If you’re just starting out as an SEO writer, chances are you’ve underpriced a project or two. Not because your rates were bad, but because the parameters of a project may have changed and instead of asking your client for more money, you decided to just bite the bullet and do it for the agreed-upon rate.
This can be a mistake, for two reasons: (i) it devalues what you as a professional SEO writer brings to the table; and (ii) it sends the wrong message to clients. If you’re going to be in the SEO writing game long term, following is how to ask for more money – and get it – when the parameters of a project change.
Getting More Money as an SEO Copywriter Begins and Ends with Effective Communication
Most disagreements – of any nature – can be traced back to a fundamental lack of communication. As SEO writing has so many components, it’s imperative that you communicate to a client why you need to charge more.
Let’s illustrate by way of a real case example writing.
One new SEO writer who specialized in providing search engine optimized content to real estate agents received a project from a large web development firm. The initial order was for 10 SEO blog posts (250 -300 words).
Her initial rate was $35 per post, but she gave the firm a discount because they order 10 articles; hence, she charged $29 per post.
She immediately regretted the decision upon receiving the project because each post required some research on the areas she was to write on. Instead of immediately going back to the client and informing them that because each post required research the rate would be more, she bit the bullet and completed the project.
The client was very pleased with her SEO articles – even commenting on how they liked the “area specific” detail she included in each post. The client immediately commissioned her to do 50-100 blog posts per month – and they asked for an additional discount ($20 per post) because they were giving her such volume.
How One SEO Writer Asked for More Money – and Got It
She knew that there was no way that she could put in the research time on this many blog posts without asking for more money for each post because she’d be working for pennies.
So she informed the client that her rates for SEO writing was for “easy, breezy” content that didn’t require any research. She went on to explain the amount of research time she’d spent on the initial order and that the reason she didn’t charge more for those posts was because she wanted to stick to the original contractual terms.
HOWEVER, she informed the client that because of the volume of the order and the research each post would take, she’d have to charge MORE if they wanted the amount of detail she provided – even though it was a larger order.
The client agreed, saying how impressed they were with her professionalism — as an SEO writer and as a businessperson.
SEO Writing: Charge Right or Get Out of the Game
This SEO writer was successful because she was: (i) upfront with the client about what the project entailed; (ii) had proven to the client how strong her skills were as an SEO copywriter; and (iii) had the courage to ask for what she felt she was worth.
Even if she had not landed this SEO writing gig, this writer would still have “won” because she stood up for herself. When you do that, you can never “lose.”