Copywriting costs: why putting a quote together takes time

Written by Helen Selby

We’re always happy to take an impromptu phone call to resolve an issue or get a quick response to a question. But costing prospective copywriting projects takes a little longer. To provide an accurate quote, we have to find a few things out first.

The information needed to quote accurately

Creating a precise project quote means sitting down and defining all the elements involved, and how long each of them is likely to take. Different options require different levels of effort and time, which impacts overall costs.

Let’s use a full rewrite of a website as an example. Our list may include:

Required pages 

Once we know how many pages of content we'll be writing, we can cost per page, tweaking slightly where some pages will take more effort than others. For example, homepage content usually needs more time than contact page content. If it’s a new site, we’d look at a sitemap here rather than an old version of the website.

Source material

Will we be using the current site content to guide the new copy? Will we be carrying out research ourselves? Or will we be scheduling chats with the subject experts? All important questions to ask before solidifying a quote.

The briefing process

A brief may have already been created, or we might have to define it. We may include a few different stakeholders in this, or we may just pencil-in a meeting with whoever is leading the project. It may also be helpful for us to create a reverse brief, which takes a little bit of extra time at the start, but can simplify things in the long run.

Copy goals

We may need to help create an SEO strategy, or work with keyword research from an SEO agency the client have already onboarded. Or, the focus may be to revise the tone of voice, in which case, we'll need to factor in work to help shape that. Different goals come with specific tasks.

Business goals

How will we measure the success of the project? The client may want to increase the amount of customers signing up for a service, sell more of a certain product, or simply boost traffic to their site. 

These are the main factors. We also always include proofing and amends as standard. 

Why we don’t give quotes on-the-spot

Some freelancers and agencies charge by the page, or even by the hour. We’d always rather charge by the project. 

Experience has taught us how long certain tasks will take. For example, we know that writing a few taglines can sometimes take longer than writing a 500-word article.

Ultimately? We’ve always costed projects with integrity. We’re open with clients, new and old, about what the price entails and display costs clearly on the quote we send. Nothing is hidden. 

Next steps in copywriting 

If it's words you're after – you're in the right place. Send us your brief and we'll get in touch with a quote for your copywriting job.