How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Content Writer?

December 10, 2021 DJ Team

cost to hire a content writer

The right words can make or break a website session. If your website content isn’t converting as well as you’d like, or if you need to scale content or launch a new website, consider hiring a content writer.

A good content writer will understand your target persona and will write to match the voice and tone of your brand. They also understand the big picture of SEO and digital marketing, so they can craft their content to guide readers along the sales funnel.

 

So how much does a marketing content writer make? This blog will go into more detail about that.

How Much Does a Content Writer Cost?

Content writer pricing depends first on whether you hire them as a full-time employee or as a contractor.

If you are hiring a full-time employee, the average base pay for a content writer in the United States is $47,752 annually, according to Glassdoor. Your actual cost as an employer will be higher because of benefits, taxes, and office space or stipends. 

How much does it cost to hire a content writer?

Content writer pricing depends first on whether you hire them as a full-time employee or as a contractor.

If you are hiring a full-time employee, the average base pay for a content writer in the United States is $48,715 annually, according to Glassdoor. Your actual cost as an employer will be higher because of benefits, taxes, and office space or stipends.

 

You can also hire a content writer through a staffing agency, by working with a marketing or content agency, or by working directly with a freelance content writer. Hiring a content writer through a staffing agency requires a similar hourly rate as a regular employee, but you will need to factor in the fee of the staffing agency, whether benefits are provided, and whether you or the staffing agency will provide them.

How much do content writers make per hour?

The average hourly rate for a content writer in the U.S. is $22.96, but it could range anywhere from $6.72-$282.72 per hour, according to Glassdoor

For freelance writers working as independent contractors, their earnings equal the total of their fees minus their expenses in doing business (home office equipment, software, business taxes, etc). They can charge a higher rate than an employee because they need to cover these costs. According to a MakeALivingWriting.com study, almost one-third of freelance writers earn less than $20 per hour while 17% earn $50-$75 per hour, and 10% earn more than $76 per hour. 

Because freelance content writers set their own rates, there can be a wide range. There are many factors that go into pricing calculations for content writers. These include:

  • Experience
  • Niche or industry
  • Volume of work
  • Research required

For example, a writer can create a niche in a field like healthcare, pets, or finance. Content managers will pay more because the content will be highly specialized and more valuable. Research required for content writing such as interviews or reviews can also increase the price of an article because it takes more time. The same is true of longer articles and blogs. As blogs become more popular, writers are getting paid more for this type of content than articles. 36% of freelance writers earn more writing shorter, casual blogs, whereas only 19% earn more writing long-form, formal articles. 

It is important to note that not all freelance writers charge per hour, as we will discuss below. Many freelance writers, too, only write part-time and do not rely on it as their main income source. 45%  of respondents to a Make a Living Writing survey fell into this category. About 46% of respondents blamed not knowing how to find good clients as their reason for not making more money with their freelance content. The survey also found that most freelance writers rely on referrals to find that type of work.



Hiring a freelance writer

Working with a freelance writer can help you scale your content or add expertise where your team is lacking. Freelance writers have several different pricing models that you may encounter:

Hourly

Writers track their time and are paid based on time instead of work delivered. As freelancers, writers are still considered independent contractors even if paid hourly.

Per word

A carryover from the journalism industry, the content writing cost-per-word model prices an article based on the number of words in the final piece. How much does a content writer charge per word? Typical per-word pricing can range from $0.05-$1.50 per word.

Project flat rate

With flat project pricing, content writers and their clients agree to a fixed price for a scope of work. This model helps companies with fixed budgets to estimate costs better since exact word counts and hourly estimates fluctuate for each project.

Retainer

With recurring work, content writers may propose a retainer agreement. A retainer is a contract for a set period of time where the freelancer will provide recurring services on a set invoice schedule (usually monthly). For example, a freelancer could bill upfront each month to provide four blog articles to a client.

How do you price content writing?

As we’ve covered, there’s a wide range of acceptable rates and payment models for content writing. If you are hiring a full-time employee, you should have an idea of how much content you’d like them to produce and how much marketing value that will bring in over the course of a year.

For many companies, working with a freelancer offers more flexibility with less overhead. Some freelance content writers have set rates, while others will be open to your pricing. Here are a few questions to help guide your website content writing cost and best payment model:

  • What is your budget?
  • Are you looking for writers with direct experience in your industry?
  • Will you do the content strategy including SEO research and content calendar, or do you want the writer to?
  • How many revisions do you expect and want the writer to be available to do?

The more expertise required and the larger the scope of work is, the more expensive the cost will be. Do some research in your industry to see if you can find average rates in your niche. If you can’t find much information on rates in your industry, put together an RFP and ask writers to send you proposals.

The right website content can drive traffic, build an audience, and boost conversions and sales. When a content writer does their job right, their content will continue to deliver value for months or even years.

Perhaps the question should be, how much does it cost to not hire a content writer?

There are many content marketing firms that specialize in writing content for companies and businesses. Here at DemandJump, we have a content team that specializes in copywriting and SEO content writing. Our tools help professional content writers and marketers streamline their content production and reach their audience with relevant keywords. We help you create a pillar-based strategy to boost website traffic and even sales. Get instant insights into your audience with a free trial. 

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