How Much Does A Website Copywriter Cost? (+Budgeting Tips)

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I’m Courtney Fanning the copywriting and brand strategy brains behind Big Picture. I use my literal master’s in selling stories to help 1:1 clients and DIY students write purpose-driven copy that sells and scales. 

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Written by Courtney
Copywriting & brand strategy brains behind Big Picture.

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The most important marketing asset your business owns is your website. Whether someone discovered you via social media or offline, your website is the first place potential customers and clients go to check you out. This means the quality of your website copy is absolutely crucial. A well-crafted message can engage visitors, convey your brand’s value, and convert leads into loyal customers. But how much does it cost to hire a professional website copywriter?

Let’s break down the costs, what you can expect from a copywriter, and the potential return on investment (ROI) of good copywriting.

What Does A Website Copywriter Deliver?

When you first reach out to a copywriter you’ll discuss your needs and business objectives. Based on your goals, industry, and offers, the copywriter will propose a few solutions. 

Copywriting deliverables may include:

  • Brand messaging strategy
  • Brand & voice style guide
  • Competitor analysis
  • On-page SEO optimization & keyword research
  • Specific copywritten pages (Ex: Home, How It Works, Who We Are, Product & Services pages, etc.)
  • Opt-in freebie
  • Sales pages
  • Landing pages
  • Checkout page and success message copy
  • Onboarding copy
  • UX audit and editing
  • & more

Factors Influencing the Cost of a Website Copywriter

Turnaround Time

If you need the content quickly, expect to pay a premium for rush services. Faster turnaround times often mean the copywriter has to prioritize your project over others. A good copywriter doesn’t cut corners, so if there are fewer daytime hours to complete a rush job, the copywriter is most likely working outside of normal business hours to follow through on the necessary tasks and research to complete a project. 

Industry Specialization

Copywriters specializing in certain industries or niches may command higher fees due to their specialized knowledge. It can be beneficial to hire a specialized copywriter if your field is highly technical or highly regulated. Industries like wellness, beauty, financial services, food and drug cannot make certain claims or promises about their products and risk legal ramifications if they do. A specialized copywriter will know these parameters and can work around them ethically and legally.

Project Complexity

The complexity of the project, including the number of pages and the depth of research required, can affect the cost. If you’re bringing a copywriter in as a temporary member of your team, all team meetings and communications will be factored into the budget. A freelance copywriter should never be expected to work for free. If timelines shift or the project is put on pause, the copywriter can require a pause or restart fee to compensate for billable hours lost due to your shifting priorities.

Experience and Expertise

Writing for the web is nothing like what you learned in your 11th-grade English class. Copywriting is a highly specialized skill that combines marketing know-how, sales acumen, behavioral psychology, and communications strategy. Good copywriters aren’t necessarily trained but created via past marketing roles and business experience. Many copywriters start out in sales, marketing, advertising, and communications roles and bring their collective experiences to their role as a copywriters.

How Much Does a Website Copywriter Cost?

The cost of hiring a website copywriter can vary widely based on experience, location, and project requirements. More experienced copywriters with a proven track record typically charge higher rates. You can get a quick sense of someone’s experience by checking out their Portfolio.

Here’s a general breakdown:

Entry-Level Copywriters

Entry-level copywriters may charge between $50 to $100 per page or $20 to $50 per hour. They’re often newer to the field but can still provide quality content.

Mid-Level Copywriters

Mid-level copywriters typically charge $100 to $200 per page or $50 to $100 per hour. They have more experience and a proven track record.

Expert-Level Copywriters

Expert copywriters can charge $200 to $500+ per page or $100 to $300+ per hour. These professionals have extensive experience and often specialize in high-stakes projects.

What’s included in the cost of hiring a copywriter?

The hourly cost to hire a copywriter includes more than time spent writing. It also includes time spent performing interviews, research, editing, client/team meetings, and any additional consulting time with your team.

Rather than quote an hourly rate, many copywriters prefer to propose a packaged rate based on the estimated scope and project deliverables.

