Hiring a copywriter is a big decision.

Your marketing efforts require someone with the experience and skill needed to produce quality copy, but your budget reminds you that you need to choose a copywriter carefully. Finding the balance between a quality professional and a budget-friendly rate isn’t always easy, but there are ways to make it more bearable.

If you’re trying to find the best copywriter at a fair price, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The Cost of Quality

Cheap copywriters can be had for pennies on the dollar, but you’ll likely pay for those savings in other ways.

If you go with a low-bidding copywriter as a way to decrease the bottom line, you’ll likely end up hiring someone with significantly less experience or someone who’s just looking to make a quick buck and knows little if anything about your industry or even the finer points of copywriting. To get the quality you want, you’re going to have to pay for it.

Samples Are a Must

If you want to ensure that you get the best copywriter for your money, don’t just take his or her word for it.

Any professional copywriter worth their salt will have samples ready for you, so all you have to do is ask. This request can help you narrow down a number of options to just a few choices, letting you see who is really the best writer among your candidates. Don’t forget to ask for samples that are specific to your industry if possible, since this will let you see how well-versed each writer is in the specific field that your company operates in.

Check for Recommendations

Not every copywriter provides recommendations, but most do if asked.

This can be another useful tool for finding the best copywriter for your money since you’ll be able to see what past clients had to say about the writers and their work. You can be pretty sure that the recommendations will be positive, but the details they provide may give you an idea as to how easy each writer is to work with, how reliable they are and whether past clients were willing to work with the writers again after completing a project.

Do Your Research

As you narrow down copywriters based on quality, you need to keep an eye toward price as well.

Spend some time researching rates so you’ll have an idea of about how much copywriters charge for their work. Many copywriters charge by the piece or by the job, however, so this average is only a starting point in figuring out what’s a reasonable rate. This is important to know, since it will give you a much better idea of how fair the bids you receive are.

Be Willing to Negotiate

Even with a bit of research, your idea of a fair rate may not be quite in line with the bids you receive from potential copywriters.

This doesn’t mean that everyone’s overbidding, of course; it’s possible that you were just a bit off in your estimates. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay significantly more than you were expecting, of course; see if your copywriters are willing to negotiate to find a price that’s fair for both parties. Just don’t try to lowball them to bring already fair rates down. Copywriters are professionals with a unique set of marketing and writing skills, and as such, they deserve to be paid what those skills are worth.