Copywriting Rates: What do Copywriters Charge in 2017?

When it comes to working with a copywriter, the big elephant in the room is money: what are copywriting rates in 2017? (Related reading: Does Copywriting Cost Money?) If you’ve never worked with a copywriter, or any freelancers for that matter, then you may be unsure about what is a fair copywriting rate for your project. You will want to know whether the quote you’ve received is reasonable, and reflects the market rate. In this post I share the average copywriting rates, and other copywriting-based results from the Professional Copywriters Network’s annual survey.

Download the Survey Report Here

In the interest of openness, here is some information about my own pricing:

What is the Professional Copywriters Network?

Before I start talking figures, I want to tell you about the Professional Copywriters Network who produced this survey. First, the PCN (of which I am a member) is the closest thing we copywriters have to a trade union in the UK. It is a paid membership organisation that offers help and guidance to commercial writers, and works to build the reputation of copywriting as a profession.

Summary

Here are the highlights from the survey:

  • The average freelance day rate is £339
  • Pay-per-word pricing is the least popular method (1%)
  • In-house copywriters get to spend the most time working with words
  • The gender pay gap is 29%

Survey background

The survey was completed by 538 copywriters in the UK, with a combined experience of 5,938 years.

Their ages ranged between 20 and 75. 

58% of respondents were female, while 41% were male.

The survey found that 71% of UK copywriters worked full-time (29% part-time).

68% of UK copywriters are generalists, with 32% specialising.

Copywriting rates 2017: Pricing Models

PCN-survey-2017-copywriting-pricing-modelsPCN-survey-2017-pricing-model

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of UK copywriters work to a daily or hourly rate or a project fee. Only 7% of UK copywriters work on a pay-per-word basis.

However, the survey showed that very few UK copywriters preferred to work on a pay-per-word model. I've talked about my pricing models in this post.

I work on a project fee basis as I feel this offers the best value for my clients.

Copywriting rates 2017: Daily Rates

PCN-survey-2017-locationThe survey picked up on a broad range of daily rates charged by UK copywriters. The highest fee charged was £1,800 per day, while the lowest was just £100. This averaged out at £339 per day.

When you break this down by region, there is a big variation in the daily rates charge. UK copywriters working internationally, in Wales or London charge higher daily rates on average. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire & Humber are the regions where UK copywriter daily rates are lowest.

Copywriting Rates 2017: Price Aspiration

As well as looking at what the market was currently charging, the survey asked about what UK copywriters wanted to offer as a daily rate – in other words, how they valued their own work.

Bearing in mind an average daily rate of £339, UK copywriters said they aspired to earn on average £434 per day – more than £100 more than what they are currently charging.

Advice for clients

Common problems with briefs - PCN Survey 2017

The survey also revealed areas where UK copywriters would like more help from their clients when undertaking copywriting projects. 44% of UK copywriters said that briefs often lacked basic information, while 41% said they contained insufficient guidance on tone of voice. More than a third said that briefs did not contain enough information on target audiences.

These make it harder for a copywriter to write for your business, meaning that content is not as effective, and can take longer to complete. Here are some posts I've written on this subject:

Conclusions

Hopefully this survey has given you some insight into what UK copywriting rates are in 2017. That being said, you can see that there is a large variation across the country in terms of the daily rate charged. However, having read this I hope you feel more comfortable making a decision when you next receive a copywriting quote.

Neal Brown
 

Neal is a freelance copywriter and consultant helping small business owners find their voice and be heard in a noisy marketplace.

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