Hiring a copywriter is kinda confusing, and there’s no one-size-fits-all way to do it.
Like any freelancer you hire, there’s this classic conundrum where you get to pick only two options:
If you want dirty-cheap prices (like $5.50 for an article), you’ll probably not get amazing quality. Duh.
If you want world-class copy from an experienced business person, you’ll have to drop some money on the problem. Generally starting between $5k and $10k for a small project, or an hourly rate of between $400 and $1,000/hour or more.
I’m going to explain how to get copy done for low as $5.50 per piece, or expensive as $25k per piece. Read on!
OPTION 1 ($): Find a cheap copywriter from a cheap freelancer platform.
This is how to get exxttrreemely cheap copywriting gigs done. However don’t expect super high quality.
$5.50 – $200 for a full piece of copy.
BEST USED FOR:
Hire these cheap copywriters if you just need the work done, and don’t care much about quality. For example: If you work for a roofing company, and the CEO says, “Ok Jimmy……let’s do somma this “content marketing” I’ve heard about. I want you to put out 5 random articles per week about roofing.”
If you don’t really know what to write, you can outsource a couple of these articles. You can probably get them done for around the $10 range or even less.
Fiverr.com is going to be more suited to these super-cheap copywriting gigs for blog articles because you can see samples of the persons previous work and also ratings.
However with Amazon Mechanical Turk you can get a mass amount of SMALL writing gigs done. This would include things like writing product descriptions, quick article summaries, descriptions of pictures. For example: If you have to describe 5,000 articles in a few sentences each, using Fiverr to hire someone to do it might take a while. However with Amazon Mechanical Turk you can distribute the task to hundreds or even thousands of people for tiny amounts each, such as this:
WHAT TO EXPECT:
I actually wrote an article about becoming a copywriter, and then had the same thing outsourced on Fiverr. You can see the difference between the two for yourself:
My own article on how to become a copywriter (15 hours of work myself), and here’s the same thing done on Fiverr (for just $5.50 and 24 hours of waiting time).
Honestly the $5.50 article wasn’t all that bad. I mean, it wasn’t mind-blowing or generating any new ideas…..but for $5.50 you shouldn’t have your expectations sky high.
I bet if you got the same gig on Fiverr done, but paid the guy $100……you could actually get a pretty damn reasonable article written. Once again, it’ll unlikely have brand-new concepts or anything, but it will be a decent article explaining a subject.
A low-level copywriter will generally just type words in a document. They won’t do much else. These cheap copywriters can serve certain purposes, but not all.
OPTION 2 ($$): Find someone just starting out, and train them.
This is going to be a slower process, but you can get someone for pretty cheap in the long run through this method.
Find someone starting out in the workforce, and train them. These people are just starting and have little experience, so they’re going to be cheap, but it will take some time to train them. The other downside is they may still be terrible even after you train them.
I’ve gotta admit I’ve had varied experience with this. Sometimes you find a diamond in the rough, and sometimes they just stay….rough.
By best advice is to find a person who ALREADY WRITES A BLOG. This way they’ve pre-proven they already like to make content, and they’re probably eager to get better. You can train these people in sales copy by buying them copywriting courses and books and getting them to write more articles, or training them yourself.
$10 – $25 /hour.
WHERE TO FIND PEOPLE TO TRAIN:
Look for people who have a blog already and love to write. Look for people who’ve done some writing before for previous jobs. Search Facebook groups in your niche.
For example: If I was looking to train a copywriter in Austin (where I live), I’d go on the Austin Startups Facebook Group and post something like this:
“Hey there! I run a big copywriting blog and business here in town, and want to get someone new on board as a junior copywriter. If you already love writing, and are curious to learn from a well-known copywriter, leave a comment below with your blog or sample writing. It doesn’t matter what niche. I’m just making sure you already love to write :)
Neville Medhora – Kopywriter
WHAT TO EXPECT:
This option might get you a great writer, but it also might get you a crappy one who can never get better. You may have to expect to cycle through 3 people before you find a hidden gem.
I think another thing you will have to expect is this: If this person gets a lot of attention for their writing after you train them well, they WILL eventually start to ask for more money or start taking side-gigs…..and around this time there’s a good chance they may want to leave.
Often enough, the very best writers are also great hustlers and ambitious people who may outgrow you. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s likely to happen at some point.
OPTION 3 ($$$): Find a freelancer through a higher quality freelancer platform.
Hiring a good-old freelance copywriter from a freelancer marketplace is a pretty decent way to get pretty decent copy written. The best part is you can specify what you want, and have multiple people bid on your project.
Some people will send you generic “I can do this” responses, and others will go out of their way to prove they are the right person for the job. People will also have varying prices they charge.
In this case, the ball is now in your court to select whomever you want.
$25 – $125 per hour
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
BEST USED FOR:
Writing good blog articles. Making a sales page. Finding someone who can do repeat work for you. Writing brochures. Writing any business copy needed.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Generally if you use a freelancer market place like UpWork.com and spend a reasonable amount of money, you can get some pretty good work done.
Some obvious pointers:
-Hire people with lots of good reviews.
-Hire people with lots of previous gigs on the platform.
If someone has lots of good reviews and lots of previous jobs, it’s usually a safe sign they’ll do a pretty good job for you.
OPTION 4 ($$$$): Find someone who writes the way you like, and pay them.
Find someone who you love reading, then hire them. This is often expensive if the person has a business already going.
$350 – $1,000/hour. For complete work, between $5,000 and $25,000 per project.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
Whoever writes your favorite blog posts or your whoever writes your favorite emails. You probably have 1 – 3 websites or email newsletters you always read. Identify those people, then reach out asking if they do consulting.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
A world class copywriter will not only type words, but will use their experience with their own business and experience with other clients to craft a message for you, tell you when to send that copy, how to style it, which audience it should go to, and overall business strategy.
When you DO need a copywriter:
Here are some reasons you might need a copywriter to give your copy a once-over:
- If everything you write sucks and you need some help.
- You are engineering-focused and your writing tends to be dry or too complex.
- You need an extra set of eyes to spot things you haven’t thought of.
- You’re lazy (or busy) and just want someone else to do the writing for you.
- If you’re launching a new business or product and you’re doing a traditional launch (Build Product + Make Promotions + Recruit Partners + Sell + Write all email copy + Write all sales page copy) …..you might actually need an extra set of hands to write some of that for you.
- You’re a business and no one on your team can write compelling copy, and you need someone to come in for a few weeks and help out.
When you DON’T need a copywriter:
A lot of people think that “having the right copywriter” will turn a shitty business into an amazing business. Trust me, I get emails all the time with people offering me a “business challenge” to turn their terrible company into an awesome company.
As Gary Halbert once said, “….why the hell would I want a challenge? I want to write for the easiest, most profitable, smoothest running company!”
Generally if there’s a company that’s failing miserably, there’s a 95% chance it’s failing for other reasons than “bad copy.”
If you’re having lots of trouble selling your product already, perhaps it’s not just the copy or marketing…..perhaps it’s just not as helpful of a product as you may think. This isn’t something a copywriter will solve immediately with a few keystrokes.
A lot of software companies place entirely too much emphasis on copy, when they should just be showing how awesome the actual product is.
If your product DOES something, such as a utility or software, it’s best just to show it in action using a video or gif images. Copy definitely helps, but sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words, and a video is worth 100,000 words. Here’s some sales page help in case you’re a software company and can get away with not hiring a copywriter.
Where you can find copywriters:
As mentioned in the article above, here are some places:
- Upwork.com – Marketplace to hire good freelance copywriters.
- Fiverr.com – Marketplace where people do stuff for $5.
- Post in your own network of people, or in local Facebook groups.
Download this post
Download this post for future reference on how to hire a copywriter:
–Depending what you need, you don’t need to spend a lot of $ on a copywriter–
–Send this doc to hiring managers so they know what to look for–
–Figure out where to find copywriters–
P.S. If you are a copywriter, and want some extra exposure, drop a link in the comments with your information such as:
- Your name.
- Your specialty (please limit to a max of three specific categories you love writing for).
- Your contact info (Either phone number, twitter, website, LinkedIn, carrier pigeon address etc).
P.P.S. Also let me know what questions about hiring a copywriter you have. I will answer everything!