For hiring copywriters in Australia
Last updated: June 2019
As part of The Clever Copywriting School’s mission to help you be a better copywriter, we want to make sure you get paid what you deserve.
We’ve developed these recommended rates in consultation with copywriters around Australia.
We recommend that you use these rates as a starting point for your copywriting jobs.
Please note: We will only accept job adverts on this site from clients who agree to these rates.
If you’d like to place a job on our job board, head here.
What do copywriters charge?
The amount copywriters charge varies depending on experience, location, demand and the industry they’re writing for. A newbie blog copywriter might charge as little as $80 for a 500-word fluffy article.
Whereas an experienced senior copywriter might charge thousands for a detailed Financial Services Annual report.
Understanding experience level
Experienced copywriters who have worked for a variety of brands and industries may charge more than junior copywriters. We’ve created three broad bands of experience:
- New / junior copywriter: 0-2 years experience
- Mid-level copywriter: 2-4 years exp
- Top-level copywriter: 4+ years exp
1. Charging a fixed price
Charging a fixed price for a job means quoting a flat fee to cover all the elements in the job. We recommend charging in this way for most small business and corporate clients.
Fixed rates must also take into account:
- Experience level: See above.
- Demand: In demand copywriters may charge more than those just starting out.
- Skill set: Copywriters with a high level of skill in a particular area of copywriting may charge more.
- Location: Copywriters closer to large cities (Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, etc.) may charge more than writers in rural Australia.
- Client status: Copywriters may offer discounts to startups or charities and charge more to large corporates.
- Turn around time: Copywriters may charge more for faster turnarounds
In some cases charging a fixed price might not be appropriate and you may choose to charge by the hour. If you’re working with advertising agencies they will often ask for your hourly rate:
Hourly rate examples:
- New / junior copywriter: $70 – $100 per hour
- Mid-level copywriter: $100 – $130 per hour
- Top-level copywriter: $130 – $240 per hour
These are AUSTRALIAN rates and exclusive of GST.
3. Charging by the day
Agencies often prefer a day rate to a per hour rate, here’s our guide:
- New /junior copywriter: $300-400 per day
- Mid-level copywriter: $400-700 per day
- Top-level copywriter: $700-1200 per day
These are AUSTRALIAN rates and exclusive of GST.
4. Charging by the word
Charging by the word means you quote a price based on each word you write. It’s common for Journalists and feature writers but not for copywriters. I don’t recommend it.
At the Clever Copywriting School, we don’t recommend charging by the word, for the following reasons:
- It turns your writing into a commodity rather than a professional and creative service
- Per word pricing leads to a focus of quantity over quality – writing more just to earn more money, for example writing 50 words when 10 would suffice
- With per word pricing writers are incentivised to work quickly, which often leads to poor quality copy
- Great short copy works and has value. (think of Nike’s ‘Just Do it’)
5. Award rates
There’s no award rate or industry standard for copywriters. That’s why this page exists to help you!
Lots of people will ask for discounts. Everyone wants something for nothing, or just a feeling that they got a bargain.
But instead of discounting, offer value.
And if the client can’t afford your rates offer to reduce the scope or phase the project.
7. What are rush rates?
If a client needs the work done yesterday (or in less than 48 hours) it’s standard to charge an additional 25%.
We recommend charging a 50% up-front deposit, especially when working with a new client.
The remaining 50% can be billed at project completion or at some other agreed milestone (say 2 weeks after the first draft is delivered).
It is not best practice to hold the client to ransom and not even release the first draft until the full amount is paid.
If you’re nervous about charging a deposit, don’t be, it’s standard practice and actually make you appear more professional.
9. Upfront payment
It’s good to set a minimum threshold for jobs where you require full payment up front. For example $500.
If you’re unsure if you should be charging GST, then head to the Australian Tax Office website.
11. RATE CARD
It’s a good idea to lay all our pricing out in a rate card, either for your own personal reference or to send out to clients on request. You can download ours here.
One of the best ways to increase your rates is to show your value. This starts on your website, but carries through to your proposal, you can grab our professional template here.
13. TERMS AND CONDITIONS
To cover your bottom it’s a great idea to include Terms and Conditions in your proposal. These cover all the things that could go wrong with your project! You can grab our template here.
Feedback on these recommendations
These recommendations are meant as a guide. They are based on our understanding of the current Australian copywriting market. If you have any feedback, please contact us.