cost for freelance content writing

How much does content marketing cost?

leonie waldron
Leonie Waldron
Head Strategist


  • Industry has a significant bearing on price: highly skilled writers in big-dollar sectors like tech and SaaS can command upwards of $2000 per article (ouch!).
  • Skilled freelance copywriters and content marketers can cost between $80 – $200 per hour, although most prefer to use task-based or project-based pricing rather than hourly rates. 
  • Per-word pricing is also used by some writers: this can vary wildly from 5c per word to $2 per word. 
  • Our ballpark figure for a single article is $600+gst, with most companies spending between $2000 – $5000 per month with us. 
  • Whilst it’s certainly possible to find content marketers who will write articles for $20, there is a cost-benefit ratio at play that means the poor quality of writing isn’t worth the cheap price: you can spend hours trying to fix a poorly written article which makes outsourcing the task pointless.
  • If your content marketing agency’s prices seem high, take a look at the kind of overheads they are maintaining behind the scenes. A freelancer or a small independent team of freelancers may be more economical in the long run.

This entire article is designed to give you some ballpark figures (in Aussie dollars) so you can get a feel for where we sit on the pricing spectrum. 

Your project may not necessarily fall within these parameters. The best way to get an accurate quote is to email us or book a discovery call and let us know exactly what you’re looking for.

The price of content marketing can vary wildly depending on what deliverables are included in the price, the quality of the writing, the overheads and expenses the agency needs to cover, the content marker’s experience in your niche, and even the geographical location of your writer and the accepted rates for their locality.

In all cases, if you’re comparing the cost of different freelance copywriters or content marketing agencies, it’s important to look at the quality of the end product and the individual’s expertise in creating content specific to your industry.

Hourly rates for Australian content marketers

An experienced content marketer with strong skills and experience in a relevant industry could cost between $80 – $200 per hour, although you’ll find that most people don’t actually price by the hour.

This is because there’s often a lot of thinking time, calls, emails, research, admin time, and other intangibles that go into serving a client well.

Additionally, the better a writer gets at their job, the faster they can work, which means they actually end up being penalised for working more efficiently, as they have learnt to produce an article in 3 hours instead of 5. 

Conversely, you might find it easy to engage a content marketer on Fiverrr for $20/hour.

This price discrepancy is obviously huge, so you’ve got to look behind the scenes and assess what you’re getting for your investment.

The industry a writer works in can have a significant bearing on their prices too: skilled SaaS and technology writers can command upwards of $1000 per article, and copywriters in smaller or more unusual niches that need a strong understanding of engineering, for example, can comfortably charge at the higher end of the market.

It can often be a case of ‘you get what you pay for’, so let’s take a look at the levers that affect the cost of content marketing.

cost of content marketing

What pushes the cost of content marketing up?

  • Writers with many years of experience cost more, and writers with expertise in specific niches such as construction, industrial, engineering, manufacturing and HVAC can be a rare find. This means writers often price themselves accordingly.
  • A significant amount of peripheral work will cost more: if a client wants to have weekly meetings, expects detailed reporting or needs a writer to go through many channels for edits and approvals, writers will build this into their pricing. Sometimes the actual writing part takes less time than managing the client’s needs.
  • Rush jobs can carry a premium: remember that freelance copywriters are often juggling multiple clients and have schedules that depend on clever forward planning. Whilst some writers only work on one project at a time, it’s much more common to have writers working with a few clients at once. This means that they need to factor in your workload amongst their other clients, and urgent jobs throw a spanner in the works. Therefore, expect a higher price if you constantly have tight deadlines or are not great at planning ahead.
  • Geographic location and cost of living have a bearing on the price of content marketing services: most freelancers set their pricing using a baseline amount to comfortably cover their living costs with a bit added to make a profit. Areas with higher living costs therefore can push the price of content writing up: San Francisco and Tokyo-based writers will typically cost more than a copywriter in Penrith.
  • Interviewing your staff or customers can also push the price up. This is a great exercise and often uncovers some good insights but it is time-consuming: along with the interview itself, preparation and drafting questions, then massaging the person’s responses into article format, is more difficult than writing from a single point of view, and can take up much more time and energy.
  • Ghostwriting is often priced a little higher than articles that carry a byline. Having a byline is less common in the industries we work in, with nearly 100% of our work to date being ghostwriting that is published under the client’s name. However, in some circles especially where writing leans more towards journalism, a writer’s entire reputation hangs on their byline so giving this up to have someone else take credit for their work incurs an additional cost.
  • One-off jobs cost more. This is because the amount of research and learning about your business is typically front-loaded at the beginning of a relationship. Therefore, the writer usually has to do a lot of legwork to understand the client’s preferences for a small payoff of one piece of work. As a relationship progresses over time, knowledge about the product and client snowballs and writing becomes easier as time goes on.
freelance copywriter

What brings the cost down?

