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« I Want to Pay You $50 | Main | How to Avoid Personal Email from Being Overlooked »

June 04, 2007


Tom Chandler

Damn you Healy! I'm halfway through a "How to charge" post of my own.

You'll pay for your insolence. Somehow.

Ryan Healy

Tom - I think that's the funniest comment I've ever read on my blog!

I love your sense of humor.

Looking forward to your new post. ;-)

Chris O'Byrne

This mindset applies to so many other areas in addition to copywriting. I think I see this even more with web design where everyone has a family member that "knows" how to create a website. They figure that if their nephew can throw one together in an afternoon, that you should be able to do it in even less time for next to nothing. It takes a benefits-oriented approach to explain web standards, seo, online marketing, and so on.

Thanks for bringing this topic up!

Joseph Ratliff


Nicely done. You have hit on a topic that deserves a blog all by itself in my opinion.

The "part time" entrepreneur.

You can certainly be a part - time copywriter, graphic designer etc...

But don't act like it.

I repeat, don't act like it.

Your a business professional, so even if you have a "full - time" income from another job etc... you still need to command fees that are worth your level of expertise. (I would challenge that working for someone else can NEVER give you a true full time income).

Don't price yourself like an amateur. Period.

If business owners can find a bunch of "part timers" that are acting like "part timers" when they price their actually devalues the entire field of copywriting, graphic design, etc...

Treat your part - time business as a full - time business...who knows? Maybe it will become your first "real" income stream.

Joseph Ratliff

Andrew Cavanagh

1. You shouldn't be "bidding" on anything.

If that happens too often it means you're not niching yourself effectively and you're not following up with prospects who approach you effectively.

2. If you price by the hour you deserve to get paid peanuts.

I don't know of any highly skilled direct response copywriter who charges by the hour.

Your clients want a salesletter that sells...not an employee.

3. Don't even get me started on quoting by the page.

When someone says to me "I want a 5 page salesletter written" I just reply "How do you know it needs to be 5 pages?"

I don't even know how long a salesletter needs to be until AFTER I've written it.

It's a sales presentation and it needs to be long enough to make the sale to a real live prospect.

And you can't know how long that is until you've done a significant portion of the research and writing required.

4. Obviously you should quote by the project.

And I 100% agree that if you're hiring a copywriter and you go for the lowest bidder you should expect to get a steaming pile of crap in return.

It is my observation that most copywriters have very little idea of effective marketing or even an understanding of business.

All of my high paying clients are paying me because I have spent many years learning the ins and outs of business and marketing in the real world.

If you really want to understand business and marketing I highly recommend you read Jay Abraham (free report at )and you start developing some friendships with real, live bricks and mortar business people.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

Ryan Healy

Andrew - All points well taken. I appreciate them.

1. I don't bid on any projects. I only quote projects to leads who've expressed an interest in working with me.

2. I don't quote jobs by the hour. (Though I have provided on-the-phone marketing consultations by the hour.)

3. I don't quote jobs by the page.

4. I always quote jobs by the project.

Still, for some copywriters, the ideas I've shared here are worth testing.

Note: After you've quoted a job by the project, and completed it, you can back into an hourly rate and per page rate.

I think it's helpful to know these numbers.

Diane Clancy

I am several part-time things all adding up to more than full-time. I am an artist, but also a graphic designer and webs designer. No salary in sight!

I specialize in working closely with clients who want a lot of creative control and input. Most designers don't like that niche, but I prefer it.

I do price by the hour because there tends to be tons of meetings, calls and emails - this way I get paid for the time I put in working with the client.

Many of my clients are either artists or activists who want control - makes me happy, makes them happy.

I am not happy when I hear people working for $20 an hour for web design ... but I won't - even if then a job doesn't come my way.

I am trying to get better at pricing by the job - but it those changes and more changes and more changes that make me happy by the hour ...

My two cents ...

~ Diane Clancy

Tracey "Word Doctor" Dooley

It all comes to down to value.

You VALUE your time. You VALUE your talent, skill set and business acumen. You VALUE the results you can bring to your clients. Or at least you should. ;-)

Too many people undervalue themselves – and the jobs they're delivering. That can only end up in disaster.



Mike Jezek

If you're pricing too low, then you'll attract the deadbeats. And you don't want to work with deadbeats!

tower defense

You still need to command fees that are worth your level of expertise. I would challenge that working for someone else can NEVER give you a true full time income.


I usually price by hour. works best imo.


price by project.

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