How Much Does Content Writing Cost?

Whether you’re thinking of writing SEO content or website content, a social media campaign or a white paper, a great writer is invaluable. But let’s be honest: Content writers can be costly. How much does content writing cost? The short answer: It depends, but let’s look at the possibilities. The ideal content writing service for you shouldn’t break the bank.

Types of professional content writing

Professional content writing comes in many forms (and price points). No matter what you need for your company’s marketing plan, you’ll be able to find someone who can create it for you.

What is professional content writing?

Professional content writing is drafting any written material you need to support your business. This includes content for SEO if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, all the way up to technical academic writing.

What are the main types of professional content writing for the web?

Many writers specialize in content writing on the web. Here is a sampling of some types of professional writing:

  • SEO content writing. This is focused on specific key terms that will help an article rank very highly in Google searches.
  • Feature writing. Features are more like storytelling. A feature writer gears a piece toward a specific audience and gives them background information on the topic in an interesting way.
  • Business writing. This is how businesses communicate with external or internal audiences. It can include reports, marketing materials, memos, and more.
  • Technical writing. Writing on a scientific topic can get very in depth. A skilled technical writer can take a complex topic and break it down into bite-size chunks that the average reader can understand.
  • Social media writing. This is geared toward social media content, like Facebook or LinkedIn posts. It is meant to increase engagement and followers on these sites.
  • Grant writing. This typically involves filling out an application for a financial grant. A grant writer conducts research and carefully constructs the application to persuade the organization to gift the money to their employer.

Many content marketing agencies field large pools of employees plus freelance writers who can cover all these bases. Sometimes you may be able to purchase a package deal combining different types of writing to support your marketing efforts.

What are the elements of good content writing?

Good content writing doesn’t just happen. It’s a skill that is honed over time. Great writing has several key elements, like readability. Even though much content writing is based on the web nowadays, it shouldn’t sound like a robot wrote it.

Additionally, good content writing is tailored to meet your company’s goals and reach the correct audience. If you hire an SEO content writer to funnel traffic to your website, but after a year you aren’t seeing an uptick in click-throughs, then the content didn’t accomplish its purpose. Quality content is carefully crafted; it takes time.

Translating pay rates into the cost of content types

The most brilliant content strategy in the world can’t be successful without the budget to execute it. If you’re wondering what your content strategy is going to cost, you’re not alone.

Since different types of content vary so wildly in complexity and the time it takes to produce them, let’s take a quick look at how pay rates differ across different content types.

What determines the cost of writing services?

Pricing out content writing services is not one size fits all. Here are a few of the factors that might determine the cost of writing services:

  • The length of the piece you want to write
  • What the subject matter is (is it a fluff piece or a highly technical topic?)
  • If you have source text to start from or if it needs to be written from scratch
  • Whether it’s for your website (like a blog post) or an article for more traditional media (like a magazine article)
  • Whether you are contracting with a writer directly or hiring them through a content writing agency
  • If the fees are calculated by the word, by the page, or at an hourly rate

What types of content and content writing services cost the most?

Generally speaking, the most expensive types of content are highly technical pieces that require an expert in the subject matter to write them. The research for these pieces can be intensive if you want a high quality, accurate end result.

Prices can rack up even higher if you’re also looking for document translation. Printing your content in another language (if you are targeting markets in different countries) can quickly cost a lot of money in translation fees.

Other content items, like SEO blog posts, may rank lower on the totem pole, depending on how long they are.

How can you ensure you get value for the price of content writing?

If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, hiring a content writing agency may be a good option. Having a team of writers at your fingertips with a prepriced package will help you control costs while managing content at scale.

You can also set strict word count limits on the content pieces you want to write and give the writer a per-word rate. Capping the word count ensures they will never go beyond a certain price.

Pricing structures used by content writers

Because there are so many different writers out there, plus agencies specializing in content creation, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options available, not to mention the differences in how much things cost. The pricing structures used by content writers change depending on whether they are performing SEO writing services or social media content services.

How do content writers determine their rates?

More often than not, content writers determine their rates based on their level of experience. For example, a new writer just starting out is likely to charge lower fees, while an experienced writer knows the value of an hour of their day and will charge accordingly.

