Judging by the popularity of our blog post about how much social media marketing costs, people are very interested in how much agencies and freelancers charge to manage social media.
In fact, that post is currently ranking #1 in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) for a variety of keywords associated with that phrase.
So we decided to write a post about how much professional web content writing costs.
This pricing guide has been updated for 2018, and will tell you how much it costs to outsource landing pages, blog posts, press releases and other web content — both for our agency and in general. We did quite a bit of research, so you won’t have to!
- How Much Does Web Content Writing Cost?
- How Much Does Content Strategy Cost?
- How Much Do Other Writing Services Cost?
- How Much Does Online SEO Training Cost?
- Web Content Writing and SEO Pricing Table
How Much Does Web Content Writing Cost?
There are many different types of web content writing, each with different price points. Most of our web content writing services involve one of the following:
1. Landing pages involve writing content like you see on our home, about and services pages.
They should have distinct calls to action, include the SEO keywords you’re trying to target and be somewhere in the range of 250-450 words long (depending on the design of the site). The purpose of landing pages is to convert browsers to buyers, and having amazing content can make a huge difference in your conversion rates.
Poorly written content can seriously affect your sales. Landing pages are the most difficult to write out of all the web content, which is why they’re so expensive.
2. SEO blog posts are one of the easiest ways to increase your website traffic.
They drive SEO, fuel social media marketing campaigns and are a good way to introduce people to your brand. Blog posts give people a reason to visit your website, and once readers are there they tend to click around a little. In a directly indirect way, blog posts drive sales — or at least, they do when they’re written correctly.
To see what it takes to write a blog post that ranks in SERPs and converts site visitors into buyers, read our guide to writing blog posts that convert.
3. Mini blog posts – like regular blog posts, only e-mailed to the client as a Word file.
Most of our clients have us post the posts directly to their websites (we include relevant tags/categorization, social bookmarking and other extras), which saves them time and costs them more money. Choosing the mini blog post option takes the client a little more time, but saves them some cash. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.
4. Link bait and “in-depth” articles – like standard SEO blog posts, only twice the length and hyped up on awesome.
Designed to go viral, link bait articles tend to be provocative in one way or another. There’s a huge amount of effort and talent involved in writing link bait articles, but the traffic payoff is often worth the per-word rate.
So, how much does all this web content writing cost? It’s hard to say, because most companies don’t advertise their prices. Here’s what we were able to find out, though:
How Much Do Landing Pages Cost?
Landing page content is where you want to drop your money, since it acts as your website’s silent salesman.
If your web content is coming off like a sweaty and desperate used car salesman, it’s not going to convert and your sales are going to suffer. Who cares if you’re getting a ton of traffic if none of it is converting into actual sales? With that said, how many Benjamins should you expect to throw at your website copy?
“Your website #copy can be your best #sales asset, but not if it sounds like a sketchy used car salesman.” – The Content Factory
It’s difficult to tell what companies really charge for landing pages, because there are different packages to consider:
- Do you only need landing page copy, or do you need design and development, as well?
- Are you updating an existing website, or building a new one? In that case, do you already have a custom domain or WordPress themes, or will you (or your agency) include that in the invoice?
- Does your landing page copywriting include SEO services?
For example, at The Content Factory, we offer both website content writing services on their own, or include them as part of a website design and rebranding package. That way, you get just the copywriting services you need, and don’t end up paying more for what you don’t need.
Many web design businesses roll the cost of the content writing into their design fees, and then scratch together the content themselves. This is why so many websites have such crappy landing page copy.
How much do writers charge for landing page copy?
There was a really interesting forum discussion about how much to charge for website copywriting — and some professional landing page writers quoted $1,500-$25,000 per page of content. Here’s how they responded to somebody who said that landing pages cost ~$100 per:
“The missing part of that sentence ‘…and earns about that much per month.’… And that’s because the clueless know the price of everything and the value of nothing. So they think low price equals a good bet the way a lotto player with a flimsy grasp of odds does. You have about the same chances of winning either way.”
“I like your thinking. A landing page for under $100 — that’s a fantastic idea. Hey, while we’re at it, cars take a lot of effort to build and provide a lot of value — lets start selling those for $500. You’re sure to get a reliable vehicle for that price! Another day as a copywriter, and yet another unrealistic pricing expectation from a potential client…”
“I’d have to agree with John. If your client is serious about a landing page that converts and makes money, you’d be looking at $3000 to $4000 all up. There’s a huge amount of time involved in creating a successful landing page.”
