Costing confusions of a questionable copywriter

Costing confusions of a questionable copywriter

Can anyone other than each individual – decide what is the fair cost of a product that they’ve created? Paradoxically – can anyone other than the purchaser of a product decide the value that it brings to them?


Philosophy aside, I’m a freelance copywriter. A client expects 5 thoroughly researched (with references) 1,500 word blogs each month about a subject beyond my expertise. How much do you think I should charge? The standard – x rupee per word? Costing Confusions!

Well, to provide context –

It will involve at the very least an hour or two of reading and re-reading extensive research upfront. Then I get to understand and formulate – an article, which involves writing and editing. This in turn (as most forget) involves choosing from 10’s of thousands of possible word combinations, when constructing sentence after sentence to finally reach the 1,500 word limit.

… So say that I price such a project at Rs.2x per word – is it unreasonable? If the client agrees – great. What if the client negotiates and convinces me to work for a rupee per word (or even less than that)? Does that invalidate all my other copywriting price rates?


Say I charge a rupee per word for creating original content. How much do I charge for refining/proof-reading/editing original content? Must I charge 50 or 20 paisa per word (or if a secret lower denomination exists) for refinement? One thing is certain – it isn’t economical to charge each kind of writing project as less as per word, nor are many clients (as I’ve encountered) even willing to pay as much for some projects.

So, charging as per word – is basically like traffic signals in Mumbai… they either work or intersecting cars just wing it – hoping to avoid an accident. So – is charging as-per-hour the best solution then? If so, then do writers that work efficiently get paid less and writers that work slowly get paid more (I know I’d be rich). Additionally, can brainstorming or depth of thought behind written words be measured? Is it even fair to assess quality of writing as per words typed in per minute?


So basically for me, the problem is similar to the costing confusion I face when shopping. I don’t care about fair price, I want the best bargain and so the shopkeepers in turn quote high prices. Not to be judgmental – but I think it is wrong when people brag about a product they paid lesser than expected for. Specially when they value that product more than the product they willingly paid 3 times more for.

My best solution so far – try to be as honest with my costs as I can, in context to the value I personally believe I’ve put/will-put into the project. It also includes the value I believe it could have for the client. If this means quoting a price lesser than I know the client is willing to pay, then so be it (so help me God). And if the client isn’t willing to pay as much as I think my work is worth, then I’ll try to be flexible… but if it is beyond adjusting, I try to remember – Beggars can’t be choosers and that is why we become professionals.

Btw, guess what I get when I take help from google for my costing confusions –


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