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How much do freelance copywriters charge in 2017?

What are freelance copywriters charging – right now?

538 copywriters responded to our copywriting survey, giving us a fascinating snapshot of the copywriting profession, including the rates that people charge.

The average day rate charged is £339 – just £2 more than our 2016 survey result.

How typical are these rates?

While £339 is the average day rate charged by our survey respondents, there is a huge range of rates charged for a day of copywriting, with some people charging just £100 – and others charging £1800. So while the average is £339, how many people are actually charging that sort of rate?

Here is a breakdown of the number of copywriters charging in each price bracket:

  • £1000 – £1800 per day: 5
  • £900 – £999 per day: 1
  • £800 – £899 per day: 4
  • £700 – £799 per day: 7
  • £600 – £699 per day: 21
  • £500 – £599 per day: 24
  • £400 – £499 per day: 53
  • £300 – £399 per day: 131
  • £200 – £299 per day: 122
  • £100 – £199 per day: 42

This gives a better picture of the distribution of day rates across our respondents. As you can see, very few people are charging more than £700 per day. The greatest concentration is in the £200 – £400 price range.

Our survey also shows that average day rates vary according to locations – although you don’t have to live in London to charge a reasonable rate for your work.

How do our findings compare to your own experiences? Do you find these results encouraging – or depressing? Are your rates comparable to your peers – or are you planning to change what you charge?

If you want to write about our survey results, you can grab all the graphs and charts on the PCN Flickr page.

Comments

25th April 2017

Charlotte Fleming

I wonder how much the rate varies across Scotland – between, say, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, or between the cities and the sticks. We may only have some 6m people, but as a region it’s just as diverse as England! (I realise you probably didn’t have enough respondents to make any sort of significant statistical analysis; it’s just a passing thought.)

9th April 2018

Sophie Glendenning

As a freelance copywriter currently researching the UK market, this was very useful. Thanks!

15th April 2018

Simon Young

What do I think? I think I’d like to get £1,800 a day!

PRO
18th April 2018

Leif Kendall

Do you have any plans to increase your rates? Our surveys of copywriters typically find that people want to increase their rates (on average) by 30%.

30th April 2018

Jacqui Pulford

Interesting, particularly given the fact that I was told today that £40 – £50 was too much. What about retainer fees? Any figures or advice on how to come up with a figure for this?

30th April 2018

Jacqui Pulford

That’s £40-£59ph

PRO
1st May 2018

Leif Kendall

I would generally charge clients my usual day rate for a retainer arrangement. While retainers might seem great for freelancers (and are, in many ways) they have the drawback of making you unavailable for other interesting projects that might come along.

I also think that if clients get a copywriter on a retained basis, they get more value from that copywriter than they would otherwise (because the copywriter gets to know the business, work takes less time etc).

On the other hand, clients may expect that they should pay less for agreeing to a regular commitment. So you may have to balance out your wishes with client expectations.

Regarding your other point, there are clients who think £15 is too much to pay for an hour of your time. It’s a question of finding the clients who value what you do.

19th June 2018

Toby Jones

Time for a move to Cardiff I think.

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