Q and A: As a new content / SEO writer, how should I quote?

QuestionHi Kalena…

I’m after some advice from a professional and I immediately thought of you as I’m one of your SEO students. I’ve set up my new website and I’ve just had my first request for a quote. However, I’m not sure how to quote, what to base that on, or how others are doing that.

Would you be able to let me know how most content/SEO writers quote for doing websites? It’s really for writing new websites, so not simply editing existing ones. I’m not sure whether to base that on the number of pages/words or on a time spent basis, or what. I don’t know what the norm is.

Could you give me any pointers?

Thanks very much!

Dear Micky

There are some very good pointers for this in the bonus lesson that comes at the end of SEO 201 so you might want to download the bonus lesson PDF and look at that.

Basically, it’s always better (in my opinion) to quote an hourly rate and then work out how many hours each page will take you to copywrite. If it’s easier, you can always provide the customer an estimate (e.g. each page should take between 2-3 hours at my standard hourly rate of $150 + taxes) and then invoice the final cost after the job is done.

This will require you to keep timesheets and be accurate with your time measurements. It also gives the client the option of reducing the number of pages to be done if they want to save money instead of expecting you to lower your fees. Something else I offer clients is the ability to save 10% or 20% if they purchase consulting hours in bulk e.g. hourly rate is $150 but drops to $135 per hour for 10 hours or more purchased in a single month or to $120 per hour for 20 hours or more in a single month.

You might also find my past blog posts about Home Based Business helpful, particularly As a freelance SEM, how should I structure my fees?

In that last post I talk about Freshbooks online invoicing software that has built-in timesheets and a start-stop timer so you can monitor time spent on projects and bill clients accurately. Apart from the fact that it’s very low-priced, I simply could not function without this software!

Good luck with the business.

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