How much does a website copywriter cost?

Everything you need to know about hiring a web content writer in 2024

Why, hello there! You’ve decided to include copywriting in your next website proposal (confetti cannon explodes! 🎉). You’re sick of relying on clients to provide their own website copy and you think that partnering with a reliable writer is the right next step.

You start reaching out to writers to get quotes and… you’re stumped. Some ask for peanuts ($10/hour? Is that legal?) while others seem to be charging sums you previously thought were outrageous.  You have no idea who is charging a fair rate for good work. And all you really want to know is, how much does a website copywriter cost?

Well thank goodness you’re here. We’ve crafted the definitive guide to budgeting for your new website content writer. Once you’ve finished reading this post, we hope you’ll understand different copywriting quotes, and can enter into your search with confidence!

1. How much does the average website copywriter cost?

If you’ve started your hunt already, you might already know that there can be a wide variance when it comes to copywriter rates. The Clever Copywriting School publishes a definitive guide to copywriting rates in Australia each year. Their hourly rates vary from $70 for a junior writer to over $190 for a senior. If you dig a little deeper into their numbers, you’ll see that the difference in rates is due to a number of factors, such as:

  • The copywriter’s experience level and skillset
  • Whether they’re a freelancer or work within an agency
  • Whether they’re in demand, and have a long waitlist
  • Their location (for example, you may find that a Brisbane or Gold Coast copywriting agency like us is a little cheaper than Melbourne or Sydney agencies)
  • The type of content (for example, a 400-word blog post will cost significantly less than a 400-word landing page)
  • Their level of education — whether they’re a qualified writer or not
  • Their turnaround times.

Average website copywriting costs

According to The Clever Copywriting School, for a standard five-page website, Australian copywriters charge the following rates:

  • Juniors (0-2 years experience): $1,200-$2,800
  • Mids (2-4 years): $2,300-$3,900
  • Seniors (4+ years): $2,600-$4,500.

2. Should I pay my copywriter a fixed price, an hourly rate or by the word?

For websites, most copywriters will provide you with a quote that encompasses the entire project (a fixed fee). Most agencies and studios we work with prefer a fixed agreement so that they know exactly how much they will be charged at the end of the project — regardless of the time our writers spent working on it.

Some of our agencies request that we provide an hourly rate and charge them at the conclusion of the project. We’re always happy to do this, but still provide our partner agencies with a rough time estimate so they have a general idea of how much the project will cost.

Finally, some copywriters (particularly overseas writers or those with a journalism background) may quote you by the word. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance of Australia (MEAA) recommends a rate of $1 per word for agreements of this nature. We don’t recommend you agree to a quote of this nature. It incentivises your writer to write longer copy. Often short, sharp copy will perform much better than long, waffly paragraphs.

3. I’ve got the quote and it seems high. How can I make sure I’m not being ripped off?

Once a copywriter has understood your brief and provided you with a proposal, you need to decide whether the copywriter is the right fit for your studio, your client, and your budget. As we mentioned above, there are a few variables you’ll want to consider in order to properly assess the quote:

  1. Experience — is the copywriter brand new to the biz, or have they been writing for businesses like yours for decades? Newbies will charge less, but they might be a little trickier to work with. You might also find yourself unsatisfied with the final product, which could put your studio’s reputation in jeopardy or leave you scrambling to organise a rewrite at the eleventh hour.

  2. Wait times — the proposal should provide you with a general idea of when the copywriter will be able to get to work on your project. If you realise you’ll be waiting months to see a first draft, you might want to keep looking.

  3. Inclusions — when comparing proposals, you’ll want to look at what the fee actually covers. This includes things like rounds of revisions, proofreading, research and meetings.

  4. Similar projects — has the writer completed any similar briefs before? Other than testing their skills, this is the best way to ensure you’re hiring a writer you can trust to deliver the goods.

If you’re still not sure whether you’re getting ripped off, shop around. Request a few quotes from a few different copywriters and compare the proposals, apples for apples. If you’re getting wildly different rates, ask to see a sample of their work to see if you like how they write. You could also ask for the contact details of a previous copywriting client to talk your project over to see if they’d be a good fit.

And remember — you usually get what you pay for.

4. What should I do if the copywriter I want to work with is out of my budget?

It happens all the time. The copywriting quote is just a little high and you just simply can’t stretch your client’s budget to accommodate it — BUT you really loved the proposal and want to work with the copywriter. Thankfully, if you’re working with a professional (and you are, right?), they might be able to work out a solution that benefits you and ensures your copywriter can keep paying their bills!

Some solutions we’ve implemented here at Heydays include:

  • Reducing the scope of the project to fit the budget
  • Providing a discount for projects paid in full
  • Creating a six-month payment plan that suits the client’s cashflow
  • Crafting the client’s tone of voice, key messaging and homepage copy and then providing them with guidelines so they can write the remainder of the copy themselves.

The final word

Finding the right copywriters is essential for any studio looking to create great work. Ultimately, you need a website copywriter who will:

  • provide a great service for your clients
  • get your work finished within a reasonable timeframe
  • communicate promptly while sticking to deadlines.

And yes, these copywriters will be more expensive. A junior copywriter who will provide a basic service might save you money initially but will take more time, and, at the end of the day, you may not be satisfied with the final project.

If you’re looking for an experienced website content writer who will bring your brand to life, then let’s chat.

Not quite sure whether we’re the right fit for your business? Take a look at what some of our previous copywriting clients have to say about working with us.

I think we could be a great fit. Do you?