The awkward issue of pricing

Pricing: that thing everybody wants answers to, but far fewer people seem to want to ask about.

I’m writing this after two prospects ghosted me. Both after receiving my quote. They’d seemed keen up to that point, so it seems highly likely that money was the issue.

But it feels uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Talking about money.

So we went our separate ways and said no more about it.

Surely, there has to be a better way

I wondered, how could I prevent this from happening again? How could I stop things from getting so far down the line and ending so awkwardly?

What would happen if I just took all those awkward, uncomfortable, cringe-inducing questions and answered them in a blog?

Straight up. Full transparency. No skirting around it. Would that deter some of the people who can’t, or don’t want to, pay what I’m charging?

And so, here it is.

Get ready to wince — or feel enlightened!

My pricing FAQs — answered!

Why have you increased your prices?

I had a major price hike in March 2021 and it was long overdue.

At that point I was inundated with clients, working seven days a week just to keep on top of it all and fast approaching burnout.

Not only that, but my numbers weren’t working. Even though I thought I’d set myself a salary, I was way off being able to achieve it. My business, as it was, was unsustainable — and I had to make a change.

So I did what anyone should do in that situation: I called in an expert to help me sort it all out.

Janine Coombes was amazing and knew exactly what to do. When we started working together, I could see that my timing was out — way out! Projects were routinely taking 2-3 times longer than I was quoting for them.

I now have a proper spreadsheet in place that calculates everything for me. My current charges take account of the time I’m spending and the value I’m providing to give me a wage that will help me to earn a proper living without burning myself out.

What do you charge?

I’m transparent about my pricing and have most of my ‘price from’ charges on my website.

Blogging packages

My package prices are summarised below:

  • Write it Yourself from £625
    Content planning, ideas and SEO article outlines
  • Plan it Yourself from £1,750
    Article research, article writing and SEO
  • Done for You from £2,099
    Content planning, ideas, article research, article writing and SEO.

You’ll find a full breakdown of these packages on my Content Writing page.

I’ve also written an articles detailing how blogging works for your business and my content writing process, so you can see exactly how it works and the value you’ll be getting.

SEO website copywriting

My SEO website copywriting service is intended to help your website rank higher on Google.

It starts from £350 per page.

I also offer:

  • Website copy editing, from £225 per page
  • Website copy critiques, from £150 per page
  • SEO keyword research, from £75 per page
  • Custom micro copy, priced according to your brief.

If you have questions about SEO copywriting, you should find the answers in my SEO copywriting FAQs.

Website auditing

My website auditing service is a troubleshooting exercise, designed to help you understand why your website isn’t working for you.

Prices start at £450, which is considerably less than the cost of a new website.

To find out more about what’s involved, you can read all about my website auditing service.

What are your rates and how are they calculated?

My rates follow the guidance of the ProCopywriters Network, which runs a yearly survey to determine what freelance copywriters are charging.

The average day rate for freelance copywriters in the UK is currently £433.

I’m slightly under that, with a day rate of £375.

Why are you so expensive?

Based on the results of the ProCopywriters’ Survey 2023, I’m not the most expensive copywriter you can hire, but I’m not the cheapest either.

I’m a senior copywriter with 20 years’ professional writing experience and more than 14 years’ experience in SEO copywriting and content writing, which is what I specialise in.

I command high prices because my knowledge, experience and services are high-value, results-driven and will contribute to the success of your website and/or blog.

Or in other words, because I’m worth it! (Sorry, L’Oréal!)

How do I know I’ll get good value for money?

When you work with me, you’ll get a professional with a wealth of knowledge, who’s trained in best practice and has also learned from experience.

To ensure my service offers you value for money, I will:

  • Only work with a limited number of clients at a time
  • Give you as much advice and guidance as you need
  • Provide everything your project needs (within my remit).

What if the service is not what I expected?

There’s the potential for misunderstandings in any creative partnership. I’ve tried to mitigate those and manage your expectations by creating a series of articles that explain the way I work and detail my processes.