  • Junior writers and marketing students can have lower prices due to their limited experience. This makes junior writers a good choice for businesses with very tight budgets.
  • Again, geographical area has a bearing on pricing, with the cost of living in some countries being markedly less than ours here in Australia. This results in cheaper pricing. (It’s worth noting though that ‘overseas’ doesn’t automatically mean cheaper: countries such as India might have a lower cost of living, but are also home to some incredibly skilled SaaS writers who can justify their high-end pricing).
  • Writing without a sound SEO approach can be cheaper: a best-practice method of writing for the web happens within an SEO framework, which means the writer must consider many extra parameters when putting a piece of writing together. Writing without consideration for SEO is often much easier and therefore cheaper.
  • Lack of confidence equals cheaper prices: this is probably a trade secret that we shouldn’t share, but many early career writers are taken advantage of by bad clients and led to believe their work is worth less than it actually is. As a copywriter grows in their career and is exposed to a variety of marketing and business processes, they begin to understand how their work is an important cog in the machine, so you may find writers with a narrow field of experience don’t always see the value in their own work.
  • Lower quality articles are often cheaper. Whilst not all writing needs to be epic award-winning literature, there’s a happy medium of acceptable quality that most businesses tend to aim for. If you’ve paid $20 for an article, it’s probably going to read like it cost $20. Think about how you’d like your business to be perceived by potential customers before cheapening your image with poor quality writing.
  • Articles churned out by AI are generally low quality and contain only surface-level content. A lack of in-depth expertise or creativity makes these articles a dime a dozen. Plus, even though AI content writing seems like the perfect budget-friendly solution, remember that every one of your competitors has access to the exact same tool, so it’s hard to differentiate your business from another without heavy editing from a skilled (human) writer. Bland content can erode the work you’ve done to build your brand and set it apart from others in the market. 

What is the real cost of cheap content marketing?

There will always be someone offering cheap content. But can a freelance copywriter deliver the quality content you need for $20? What skills and experience can they bring to the table? And importantly – if they are producing substandard work, how much time are you going to waste fixing it?

Every one of our clients has come to us because they are short on time, not money.

Even with the support of new technologies like machine learning, content marketing is still time-consuming. Our clients are predominantly people that are prepared to exchange money for time, preferring to outsource the hassles and complexities of their marketing whilst maintaining a high-level overview of what’s going on.

If you’re a good fit for us, this will be your experience too: you’re much more inclined to want to pay for a decent product that requires minimal oversight and editing, rather than penny-pinching and then being lumped with almost as much fixing, editing, tweaking, training and managing than you were in the first place.

So, if you want your time back – avoid the cheap route!

freelance copywriter working from home

How do content marketing agencies price their work?

Most agencies prefer to look at a project cost – which can be completely reasonable or eye-wateringly expensive depending on who you’re talking to. If your content marketing price seems high, consider what overheads your invoice might be funding: do they have a full-time workforce and fancy harbourside offices to maintain?

It’s easy to see how a small freelance team can come out much cheaper than a traditional agency model.

Freelancers mostly work from home, co-working spaces or cafes meaning absolute minimum overheads to cover.

At Chameleon Marketing Collective, this is the approach we’ve adopted: our independent team are based at kitchen benches and coffee shops all over the world which enables us to keep overheads low and adapt our team to suit individual clients and projects. We’re freelancers that work together like an agency – but instead of having corporate offices with harbourside views, we sit amongst our kid’s homework and have quiet lunches with our pets.

How to find the best value content marketing agency

This is where an individual freelancer or a small collective of freelance copywriters (like us!) can outshine others with return on investment.

You’ll simply get more bang for your buck when less of your invoice is allocated to operating expenses like leasing a corporate office.

Whilst it’s true that independent gig workers or freelance content writers build things like sick leave into their rates, they still have significantly fewer overheads than a traditional content marketing agency.

Our approach

In case you missed it at the start: this article is designed to give you some ballpark figures so you can get a feel for where we sit on the pricing spectrum. We’re not the cheapest out there, but we stand by the value we deliver.

We also care about transparency and trust, so we’ve shared this information openly even though many content marketers don’t. 

Because we care about long-term relationships with our clients – and we’re talking years, not months – we simply need to ensure we deliver good work every time, otherwise we’ll be out of a job!

If you’re looking for a cheap content marketing agency who can deliver bulk articles at $20 each, then it was lovey meeting you but… we’re not a good fit. At the other end of the spectrum, we don’t operate in the incredibly high-end SaaS and tech sectors where a single article can cost upwards of $2000. (Perhaps if we moved to Silicon Valley we could command such prices, but we love our local Penrith community and we’re very happy looking after our industrial and manufacturing clients!)

Our prices

As far as the cost for an article goes, we sit comfortably in the middle, providing good solid content that is well written and informative (but not Shakespeare-level writing that takes weeks or months to produce).

Of course, we need to find out more about your business to give you an accurate quote, but this article should give you a good grasp of how much copywriting costs. 

If you think we’re a good fit, we’d love to discuss your content marketing challenges and see how we can help. Get in touch with our head strategist Leonie Waldron for a free discovery call

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