Now, I’m not going to argue that there isn’t a ton of time and skilled labor involved with creating landing pages that convert. But $3,000-$4,000 per page still seems a bit excessive.
When you consider that you’re looking at five or more pages per website, the actual cost of content comes to $15,000-$20,000 — about the cost of a new compact car.
Here’s the argument these and other people use to justify such expensive fees: if you pay more for content, you’ll get a better conversion rate and the extra sales will make up for the obscene per-piece rate.
That may hold true for a luxury car dealership, plastic surgeon’s office or home remodeling company, but only because they make so much money on each transaction — and the truth of the matter is that most businesses don’t.
The majority of the people who come to us for web content writing services make less than $500 profit on each sale, or are fresh startups that don’t have that kind of capital. For them, that argument just doesn’t work (especially not in the short term).
At The Content Factory, we bill for landing pages by the word — $1 per, with a project minimum of $1,000.
On rare cases it may cost slightly more, depending on the complexity of the subject and research involved. Our landing pages are usually around 250-500 words and most clients need five pages of content written, which means that the average 5-7 page website content project costs around $2,000 – $4,000, including all edits.
For that price, you get pretty sweet copy — the copy on our site features a certain tone that we find preferable, but when we write for clients we do so with their preferred tone. We’ve written content for large law firms, real estate agents, adult e-tail sites, startups and everything in between. Everyone wants something a little different, and we can modify our writing style to deliver exactly what the client wants.
How Much Do SEO Blog Posts Cost?
For our regular SEO blog posts, we charge between $80 and $950 each.
How much you pay depends on the length and how many you want (we give bulk discounts). If you want a 2,000+ word in-depth article that features interviews from industry experts and thought leaders, it’s going to be on the higher end of the spectrum. Our WordPress blogging rates include posting the content to your website, using proper tags/categories, formatting, etc.
If we have access to your analytics, we’ll even target our topics based on the popularity of past posts. If you’re looking to save some money and know how to publish the blogs yourself, we’ll e-mail the Word docs and let you take care of the posting and promotion. We call these “mini blogs” and charge $60 per. Plus, we give bulk discounts for orders of 10 or more.
How Much Do Link Bait Articles Cost?
Link bait blog posts take much more time and talent to write than a standard blog post, although some of our posts turn out to be link bait anyway (we can’t help it, sometimes our writers submit incredible work). The whole point of writing link bait articles is to get as many sites to link back to you as possible, which boils down to getting more site traffic.
Link bait takes a lot of time to write and even more time to edit — but it won’t cost you as much as a new Honda Civic. We weren’t really able to find too many prices for link bait articles, but Christopher Angus says they cost $2,000 each.
Our link bait costs around $750 per post.
Do we guarantee that each one will get you hundreds of backlinks? No…but nobody else can, either. What we can do is employ content strategies that we know work well, such as quoting experts and linking back to their sites in the articles. More often than not, the experts share the content that you feature them in, which can be a great way to leverage larger networks to increase the size of your own.
How Much Does Content Strategy Cost?
Another thing that isn’t really outlined is the most important: content strategy. Before you can execute a successful content marketing plan, you need to know:
- Everything about your target audience
- Which keywords to target, to target the target audience (is that enough targeting?)
- How difficult the keywords will be to rank for
- Which keywords your site currently ranking for
- Which keywords the competition is ranking for
- Which keywords are more likely to convert
- If your site needs any technical SEO fixes
Does Your Site Need Technical SEO Fixes?
Your site needs a strong technical SEO foundation for your content to perform well. That means that there should be no issues in the actual source code, or the way your website is structured, that makes it difficult for Google and other search engines to crawl and index your content.
You can get a free, high-level overview of your site’s technical SEO health by completing the form below.
How Much Does Technical SEO Cost?
Technical SEO prices are hard to pin down, because there are so many variables. According to Moz, agency SEO rates fall into three basic categories:
As you can see, there’s a pretty wide range of prices even within the same pricing model, and there’s a good reason for that. Technical SEO requires a diverse range of skillsets, including:
- SEO writing: Meta descriptions are the first thing people see when they search a keyword and find your content. In 155 characters or fewer, an SEO must captivate your audience enough to win their clicks over your competition, while accurately summarizing the web page and incorporating keywords.
