Ever wondered why some freelance writers can charge $1,000 for writing a 1,000-word blog post whilst others can only charge $30? It’s because they are selling a copywriting service, not a product.
Sure at the very low-end price-wise, you’re going to get poor grammar, poor flow, awkward construction, etc., but no one is going to pay you anything close to $1k for 1,000 words just because you can write well.
We’ll use blog posts as an example here as they have the most obvious ‘service augmentation’ opportunity but the same concept applies to all forms of copywriting.
Sell the Result, Not the Product
We’ve already discussed ways you can stack your skills to increase your income and success as a copywriter. But before you apply those skills you have to land jobs.
A common mistake most freelancers make is thinking they will be able to launch their career based on writing ability alone. Clients aren’t looking for the best-written blog posts; they’re looking for blog posts that promote engagement and conversion (turning viewers into customers). Freelancers who can provide those results are the ones who can charge the most.
How Do You Help Them Achieve Those Results?
Prove you can provide more value to a project than just the writing. Here are some examples of skills or knowledge that will appeal to potential clients:
If you’ve been in copywriting for a while, you’ve probably heard the term SEO. It stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and can be useful when selling yourself to clients.
SEO boils down to understanding how search engines/terms work and optimizing your blog content around them. It can take months or even years to become an SEO expert, but showing you know the basics can appeal to clients.
Backlinks are just a part of SEO, but worthy of their own category. A backlink is any link on one site that leads to a page on another.
When a search engine like Google sees that a page has a backlink, it places more value and credibility on that page. The more backlinks a site or page has, from high authority sites, the better its chances of ranking higher.
A lot of the time backlinks will be out of your hands. You can’t control which sites will link to your blog pages, but showing you have an understanding of backlinks can impress clients and get you chosen for more projects.
However, if you are well known in the niche you write for and can reach out to your industry contacts for citations in articles etc. then you may be able to score backlinks for the articles you write. This adds value to your service.
Of course, once you’ve put up a blog post where are you supposed to find all of the important SEO info on it? This is where analytics come in.
Google Analytics, by far the most widely used analytics tool, is a service that collects data about the traffic and audience of your site. You can see how long people are staying on your site, where they are looking, where they’re coming from, etc.
Using analytics shows that you aren’t just writing in a vacuum, you’re using real data to improve your content’s direction and achieve results.
Leverage Your Audience
It’s not something you can do right out of the gate, but having an audience from your past content can improve your chances of being hired.
Maybe your previous blog posts attracted a specific audience that a new client is looking to attract as well. You can show the analytics of your previous site as proof you can draw in the desired customer base.
Content marketing isn’t the same as copywriting, but the two aren’t completely separable either. Content marketing draws in and engages potential buyers with quality related content. Content can be anything from written posts, videos, pictures, or audio clips.
In this case, the topic of your blog posts is the content. You can offer up a few ideas for future blog posts to your clients to show your creativity and content marketing skill.
Increasingly, sites and blogs are using multimedia avenues to attract audiences. Video is one of the most prevalent examples.
For most people nowadays reading is a chore. Clients will be looking for copywriters who can also use videos as a tool to hold potential buyers’ attentions.
Public relations writing deals with larger marketing plans and campaigns, while copywriting enacts that plan. Copywriting and public relations writing work in different ways, but draw out each others’ strengths when used together.
Having PR writing skills will encourage clients to give you more control over their wider marketing strategies and increase the value of your service.
You can also bring tools to the table to make yourself more appealing to clients. They can also be a benefit in their own right as they make the writing process easier.
More often than not these tools will cost you, but if you can afford the monthly expense they are indispensable to your copywriting career.
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The connections you’ve made through your career and work projects can lead to more projects coming your way.
It’s important to temper your ask to how close you are with your connection, but often you’ll find they’re happy to help out a fellow freelancer in need!
You’ve lived an interesting life, and there will be some cases where you have special insight into a topic or audience. It could be a subject you studied in college, past job experience in the field, or even just having lived in an area related to the topic.
Leverage your niche knowledge. If a client knows that you have more experience with their audience or subject, they’ll be that much more likely to choose you over another writer.
How Should I Price My Copywriting Service?
There are a number of methods for pricing your copywriting service: per word, per hour, per project etc. There are benefits and downsides to each of these when constructing a quote for copywriting.
Beyond those methods, you should consider a number of things when pricing your service. You aren’t just charging for the words that end up on the page. Carefully consider the experience you bring to a project as well as the amount of time you’ll spend planning, brainstorming, researching, and editing.
You may not get it perfect right away, but you’ll get the hang of it if you make a goal of learning from each pricing experience.
Waltzing onto the copywriting stage believing you can wow any client with your writing alone is one of the most common mistakes made by new freelancers. Bringing even one of the skills or tools listed above will increase your hiring odds and allow you to charge more for your copywriting service.