Professional writers can calculate with some accuracy how long it will take them to research and prepare for writing different pieces of content and how long it will take them to complete the end product. They will know how many words they can write in one hour or one day. This enables them to calculate an hourly rate for their work and extrapolate from there what their per-word rate should be.

How do you know that a pricing structure for content is transparent?

Ideally, a good content agency will have a page on their website that fully lists out their pricing structure for different types of writing or at least gives a range. They should indicate if any add-ons are available and what they cost, so you aren’t caught by surprise. You may also want to check if the company offers a money-back guarantee.

Professional organizations like the Editorial Freelancers Association post industry standard rates on their sites, so you can use this as a point of comparison.

Above all, you want to avoid any marketing spending mistakes. Be sure you know what you’re paying for and get it in writing before you start.

What are the most common pricing structures for content writing?

As mentioned, there are some common pricing structures for content writing:

  • Per-word rates. This is pretty simple; for each word a writer puts on paper, you pay a set fee, such as $.50 or $1 per word.
  • Per page rates. Pricing by the page is much less common because of slight viewing variations in different word processing programs, but some writers may still charge you based on the total number of written pages they complete.
  • Hourly rates. If you contract directly with a freelancer, they may charge an hourly rate. Depending on where you go, rates can range from $15 per hour, all the way up to $40 an hour and beyond.
  • Package rates. If your content strategy includes, say, weekly SEO blog articles and a full social media strategy on LinkedIn, many agencies will sell you a bundled writing package that costs less than hiring a content writer to draft all of those items individually.

Potential ROI on professionally written content

With all of the complexity involved, you may be wondering why you’d want to invest in professional content writing at all. The truth is, when planning your content strategy, you must build in the content marketing metrics you plan to track and constantly measure your return on investment (ROI). Odds are, you’ll find that professionally written content returns significantly higher ROI than anything done hastily or shoddily.

Why is quality content important when it comes to content writing?

If your written material is not high quality, one of two things will happen: readers will bypass your content in favor of another source that gives them better answers to their questions, or the content will not generate the ROI you hoped for. It’s clear that if you don’t achieve your marketing ROI, you’ve probably wasted a lot of money.

Quality content is not just nice to have these days. It’s essential. Great content is going to reach a potential customer and convert them into a buyer. It will heighten your brand awareness and increase your bottom line.

From the highest tier technical articles to an email promotion, quality counts. Educated readers may be completely put off by a typo or a piece that looks like it was rushed out the door. Even social media writing must have some level of authenticity so readers don’t assume it was written by a bot.

What levels of ROI can you expect for different types of content writing?

The level of ROI for each type of content writing can vary depending on what your goals are for different pieces. If a blog post is carefully optimized and has a clear goal associated with it—for example, “Have 15 percent of the readers click through to our purchase page”—you can easily track if you’re meeting these goals.

Your website is likely the main place where you’ll track content ROI. One indicator is the bounce rate of visitors to your website. If a viewer goes to a blog post and leaves after a few seconds, the blog may not be doing its job. If viewers are staying on long enough to view the article and then go to different pages on your website, that piece may have a high ROI.

Also, another good spot to check ROI may be your social media pages. The people responding to and engaging with your social media posts are all potential leads. Do you have a lot of followers?  Can you convert a large percentage of them to customers? Then you could have a very high ROI on social media.

What are you forgoing when you don’t consider having a professional content writer write your content?

If you opt not to hire a professional content writer as part of your content marketing strategy, you may be giving up certain benefits. SEO content, for example, can be very hard for a novice writer to do well. A professional who does it every day will be able to write SEO content faster and easier, with better results.

In addition, technical writing is a field that many writers find challenging. Pro technical writers have mastery over certain areas of expertise and know exactly how to put highly technical content into words that a mass audience can understand. If this is the kind of content you need, hiring a professional content writer may be well worth the investment.

Find the right content writing partner now with Elite Editing.

In conclusion, we’re here to remind you that if content writing is an important investment for your company, you need to make sure it’s done right. That’s where a valued content partner comes in. Elite Editing offers a wide variety of content writing, editing, and social media marketing services and can help you determine exactly what your content writing needs will cost.

Getting a quote is free and easy. Reach out today!

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