This benefits both the client and the copywriter because the client won’t get hit with extra hourly expenses if a project takes longer than expected, and the copywriter doesn’t make less money for being efficient. (Which most expert copywriters are.)

When everyone is compensated fairly, everyone is happy.

What’s the ROI of Good Copywriting?

While the upfront cost might seem significant, the return on investment can be substantial. In the immediate term, well-written copy can:

  • Increase Conversion Rates
  • Boost Sales
  • Enhance User Experience
  • Improve SEO Rankings
  • Strengthen Your Brand Identity

But the ROI gold lives in the long-term benefits that ultimately pay for itself through improved business performance. 

  • A strategic email funnel can make you money on auto-pilot for years.
  • A stellar website can generate new leads on auto-pilot for years.
  • An optimized blog post can build your search authority and drive traffic to your site for…you guessed it…YEARS.

Additional Costs to Consider

Unlike a designer or photographer, you do not need to pay licensing fees to continue to use the work they produce. However, additional revisions or edits can cost extra. Typically, a copywriter can quote you an hourly rate for smaller editing jobs. If the request falls within a certain timeframe, they might perform the work, free of charge, to build goodwill and show client appreciation.

One major additional cost to consider when you hire a copywriter is how you will implement the copy once it’s finished.

Additional cost: Hiring a website designer 

Copy and design go hand in hand, but a website designer is not a copywriter and a copywriter is not a website designer. You can expect to invest another $5K-$15K in a website designer and developer. If you’re looking for a brand designer to create your visual branding (logos, color palettes, typography, visual strategy, custom iconography, etc.) that can run you another $2K-$10K! 

Additional cost: Website design template and customizations (if DIYing) 

If you’re planning to use a website design template, that template will undoubtedly need to be customized to fit the copywriting. Most design templates aren’t designed with copy in mind. They might look stunning, but they rarely leave enough space for a realistic amount of copy, and they often lack important sections.

If you don’t want to break the template or mess with mobile optimization, you’ll need a designer who understands copy-by-design best practices. Many designers offer template styling or customization services using your template as a baseline.

(And in case you’re wondering, which comes first, copy or design? It’s ALWAYS copy, and here’s why.) 

Tips for Budgeting For A Website Copywriter

Define your needs

Start by defining your project goals and scope to ensure you get accurate quotes from copywriters. Next, you should research copywriters (or get referrals from other business owners) to get a ballpark estimate for how much your project will cost, adding on any additional expenses mentioned above. 

Do the ROI math

Next, calculate how many offers or products you need to sell in order to afford your project and keep your business running in the background.

Ask for payment plans

Most freelance copywriters and designers offer payment plans, so be sure to inquire about this option.

Complete the project in stages

You don’t have to do everything all at once, but order of operations matters! Doing things in the wrong order (say, having a designer build your website before you have copy) can cost you more in the long run. 

Here is your website project order of operations:

1) Brand Strategy (includes messaging) → 2) Copywriting → 3) Visual Branding → 4) Website Design → 5) Website Development

Prioritize essential content

You don’t need to have a copywriter craft a Podcast page if you aren’t planning to launch a podcast within the next 3-6 months. You don’t need a coming soon page for your courses. Be honest with yourself and ask whether or not you have the time and knowledge to start blogging consistently.

All these extra pages will increase the scope and cost of your project. Come back to your copywriter when you’re ready and prioritize the MVP (“minimum viable product”) pages first (typically your Homepage, About, Service(s), and Contact.

✏️When you’re ready to hire a freelance copywriter…

BRAND MESSAGING – A 4-day brand strategy intensive to help you dial in your brand and your messaging.

WEBSITE COPYWRITING – Let me articulate your brand story, co-create your brand messaging, and translate it into powerful web copy that converts.

SALES PAGE COPY – Long-form sales page copy that moves people to buy your courses and offers without giving them (and you) the ick.

COPY TUNE-UP + EDITING – Perfect for the DIYer on a budget. Button up your copy with a professional diagnosis and copy edits before hitting publish.


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