One of the puzzles that keeps coming up when you start as a Freelance Web Writer (but it’s also true for all activities on the web) is: “How to fix the prices of my services? “. This is a hot issue and it is no small task. If we place ourselves just below market prices by practicing discounted rates, we risk not being able to live properly from this activity and not making a profit. If, on the contrary, we set the bar too high, customers will turn to competition which will be more competitive. So what could be the ” right price “ ?

The billing method in Copywriting for the web

The traditional billing method in Copywriting for the web is done by sign and leaflet. A sign is equivalent to a text character, including spaces. And 1,500 signs equivalent to around 250 words or 1 sheet. An article of 500 words therefore makes 3,000 signs or 2 sheets. The “sign” is a unit of account used in journalism.

Training & Co'm

Misconceptions and… reality×70.jpg 100w” alt=”” width=”275″ height=”193″ />A web writing job is not limited, far from it, to pure writing. Some customers do not understand the high rates of Freelance Writers for writing a “simple article”! It is necessary to take into account a time of research and analysis of the relevant information to remember, then it is necessary to prepare an article plan a time of writing therefore, but also of correction and proofreading before d ‘be delivered to the customer. It is often more relevant to take into account its different phases to bill by the time spent rather than by the number of signs. We apply in this case a hourly rate.

To estimate its prices, we can also take into account the type of text to be produced: press release, newsletter e-mail, web page, article, ebook, etc. Depending on the complexity or the heaviness of the task to be accomplished, the final cost will be higher or lower.

The classic mistake to avoid

One of the most classic mistakes of a writer starting out in the profession is to sell off his work. Even if competition is important, you must sell your services at their fair value! Novice copywriters believe that, to attract their first customers, offering a lower price than the competition will compensate for their lack of experience and “social proof”. Nothing is more wrong!

A customer who will be satisfied with your services does not look at the price first, if he is satisfied, he will perfectly understand that it is of value as surely as one does not buy an Audi A8 at the same price as a Twingo!

Remember that you are doing this job to earn a living and make a living from this activity. Also think of all the charges that you will have to pay: you must allow 21% of charges, and you will have to include them in your invoicing. Unless you have opted for the status of entrepreneur-employee in scoop, you will have to include your paid holidays, the cost of your mutual insurance, and professional insurance, the cost of electricity, your internet subscription, etc.

These different costs will have to be integrated into your hourly rate if you bill on time. And we have just seen that it is much more relevant to get as close as possible to the reality of what your activity costs you.

If the Hourly minimum wage for an employee is at: € 7.58 net in 2017, for a self-employed person, taking into account all of the above, this rate must be multiplied by 4 to invoice around € 30.32 time either 0.51 cents / minute.

Unfair competition from P.V.D (developing countries)

Editors based in developing countries and web copywriting platforms that offer shameful and scandalous compensation do great damage to French freelance writers and bring into disrepute a whole profession that deserves respect and consideration. Regarding the unfair competition of P.V.D., it is clear that a writer based in England can never compete with an Indian or Madagascan writer! As we have seen, in England, the State takes 21% payroll taxes and you also have to pay income tax!

To have a decent salary in England, one cannot agree to write a blog post for between 3.50 and 5 € ! We understand the problem when we see that in a country like Tunisia, the monthly minimum wage in 2009 was 260 € for the 48-hour regime and 225 € for the 40-hour regime. The minimum wage in Madagascar is less than 40 € !

A protectionist tax×60.jpg 80w” alt=”” width=”275″ height=”202″ />To protect the activity of copywriters based in England, the State must take strong measures such as establishing a protectionist tax which would necessarily apply to any order for web writing via one of these low-cost countries. The tax should be even higher than the difference is important with the average French salary. It would apply to the tariff invoiced by the Editor or the foreign operator and would restore balance to allow French writers to fight on equal terms. The tax would remove any distortion of competition.

Average rates applicable in 2017


  • Advertising and editorial: (150 characters): from 60 to 180 €;
  • Article of 500 words (3,000 signs): from 100 to 360 €;
  • Article of 1000 words (6000 signs): from 200 to 500 €;
  • File of 2000 words (12,000 characters): from 300 to 800 €;
  • Flat rate per day: from 300 to 500 €.


  • 1 web page (creation) -1,000 signs: from 50 to 150 €;
  • 1 web page (rewriting) 1,000 signs: from 30 to 60 €.


  • Daily fixed rate: from 350 to 500 €.

Some editors also choose to charge by words or by 100 words. In light of the average prices observed in 2017, it can be estimated that a blog article of 500 words (3,000 characters) should return to 40 € for 100 words. And for an article of 1,000 words to € 35 for 100 words.

FYI, this article took me 2h30 to finalize and I should therefore invoice it at: 0.51 cent X 150 minutes = € 76.50 per hour. If now I invoice it on the slip, since it represents 6,530 signs or 1088 words, or in other words more than 4 leaves, I can invoice it (1088/100) X 35 =380,80 €.

The difference between the two billing methods is important and clearly to the advantage of the hourly rate for the client, but not for the editor! And you, how do you position your offer? The debate is open in the comments!

About the Author

This article is a guest post written by Cédric, from the blog Passion-Writing, a new blog in Web Writing on which he shares with you his new entrepreneurial adventure. Find it on: