go as far as possible. At the same time, it’s important to remember to be reasonable and fair with the person you hire to write for you. If you can only pay $10 for 400 words, remember that you’ll get $10 worth of work. If you make a lot of demands on a writer, so that she feels you don’t respect her time, you’ll end up needing to hire a new writer, which will cost you more time and money.

Negotiate

Writers are often just as confused as their clients about what a good rate of pay is for blogging or copywriting. Ask your writer what she’s charged for similar projects and go from there. You can also hire the writer on a trial basis and pay a lower rate. If things go well with the project and you find that you and the writer work well together, increase the amount you pay by 10 or 25 percent, or whatever your budget allows.

Every Project Is Different

Don’t feel that you have to pay the same rate for every post. For example, you might have a few low-paying, quickie blog posts several time a month, and one more in-depth, higher paying project every few months.

Remember that you can always increase what you pay, but few writers will appreciate if you drop rates after a period of time. Start with a lower rate, then increase it as you and the writer develop a steady, working relationship.

Amy F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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