Copywriting contract – what should it include?

Table of content

The contract between a copywriter and the client is an important element to ensure transparent conditions and thus conflict-free cooperation. However, the question remains what should be included in it to fulfill its purpose. That’s why in the following article we discuss what a complete copywriting contract should contain.

Copywriting contract – elements

Such a document should ultimately include all issues that can be determined top-down before starting the project.

As it turns out, you can agree on a lot in copywriting. Below we present the most important issues:

Payment

We determine the price according to the agreed settlement method. So we have a choice:

Volume of texts

We summarize the overall volume of ordered content. Due to the fact that character is a small unit, it is worth additionally setting a tolerance threshold, e.g. 5% (i.e. for a text with a length of 2,000 characters, the acceptable range is 1900-2100 characters).

Deadline

We set a specific deadline and possible consequences of delays. At this point, it is also worth specifying when the order is considered completed (e.g. no comments submitted within 5 business days).

Transfer of texts

We determine whether we will deliver the materials in batches or comprehensively. It is important that, based on the arrangements, we also specify the form in which we will do it – most often, the content is sent by e-mail, although some clients want the texts to be inserted directly on their website.

Number of corrections

A very important point in case the customer is not satisfied with the service. It may happen that it will not accept the submitted content, which means that corrections will need to be made. However, in order for this process to be fair for both parties and not last forever, we must specify a specific number of modifications.

Example

The client has two corrections to use – if he is still not satisfied after the first one, he should know in order to finally determine the scope of changes whose implementation will result in acceptance of the text.

Payment issue

In this section, we inform you how the settlement for a copywriting contract should take place – whether based on an invoice or a civil law contract (commission contract or contract for specific work). If we chose the first option, we should inform about the payment date and the e-mail address from which the document will be sent.

It is equally important to address the moment of payment. Some copywriters prefer payment in advance, others choose an advance payment, and still others settle after the content is accepted or no comments are received.

Duration of the agreement

We determine whether the order is a one-time order or whether the client decides to cooperate on a permanent basis. For the second option, we need to specify:

  • What is the notice period for terminating the contract?
  • Is the customer obliged to deliver new orders regularly?

It is worth mentioning that in the case of a commitment, we switch to subscription billing, which should be reflected in a more lenient copywriter price list🙂

Transfer of copyright

Here we have to answer many more questions, but this is extremely important from a formal perspective – after all, it concerns what the client actually pays for. Therefore, we define:

  • In what fields of use do we allow the customer to use the content?
  • Do we transfer proprietary copyrights or grant an exclusive license?
  • Can we exercise moral rights, i.e. add the content to our copywriting portfolio or sign it?
  • At what point do we transfer the indicated rights – when the payment is recorded or when the content is sent?

Confidentiality clause

For almost every order, we will work based on the data provided by the client. They may be covered by commercial secrets, so it is worth drawing up a non-disclosure clause (NDA) that will specify sensitive information and the consequences if it is made available to third parties.

Dispute settelement

The last point tells us which court will hear the case if the parties fail to reach an agreement despite the written contract. We basically have four options:

  • The court having jurisdiction over the defendant or suing party;
  • The court having jurisdiction over the copywriter’s or client’s registered office.

Of course, remember that this is a last resort, as it involves a time-consuming process and possible interest and court costs. It is definitely worth trying to find an amicable solution to the dispute in the event of a disagreement.

Copywriting contract – what else is worth knowing?

The number of above-mentioned issues may seem terrifying for every beginner copywriter who is thinking about starting a career in this profession. Let us reassure you right away – not all details necessarily have to be included in the contract. It serves to avoid possible conflicts, so (especially at the beginning) it is worth limiting yourself to the necessary information and expanding the document over time, when more and more elements of cooperation can be sanctioned in advance.

So far, most copywriters rely on e-mail arrangements, which, by the way, are also binding, and they are very good at it. However, the prepared contract ensures that we have agreed with the client all the information we wanted to include. It is known that when conducting many conversations, certain aspects of cooperation may simply be missed.

Does every contract have to be created from scratch?

Of course not. If this were the case, it would involve a huge investment of time. Fortunately, we can use a simple solution:

It is worth preparing a copywriting contract template in which we include the most important information regarding our work model.

In the case of new clients, we only change the company data, project guidelines and possibly modify the details to meet the client’s individual requirements. However, elements such as the form of settlement, transfer of copyrights and confidentiality clause remain unchanged.

Do I have to sign a contract every time?

A copywriting contract is not a requirement to produce professional content and establish satisfactory cooperation.

Especially with small orders, you can rely on trust and basic information provided by e-mail. However, it is worth remembering that in the case of copywriting for large companies, the contract is standard, and in larger projects it will help avoid unnecessary conflicts..

What are the benefits of a copywriting contract?

The agreement regulates important issues related to cooperation. In connection with:

  • Summarizes the entire project, providing information value;
  • Creates an obligation between the parties;
  • Increases transaction security;
  • It ensures transparent conditions, which reduces the risk of conflicts.

Therefore, remember that such an agreement is not an unnecessary formality, but an expression of professionalism that provides specific benefits.

How to sign a contract?

A copywriting contract can be concluded traditionally by letter or electronically (using a qualified or electronic signature).

Considering the convenience, the second solution is still gaining in popularity, and there are more and more programs available on the Internet that offer intermediation and authorization in concluding this type of contracts.

Summary

  • A copywriting contract is a document that specifies the arrangements and conditions of the entire cooperation.
  • It includes, among others, the subject of the contract, the deadline for project implementation and the remuneration for the copywriter.
  • For this reason, it is worth preparing it to avoid possible misunderstandings in the future

I hope that the above article has clarified the issue of formalities related to copywriting.

Lordson Okpetu

I'm many things rolled into one; I'm an ex-journalist, a content strategist, digital marketer and 'rockstar' direct response copywriter. I've written tons of copies to sell thousands of products and services across diverse industries in Nigeria. In my occasional spare time, I play chess or spend time with my family. I am the Chief Operating Officer of Content Writer, Nigeria.

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