You’ll find all of these on my blog or by following the links below:

10 Good reasons to work with me >>

11 Reasons why I’m not the right copywriter for you >>

Everything you need to know about my content-writing process >>

Everything you need to know about my website audit service >>

What you should know about SEO copywriting >>

Why you’re not ready for SEO website copywriting >>

If you have more questions, you’re more than welcome to ask.

Why do you need 50% or 100% upfront?

For projects under £500, I require full payment upfront. For projects over £500, I require a 50% deposit with the remaining 50% to be paid at the end of the project.

It’s standard practice to pay a percentage upfront when you’re working with a freelancer — especially if it’s for the first time. There are several reasons for this, but the main ones are that it:

  • Shows you’re committed to the project
  • Keeps you invested and engaged
  • Means we both take a share of the risk
  • Keeps my cashflow… flowing!

And if you think about this, it makes sense. You wouldn’t expect a supplier to deliver a product without paying for it first, so why would you expect credit from a service provider you just started working with?

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes. I can split your fixed quote into three installments, with an upfront deposit and two smaller payments to be paid at specified intervals.

The minimum commitment for a payment plan is £1,500.

If you’re interested, let me know before I quote for the work and I’ll make sure it’s included on your quotation form.

Is it true you’re charging for consultations now?

Yes. But I’m not talking about an informal chat that I haven’t prepared for.

I’m talking about a valuable exchange of information where we talk about your problem or project, look at the possible solutions and discuss the best way forward.

Before your consultation, I’ll ask for some basic information so I can do the necessary research and get myself up to speed. This means that when we talk, I’ll have answers and ideas ready to share with you.

A one-hour consultation costs £100.

Incidentally you can find everything you need to know about my charges and processes in the Working with me section of my blog.

And you’re charging for proposals too?

Yes. But it’s not really a proposal — it’s an SEO website blueprint, which is something completely different.

The blueprint applies to new websites where we’re using an SEO keyword strategy to guide the configuration of the site. Using an SEO keyword strategy in this way helps us to follow the money, structuring the site to prioritise higher volume keywords with less competition from other websites.

The specialist research to create a proposal like this this is intensive. And the result is a fully-thought-out website blueprint to maximise your success. This is valuable stuff and I can’t justify spending days to create it just to then, potentially, give it away for free.

The cost of the blueprint starts at £500.

Of course, once it’s paid for, it will be yours to use as you wish — but hopefully working with me.

Why don’t you offer free samples?

Working for free, when I have clients who are willing to pay me, just doesn’t make any sense.

If you need to see samples of my work, there are plenty. You can read them on my blog, in my portfolio, or by asking me.

If the project is a good fit, I’ll be happy to do a paid sample. These are charged at my normal rate and require a 100% payment upfront.

Why don’t you offer discounts?

Each project is carefully costed in a fair way that covers the time, expertise and value that goes into it.

Discounting devalues all that and changes the conversation. Instead of talking about how my work will add value to your business, we turn to talking about how much it’s costing your business.

If your primary concern is cost and not value, we’re probably not going to be a good fit.

How do you quote projects?

The quote you receive will define the scope of the project and give you a fixed price upfront. This will show you exactly how much you’ll need to pay, so you can plan your budget.

The price will include all work specified in the quote. And each project has two rounds of complimentary revisions, so you can make any necessary changes.

Providing the brief and project scope don’t change and the project is completed in line with my terms and conditions, the amount you’re quoted will be the only price you pay.

Your quote will be valid for one month from the date it’s provided.

Is there a chance the fixed price could increase?

There are some things your fixed price won’t cover:

  • Additional work not covered by the quote
  • Changes to your original brief
  • Revisions after the final draft
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered in the quote.

If the fixed price is likely to increase, I’ll let you know beforehand and before I do the work.

Do you still have questions?

I’ve tried to answer most of the common and awkward questions here, but if there’s anything missing and you still need an answer, you contact me directly. Simply send your question using my contact form and I’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as I possibly can.

Photo by Matt Glover Photography