When businesses decide to use content to improve their marketing results, they typically start with blogs and article writing.
As one of the oldest, most effective methods, blogs provide a good opportunity to educate and nurture leads towards conversion.
However, business owners and marketing managers still face dilemmas when it comes to content writing itself.
Content writers all charge differently, and so it becomes very hard to prepare a marketing budget that would allow businesses to estimate their return on investment.
In this article, we are going to shed light on different pricing structures content writers use, as well as review the pros and cons of hiring in-house and freelance writers.
How to Estimate a Content Marketing Budget
Before discussing different pricing structures, it’s important to understand that a content strategy should include at least one 1000-word article every week.
Companies which blog 16 times or more every month experience the best results.
However, the bare minimum of publishing one in-depth blog post weekly is enough for the majority of businesses to experience significant results commonly in the form of:
- Higher conversion rates
- Increased search engine visibility
- Improved brand awareness and reputation
When discussing the pricing structures, we will calculate potential costs based on the minimum effort content plan which includes 4 articles monthly, with each article being 1000 words. On a monthly basis, this amounts to 4,000 words in total.
How Much Do Freelance Content Writers Charge?
The majority of businesses who want to outsource content creation opt for hiring freelance content writers. The open market spread across platforms, agencies, and freelancers marketing themselves consists of millions of freelance writers, with no mutual accord when it comes to pricing.
Every freelance writer is free to set their own prices, which are typically calculated on a per-hour or per-word basis.
This leads to some of the most diverse pricing, and typically depends on the quality of writing:
First-tier freelance writers who are featured in publications such as Forbes would charge as much as $6,000 for 4,000 words per month, which is the bare minimum required from a company that wants to successfully use content marketing to attract more customers.
Second-tier freelance writers are not featured in high-profile publications as often as first tier, but they are still a good choice for content writing. On average, they would charge $2,000 for 4,000 words per month.
Third-tier freelance writers are the ones most often hired as in-house writers for companies, and they charge $1,200 for 4,000 words per month.
Fourth-tier freelance writers can be a bit of a gamble, as that group consists of newcomers and experienced writers who may not be able to raise their rates. In any case, businesses have to exercise additional caution when hiring them. However, the cost is significantly lower; they charge $400 for 4,000 words per month.
Finally, the fifth tier is comprised of writers with varying skills. Some of them are not native speakers, while others focus on producing content so efficiently that they don’t need to command higher rates. They typically charge $280 per 4,000 words.
However, these are average rates.
As there are no set pricing standards within the content writing community, the rates vary from writer to writer, and assignment to assignment.
Some writers make adjustments for:
- The amount of research required
- Additional services (royalty-free images, graphs, etc.)
These wildly different pricing structures often lead to companies hiring freelancers simply to hire someone, resulting in subpar results for a fee too high to generate any ROI.
Additionally, marketers and businesses still need to manually vet each writer, interview them, and manage them for as long as they are working with them.
In addition to dubious ROI, the process of hiring and managing freelance content writers wastes plenty of valuable time.
How Much Do ContentFly Writers Charge?
Unlike freelance content writers which require companies to go through extensive interviewing processes, ContentFly writers are pre-vetted.
And while content writers who work on their own command different rates, ContentFly curates a community of elite, experienced ghostwriters who charge $250 for 4,000 words per month.
In the open market, the typical ContentFly writer commands rates 3 or 4 times higher than the $0,05/word they work for at ContentFly.
By operating on the principle of economies of scale, ContentFly is able to guarantee high-quality content writing to end clients, while guaranteeing freelance writers constant work.
Additionally, ContentFly uses machine learning tools to assign content requests to writers best suited to them, and streamline the process of editing, researching and reviewing articles.
Due to the fact that writers are offered consistent work at reduced rates, they are able to earn 20% more than they would earn on platforms like Upwork.
All of this allows ContentFly to offer premium writing at an affordable cost.
The basic ContentFly subscription plan is $250/month, and it includes:
- 4,000 words
- Original research
- SEO-optimized content
- Unlimited free revisions
- Royalty-free images
- Additional words for 7c/word
The plan includes everything a company that wants to scale its content marketing efforts needs.
Additionally, freelance writers who don’t work with ContentFly often charge extra for revisions, images, and other add-ons. All of this is completely free once you submit a content request through ContentFly’s platform.
ContentFly writers cover a variety of content types:
- Landing pages
- Email campaigns
- Social media posts
And so much more.
Hiring a content writer through ContentFly also eliminates the need to manage freelancers.
The process is streamlined; all clients need to do is submit a content request with a creative brief describing their requirements, and they’ll receive their article in a few days.
Ultimately, ContentFly presents a smart and effective way of scaling content marketing efforts without wasting time or money.
How Much Do In-House Content Writers Charge?
Finally, some companies hire in-house content writers for all their content production needs.
A full-time writer may be a good option for companies producing highly-specific content that requires a writer to stay in constant touch with their marketing department.
However, in the majority of cases, the costs outweigh the benefits.
In the US, the average content writer salary is $44,570. If we calculate the price per 4,000 words every month, an in-house content writer would be technically charging $3,714 per month.
Of course, with full-time employees there are also overhead costs and the costs of additional benefits such as healthcare and insurance.
In Canada, the median in-house content writer salary is CA$47,200, no additional compensations included. On a monthly basis, hiring an in-house content writer in Canada sets companies back for CA$3,933 every month.
Hiring an in-house content writer in India is significantly cheaper, with the average annual salary being Rs 292,599 (the equivalent of US$4124.77). On a month-to-month basis, the in-house content writer would still cost as much as $343 every month (additional compensation and benefits not included).
Pros of Hiring In-House Content Writers
The costs of hiring in-house content writers are significantly higher than hiring a ContentFly writer, but there are certain situations in which the costs may be warranted:
- In-house writers have a deep understanding of a specific company’s needs
- They can collaborate with marketing departments fully and constantly
- They are at constant disposal
An in-house content writer, despite being more expensive in the long term, may be suitable for companies which need bigger volumes of highly-specific content, or companies who rely on content marketing as their main way of generating revenue.
Finally, an in-house writer can be a good solution for companies operating in technical niches that require certified professionals.
For example, a company selling CNC machines would likely need to find an expert in that particular field of mechanics to create highly-technical content.
Cons of Hiring In-House Content Writers
Some of the cons of hiring in-house content writers include:
- Higher costs as opposed to freelance writers, and much higher costs when compared to ContentFly writers
- Lack of variety and diverse perspectives as content will be constantly produced by same writer(s)
- Lack of flexibility as the in-house content writer has a specific set of skills, which may not accommodate all of the company’s long term needs
While in-house writers are suitable to companies that need to produce vast amounts of content every day or companies that need technical content, they are not viable in any other scenario.
The Best Content Writing Solution
The numbers are clear: the average company doesn’t need highly-specific content that would warrant paying as much as $50,000 every year for a single content writer.
However, the prices on the open market can vary wildly, as well.
When all the figures are compared, it becomes clear that hiring a freelance writer through ContentFly is the best option:
- Writers are pre-vetted and require no management
- The flat monthly fee of $250 includes 4,000 words which will help any company scale their content marketing operations
- The content is SEO-optimized and well-researched
- If the end results need tweaking, unlimited revisions are included in the fee and don’t count against the monthly quota
ContentFly offers high-quality writing at an affordable cost. It’s the best way to go forward for a smart 21st century company.