Website content providers - how do I scope and charge?(5 Posts)
I've recently gone self-employed after working as a news website journalist. A company has approached me to re-do the content for their website as it migrates into a new design. The techie stuff is all looked after, and they have people who can migrate the content - what they need is a writer and someone who can take an editorial overview of what needs to be done to make it effective (i.e. me).
Has anyone done this sort of thing and could give me advice about how to scope it - either on a completely self-employed basis or if I go on a contract with them? (I'd prefer to be self-employed and am set up as a sole trader).
What sort of daily or hourly rate is usual?
In my previous job we had a rough expectation of producing about 5 articles in an 8-hour working day, including images, factboxes, that kind of thing, but something which needed a lot of journalistic research would take longer. But, part of this work would be analysing the site and making recommendations (working alongside the developers) and then getting on with the writing. I'll be meeting the company next week - they've heard I'm available and know I'm reliable and a good writer. I've had experience of migrating to new designs too, so I'm confident about achieving it, but don't want to under- or over- vaule myself.
Thanks for any advice.
It's really hard to give you an idea based on what you've said. Here are the questions I tend to ask when I scope out a job - and this depends, obviously, on what the site is and who it's for!
How big is the site? Have they got decent traffic analysis and stats so you can see what's going on and what to do to improve it so it works better for users? Are they doing any user research? What's the content like now - any idea? Are they providing the new IA or are you doing that? Are you going to have to source images? How much content are you going to have to repurpose and how much start from scratch? What are their sign-off processes like? Do you need to work with subject matter experts? Will you be optimising and tagging content and loading content to the new CMS and what kind of CMS is it? Are you offering follow-up for iteration?
Whatever you quote - add in at least another 20% for rewrites and changes. I charge around £200 per day or £35 per hour. I aim to spend at least an hour on every 200-300 words for a website. This allows me to come up with varied straplines and interesting ideas.Your research will be on top of this - if it is needed.
It isn't unusual for a whole website to cost upwards of £500 for the content.
Many thanks. I have already taken on the work and am being paid £150 a day - I may have undercharged- but that's a lesson learned for next time.
Their CMS is quite fiddly, but the content is proving straightforward.
Depends on the number of pages and the length, but apart from the SEO considerations that arewenearlythereyet outlinedI would say part of your role should be ensuring it fits in with the tone of voice they have established - and if not, perhaps you should work with them to establish one - and that they know who it is they're trying to reach and what works in that market. I'd expect them to provide a list and overall opinion of their competitor websites and to say what they think works and doesn't work in their market.
SEO is really important for copywriters but you must also make sure you write for the reader, as well as Google.
Don't charge per word or per day - take an overview of the project, estimate how much time it will take to research, write and edit, factor in an edit for client amends, and quote that to them. I normally say around £500 for fairly bog standard websites - they often take more work than you think, especially if you have to do the on-page SEO as well.
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