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.
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%
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
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
The 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
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:
- How to Write a Copywriting Brief that Doesn't Suck
- 5 Reasons Why you Need a Tone of Voice
- Why you Need an Audience Avatar / Buyer Persona
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.