Why read this? : We look at the business value of writing. We start with freelance copywriting fees to get an idea of cost. Then, we explore the value this writing adds to your business. Read this to learn how to calculate the cost and value of writing for your business.
In fact, we’ve been adding new, and updating existing guides and articles about writing to our site.
But one theme which kept coming out of all this new content was the ‘value’ of writing.
For example, in our quick and easy copywriting tips article we talk about hiring a freelancer. You usually do this when you don’t want to spend money on an agency. And looking at the writing services on freelancer site Fiverr, made us think about the business value model which underpins professional writing.
Freelance copywriter segments
On Fiverr, there are 3 different segments of writers.
First, the entry-level writers who give away their services for very low prices. We saw one writer offering 500 words at A$7.64.
Knowing how long it takes to write 500 words, this would be less than the Australian minimum wage.
But more realistically, the relatively new and value-driven offers seem to range around the A$45 to A$140 mark for 500 to 1,000-word blog articles.
Most writers in this area seem to be from countries where the cost of living is relatively low. So we assume this pay level works well for them. Nigeria and Pakistan seem to feature quite heavily.
There’s then a segment of more experienced writers (based on the number of reviews) who mainly seem to be from countries like the US and the UK.
Here living costs are higher, and so are the prices. These writers charge more like $450 for a 1,000-word blog up to around $1,200 for a 2,500-word blog.
The final segment of writers offers more strategic writing services. (We’re wary of people calling themselves strategists). They can create copywriting manuals and guides for your website, for example. Or do more technical writing jobs like user manuals. Their prices vary from $300 up to $2,500+ per project.
Our point isn’t about the quality of these services. It’s more to note the wide variance in prices. When there’s such a wide variance in what you can pay for writing, it makes it harder to put a value on how much it’s worth to your business.
Writing from a business owner's point of view
We’re lucky we can look at the value of writing in 2 ways. We can look at it as writers, and also as business owners.
Whether you’re spending $7.64 or $2,500 for someone to write for you, that’s still your money you’re investing in your business.
So you still want to have a business target or value in mind to justify that spend.
If we were paying someone $2,500 for a blog article, we’d want to be clear on the return we were getting from that.
Let’s say the article was to support our coaching and consulting business. We’d assume we’d also need to promote the article to get enough people to read it.
Say we put an additional $250 into LinkedIn advertising. And we bid $5 CPC to get 50 clicks based on a 2% conversion rate i.e. one potential client who hires us for a project.
If that article generated interest from a client who then engaged us on a project, we’d have a target number of hours we’d need to do with that client before we started making a return on our writing investment.
Working on an hourly rate of A$250, that’s 11 hours of work (the $2,500 writing cost plus the $250 ad spend) we’d need to generate before we made a profit from that piece of writing.
Of course, doing that piece of work also generates word of mouth which potentially generates future sales. It helps boost SEO so more people find us.
But you get the gist of where we’re going. There are ways to work out the actual value of writing.
Connecting writing and business ownership
We’ve not come across too many copywriters or marketing agencies who make this sort of connection to the value of writing.
Most writers focus on their writing skills. Necessary, yes. But is it enough for business owners who may not know what good writing looks like?
As potential ‘clients’ for writing, a writer who could tell us how much revenue their writing could add to our business? Well, that would make them stand out from the writing crowd.
The value of our writing
And you’ve written with enough thought around length and structure to make it highly readable.
We also cover SEO writing where the ‘value’ of increasing the chances of your audience finding your writing is clear. Using the right search tools to tailor your writing also makes it more likely your writing will create a stronger connection with your audience. And just the basics of making your content damn readable? Well, that’s something everyone should spend more time doing. Poorly written content isn’t great for anyone.
And finally, from a practical point of view, we cover sales copy. Here the value of writing becomes super-clear. Whether it’s the clarity and consistency of your product description and product pages. Or the way you create an emotional connection or sales trigger with your customer at the point of purchase.
So, we’d encourage you to read this sales section sooner rather than later. It adds the most value out of all our writing content. Particularly the section on creating a sense of urgency. (See also our behavioural science and design psychology articles for more on using creative skills to influence customer behaviour).
Final words on writing (for now)
We believe writing is a valuable skill which can add value to businesses.
And that, apart from a last quote to highlight the value of being concise, is our final word on writing (for now).