- Link building and digital PR: There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about link building, and just submitting content to a bunch of directories won’t cut it. Successfully pitching media outlets takes finesse and patience, as many reporters regard their inboxes with a “Thar be dragons” approach from too many spammy link builders.
You also have to take the quality of the agency into consideration. More experience and proof of results can come with a higher price tag, but cheap services from fly-by-night SEO shops may not give you the marketing results you need — worse still, some agencies still resort to black hat SEO tactics that result in manual penalties from Google, which can take countless hours and thousands of dollars to fix.
Which SEO Pricing Model Makes The Most Sense?
There are benefits and drawbacks to each technical SEO pricing approach.
- Monthly retainers make your SEO budget more predictable, but even if you don’t need technical SEO services one month, you still have to pay.
- Per-project pricing is the most popular SEO pricing model, according to Moz. Project costs may also seem predictable, but some agencies can be more change order-happy than others.
- Hourly SEO rates are the least predictable, and you could be paying more than you bargained for if you hire a less-than-speedy consultant.
At TCF, we take a hybrid approach between per-project and per-hour pricing. There is no standard technical SEO project, as every website has different needs and different problems. A 25-page website with relatively minor structural problems will cost less to fix than a 1,000-page website with hundreds of 404 errors, a botched https migration and no image alt text to speak of.
Our technical SEO services cost $175 per hour, and you get a detailed project estimate before kick-off.
We provide conservative estimates for each technical SEO project, so you don’t get hit with an invoice that costs more than you were expecting, and we have wicked-fast workflows to speed up and automate the remediation process.
In just a few weeks, our technical SEO geek was able to take our site audit score from 66% to 95%. After completion of the project, contentfac.com ranked for 20 new #1 keywords, and the organic traffic TCF received from new and improved keyword rankings in one month was worth $29,650.
How Much Does SEO Keyword Research and Competitive Analysis Cost?
Check out our comprehensive how-to guide for SEO keyword research, if you want to see what it takes to DIY. This all requires quite a bit of time, knowledge and experience — along with a dash of A/B testing. The guide to SEO keyword research we wrote is over 4,000 words and covers a half dozen very important SEO tools. Take a gander at it, and you’ll see that this SEO research and writing stuff is neither fast nor easy.
Many SEO agencies are tight-lipped about their keyword research report prices, which makes sense if you know the industry — while SEOs tend to use a similar marketing stack of keyword research tools (you got your Ahrefs, you got your SEMrush, you got your Serpstats, etc.), the methods we use to categorize keywords by search intent, volume, priority, etc. can vary greatly from agency to agency.
It’s not like the secret Coca-Cola recipe, but SEOs like to keep some things proprietary.
What do you get with an SEO keyword research analysis?
This can also vary from agency to agency, so it’s important to ask the following questions:
- How many keywords do you provide with your report?
- Do you conduct competitive analysis, and how many competitors do you compare?
- Do you include a content strategy with your report?
- Do you provide content ideas?
- What data do you provide with the keywords (e.g., volume, competition, search intent, etc.)?
- Will you break out my keywords by category (e.g., audience verticals, products/services, etc.)?
We’ve seen SEOs charge as low as $400 for a basic keyword list with no content strategy, and as high as $47/keyword (don’t spend all your keywords in one place, I guess!).
At TCF, we complete comprehensive keyword research and competitive analysis for $3,500.
- Your monthly search volume and competitive ranking
- The PPC value of your search traffic
- A full list of the keywords you already rank for, including the corresponding pages on your site that draw the search traffic
- A full review of your existing keywords
- Identifying which pages on your site should be updated to move up SERPs for specific keyword searches
- A list of any additional keywords worth targeting
- A full analysis of how you rank for keywords, compared to your competition
- A technical SEO analysis of your site, along with recommended fixes
- 12 content topic suggestions based on keywords, including descriptions of the suggested posts
- How much your top two competitors spend on AdWords campaigns per month
- Which keywords your competitors for, and the corresponding pages on their site that draw the search traffic
- Which of their keywords overlap with yours (and where you stand)
- Which sites link to theirs (where they’re getting media coverage/backlinks from)
- Graphic representations of both their organic search traffic and their AdWords spend
We provide hundreds of keywords and a content strategy to target those keywords, while also appealing to your target audience in a way that gets them to convert into paying clients or customers. It’s something we’ve done with great success for our website, and we’ve helped clients achieve similar goals.
How Much Do Other Writing Services Cost?
There are a couple of other writing assignments that we get in on a regular basis:
- Press releases – A professional press release writer knows how to format the damn thing correctly, which is the hardest part. Well, at least the second hardest part, since coming up with a catchy headline isn’t as easy as you’d think. Press releases should be written from a semi-objective viewpoint, so that journalists can copy/paste it into their articles and blogs.
Writing a press release that media outlets want to pick up is an art and a science. Read this guide to learn how TCF PR pros write press releases that outlets like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal feature in their coverage. You’ll also get a our downloadable press release template — free!
- Email newsletters – A good email newsletter writer knows how to create subject lines that boost open rates. Once the readers are in, it’s up to the writer to hold their attention and get them to click through to the website (or some other action). The ROI of email marketing is insane, returning $38 for every $1 invested, but great email newsletters are hard to come by — which is why so many end up in the spam folder.
There are all kinds of BS prices listed online for e-mail newsletter and press release writing.
How much does press release writing cost?
You can find somebody on Craigslist to write either for less than $15, or you could pay $2,500 with a fancy online PR agency. Obviously, we’re somewhere in the middle.
We charge a flat rate of $1,500 per press release, which includes writing, editing, distribution and promotion.
Our clients have been featured in places like the Wall Street Journal, CNN and the Today show, to name a few. Meanwhile, TCF writers have been quoted everywhere from the New York Times and Forbes to PRDaily and Social Media Today).
You can write the best press release in the world, but there’s no guarantee top journalists are going to see it. Our press releases include reaching out to reporters directly, because over the years we’ve developed a network of connections and tools that give us the direct contact info of just about any journalist, producer and editor you can think of. We’ve built relationships and earned trust, and it hasn’t come easily or quickly.
“You can probably pay someone on Craigslist $15 to write your press release, but you’d be better off spending that $15 on fancy coffee. #PR” – The Content Factory
How Much Does Online SEO Training Cost?
Website content can be fairly tricky to write and format in a way that resonates with both readers and search engines. Chances are, if you’re reading this right now it’s because you found us via search engine — this wasn’t by accident on our part. It was by hard work.
And now, our site works for us – we receive around $250k per year in organic search traffic alone (via SEMrush). Our website is one of our highest producing employees, and that’s how it should be!
“#SEO turns your website into your most productive #marketing employee.” – The Content Factory
We’ve been able to achieve similar results for clients, which is something you should always check for when looking at agencies or freelancers you may want to outsource your content writing to. The web content writing cost isn’t the only thing you should be considering when it comes to outsourcing, you also want to consider the previous record of success that the agency or freelancer has been able to deliver in the past.
Or, if you’d prefer to go the DIY route, we offer online SEO and content writing training.
We’ll show you everything from how to run an SEO audit and research keywords to advanced web content writing techniques and link building. For an idea of what it’s like, check out our free webinar: 9 Expensive SEO Mistakes You’re (Probably) Making.
We’ve seen other companies charge anywhere from $1,100 to $8,500 for SEO training. Some of the upcharges don’t make a ton of sense — for example, in-person, on-site SEO training often adds bulk to your invoice, even though you spend most of your classroom time in front of the computer. This is the 21st century, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to learn search engine optimization in your pajamas.
How much do online SEO training courses cost, and how do you choose the right option for your business and search engine optimization skill level? Read our guide to SEO training to learn everything you need to know!
Web Content Writing and SEO Pricing Table
|Service||Industry Range||TCF Price|
|Website Copywriting||$1,500-$25,000 per page||$1 per word |
($2,000-$4,000 average for a 5-7 page website)
|SEO Blogging||$100-$2,000 per post|| |
(Bulk discounts available)
|Linkbait||$2,000 per post||$750 per post|
|Technical SEO|| ||$175 per hour|
|Keyword Research & Competitive Analysis||As low as $400 for a full report to as high as $47 per keyword||$3,500|
|Press Release Copywriting||$15-$2,500 per press release||$1,500 per press release|
|SEO Training Courses||$1,100 to $8,500||$349|
Contact TCF for A+ Web Content Writing
Or if you’d like to just cut to the chase and see our full generic proposal and pricing sheet that outlines the cost of all the services we offer, click here. We have a simple, straightforward process and a 15-day turnaround or less for most content.
Are you a lady in SEO? We’ve got a killer Facebook group you’ll want to check out ASAP! You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers – with a lot of actionable advice and support from other women slaying it in the industry.
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