How Much Does Content Writing Cost (Really)?

It is incredibly rare for a business or entrepreneur to have “no budget” in mind when it comes to their content marketing. Most of the time, my prospective clients ask “How much does content writing cost?” before they ask about my availability or publications.

And I can’t say that I blame them. Content marketing can monopolize a huge portion of your budget and you want to make sure that you can still afford to keep the lights on. But what many people don’t know, when they first ask about content writing costs, is that there are hidden costs (and rewards) that go with their content investment.

If you are a small business owner, entrepreneur, blogger, or content marketer, hopefully this will help you understand the full scope of your investment a little better.

Cost #1: The actual content writing

When people ask me “How much does content writing cost?” they assume it means a one-and-done price tag that will launch their website into the stratosphere. While great copy and content can elevate your business, brand, or message, it’s not the end of the road.

Hidden Costs: 
  1. Your freelance writer’s rates
  2. Editor’s rates (if you have one)
  3. Your website manager’s rates (if you have one)
  4. SEO research and keyword monitoring (which you DEFINITELY should do, if you don’t do this already)
  5.  Stock images, graphics software, etc.

You might be thinking, “I can do everything except write the content myself – for free,” and you may be right. However, that’s also time taken away from your own work. Time still equals money, after all.

Cost #2: Content marketing

Once your writer creates your amazing content, then you edit it, post it on your site (or other platform), monitor the keywords, and find a great image… you’ll be ready to call it a night. Can’t say I blame you. But you still have to market your content.

While fantastic content will speak for itself, it can’t make itself visible to your ideal audience – you (or your content marketer) have to do it.

Hidden Costs:
  1. Keyword research / SEO management (if you don’t do it yourself)
  2. Social media management platforms (HootSuite, SumoMe, etc.)
  3. Outreach / influencer networking
  4. Advertisements
  5. Email marketing platforms (MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc.)

Depending on how much of this you outsource to your virtual assistant, marketing manager, or do yourself, the prices may vary. There are tons of free software options out there, as well as very fair subscription rates if you want to save yourself time.

It’s important that you keep all of this in mind when you want to really grow your business through effective content marketing.

But now on to the good part:

How much of a return does content writing provide on my investment?

Saying “It takes money to make money” is one of the fastest ways to make me roll my eyes. I do not believe this is always true, but I don’t think it hurts to invest if you can. If you’re hiring a content writer (like me!), the content or copy I provide is going to give you at least 2x the overall cost of my services. How do I know this is true? Because content writing is designed to increase visibility and attract your target audience. 

So let’s say you pay a content writer $200 for a 1,000-word high-quality post. You should see a 2x profit within 2-3 months – about $400. While that may not seem high enough, that’s for one piece of content. Most gurus and experts recommend that you produce 1-3 blogs a week with a few other pieces of content thrown in. That could be a $1,200 profit on 3 blogs within a few months – assuming you’re properly marketing the content and creating a truly relevant, high-quality product.

Keep in mind, though, that this is only for the cost of the content writing! While I can’t speak to your own efforts in content marketing (as I specialize in web copy and content), I do know that you should always expect a return on any investment. That’s just smart business.

Hopefully, this hasn’t scared you off from attempting your content marketing campaign. Quite the opposite, I hope that you’re invigorated and excited by the prospect of making such massive returns. Stop asking, “How much does content writing cost?” and start thinking about how it can benefit you!

Better yet, I hope you’re ready to hire a content writer that’s actually going to help you grow your business, share your brand, and (of course) expand your profit margin.

Until next time…

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