Does budgeting bring you great anxiety? Are you worried you’re not paying your people enough money? Are you worried you’re losing money?

It’s difficult to find the balance between reward and return on investment. If someone makes you a ton of money, they’re worth rewarding. If their work returns marginal results, you feel cheated.

So, you go to the interwebs to figure out how much you should pay for SEO content. And you’re befuddled.

The answers are so insanely variable, you want to slam your laptop closed and toss it through a window. “There is no balance! Only chaos!” You shout, scattering the nearby pigeons roosting on a telephone wire.

Ok. Chill pill time.

There are a wide range of SEO content services out there. And you can figure out what is a good price to pay for SEO content. Today, we’re going to help you figure it out.

1. SEO is a Risk

This is the first thing you need to understand if you’re going to invest in any form of SEO. My friend Jason at Google said it best, “SEO is a constantly shifting target.”

If you take a look at the history of Google’s Algorithm updates, you’ll see how often things change. And sometimes update on Google’s side will irrevocably destroy a site’s rankings.

If you’re hiring an SEO copy writer or any SEO service, you’re not hiring a short term fix. You’re hiring someone who will be there for a while shooting at a moving target until something hits.

By paying for your SEO services up front (like you should be), you’re betting that someone can hit the target enough times for you to eventually see value. And value doesn’t just mean more traffic (which is a nice side effect). Value in SEO should be more backlinks, leads, sales, brand exposure, and opportunities.

And it can take anywhere from three months to half a year to see results with SEO. So don’t despair if you don’t see these metrics increase immediately. Keep investing and keep risking and you’ll see massive results.

2. SEO Content Is an Investment

How much ROI do you expect from an SEO post on your site? And don’t tell me you “just want traffic” because traffic isn’t value, it’s just numbers.

Let’s say a great post gets you about $2000 in leads and sales. If you’d put 10% of that into the post, that’s a 900% ROI. That’s a killer ROI.

Now, not every post will return this much. But again, we’re working with a shifting target. And you can still build on that content over time.

3. Expensive Writers Return More

If someone charges more than the value they return to you, they won’t last long in this business. Yes, those people are out there, but they are rare.

People who charge more usually do so because they know the value of their work. They’ve heard from clients who say content performed and paid out. They’ve accordingly raised their prices to match that value.

But how do you know whether you’ve got an overpriced dud or someone who will bring value? Here are a few tips:

  • How Do They Measure Success? – If they say “more traffic” then they don’t know how complicated marketing can get. If they can know what really brings ROI, then you’ve got a winner.
  • Do They Have Bylines? – I’ve seen this before where a writer will submit work as theirs and it’s stolen. A savvy writer will have a byline or two to give you.
  • Refund/Edit Policy? – Rewrites are a waste of time for a writer. If they miss the mark entirely, they may just offer a refund or a round of edits.
  • Do They Offer One-On-One Calls? – I offer this for all my clients. Some just want to communicate through email, which is fine, but a lot can fall through the cracks with email. You’ll get better results and content tailored better to your needs if you can talk face-to-face with a writer.
  • Are They Willing to Listen and Accept Expectations? – As a writer, I want to know what my client’s expectations are up front. I’d hope they’re comfortable telling me. In the obverse, a writer should be willing to listen to your expectations and at the same time be willing to offer suggestions regarding your expectations. It would be a waste of both your time and the writer’s time if expectations aren’t set on the table up front.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.