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What Should You Expect to Pay for a Content Writing Service?

What does a content writing service cost? How much should you pay for a blog post? For small business owners, every penny counts. But, if you’ve done any research on writing services, you’ve probably noticed that prices are all over the map.

Let’s look at five types of content writing services, the costs, pros and cons, and more.

The ‘Walmarts’ of Copywriting

I’ll begin with this category of copywriting services because they’re probably the most popular. And, they’re popular for a reason. I’m referring to sites like Writer Access [1], Text Broker [2], and Ecopywriters [3]. These sites crank out millions of words at very reasonable rates. They’re reliable and affordable.

Cost: Cheap! Textbroker will sell a 300-word “average” ranked piece for $5.10. That will be about $15 at Writer Access, and $15-$30 at Ecopywriters.

Pros: You can get some great deals. Plus, you can be confident that you wont be scammed. These sites have been vetted time and time again.

Cons: Even if writers are “guaranteed” to be native English speakers, you can never know for sure. I’m so careful about who I hire, but even I’ve been tricked by W-9 forms from overseas writers. Also, you’re probably not going to get anything great – even if it is a bargain.

Remember, this is the ‘Walmart’ class of services: affordable, basic, no flair.

Independent Freelancers

I can only make general claims about a group this big. Freelancers can be very hit or miss. But, with sites like Guru.com [4] available as resources, you can play things pretty safe and hire a well-established, highly rated freelancer.

Cost: Again, cost can be all over the map. Writers may charge by the word, project, or hours.  Always get an estimate before you begin. You might pay anywhere from 2 cents to 30 cents per word, which would make a 300-word blog post $6-$90. Or more.

Pros: Talk about personalized service. When you work with a freelancer, there are no go-betweens. You get exactly what you want and develop a relationship with another person – not a faceless ‘Walmart’ copywriting service.

Cons: Freelancers don’t always have editors. Also, they go through “feast or famine” stages (I know because I used to be one). And, when they’re swamped with work, you might have to wait.

Oversea Services

I’ve yet to find a good reason for using these services. These services are largely based in India and southeast Asia. You see them advertised all the time by AdWords or on less reputable business sites.

Cost: Dirt cheap. Blog posts come at $5-$10 or less. They look like it, too.

Pros: You pay next to nothing.

Cons: You get next to nothing. Also, frustrating communication, time zone difficulties, international transaction fees, and fly-by-night business strategies plague these services with issues.

*I will point out that there are plenty of fluent English speaking writers overseas. The issue is finding them among the sea of options.

Marketing Agencies

If you’re already using a marketing agency, you might want to see if they can provide you with copywriting services, too. Most marketing agencies do. You’ve already gone through all of the getting-to-know-you work. Why do that all over again?

Cost: High. Marketing agencies usually charge top dollar for their content. Also, your marketing agency might be outsourcing your content to a boutique writing service (covered next), which means you pay a high price plus markup.

Pros: Typically very high quality. Your content gets rolled in with your regular bill. No need for a new account.

Cons: High pricing is definitely a drawback. Also, you don’t know exactly who is writing your content (the marketing agency could be outsourcing it).

Boutique Writing Services

These writing services usually have about 7-20 writers, each with their own niches, and crank out 25-30 thousand words per day. Add a couple of editors, an SEO guru, and someone to run it all, and you’re in business.  These companies are great to work for if you need top-quality content.  (Disclosure: I operate this type of business.)

Cost: Again, cost ranges, but is generally in the middle to high range.

Pros: You get one-on-one attention, and fast turn-around. Also, you get to work with one writer for all of your needs. Expect competitive pricing and freebies.

Cons: Boutique writing services don’t necessarily have the most knowledge about your industry (compared to you, that is), but they are great researchers.

What kind of writing service do you use or are you still writing your own content?

Writer [5] Photo via Shutterstock