Having worked for Corporate America, Fortune 500s, and Elance and later, Upwork, I can guarantee prices for ghostwriting, editing, and design are all over the map — as is the quality you get for what you pay. I've paid top-dollar and gotten crappy work, and vice versa. No wonder clients are reluctant to pay a lot of money for untested talent!
So how do you find great talent at a price that's fair for you both? Number one — don't rush in to hire without doing your due diligence. That means find the going rates for the work you want done. No, that doesn't mean checking on Fivvr.com or Upwork or any of the other low-ball, iffy talent sites. You CAN find great providers at low prices on those sites, but if you do, you've either lucked out, or have a friend who referred you to their find. If you're shooting blind, and don't know where to start, here are some tips:
Define your project. Many clients come to me not sure of what they need, let alone what it might cost. If you don't know what you need, say so up front and ask for insight and feedback. Most providers will talk with you for free for 15-30 minutes, or charge a consulting fee for their time. This fee can run anywhere from $75 to $150 depending on their expertise, and what you want to know, how much time you need. If you're really unsure, plan on no less than 30-minutes. Defining your project can be as simple as "I need a website," or "I want an ebook written." Don't be surprised if the writer/designer asks you about your overall plan or objective for the website or ebook. Many people don't realize an ebook is only a piece of the puzzle. Everything, from website, ebook, landing page, or book should have a job, a place in the strategy of what you're trying to achieve. I had a client a while back who wanted a book written. He didn't have a website, or any social media, or even an idea about what his book would be about. He didn't need a book. He needed a goal. We talked for several hours while I helped him define his goal - which was to be a life coach, and then a speaker. I explained how he had to have followers, a website, content, and what his strategy would be. The book was really one of the last things he needed. He needed a website, a newsletter, social media, and a following first. Once he had followers, and understood what problems they wanted to solve, then he could use his website, blogs, and social media to craft a book readers would want to buy. From the book he could leverage all those things into clients, and testimonials, and then speaking engagements. If you don't have a goal, you won't have a clearly defined project, and your writer/designer will have a hard time giving you an accurate quote.
Take time to spell out a list of deliverables and a timeline, or ask your creative (writer, designer, etc.) to give you a list of deliverables based on your project goal. Ask for a list of all the things your project will need. For instance, for an ebook you'll need content, a cover design, layout and formatting, and editing. Your primary creative may be able to source all that out, or only provide one aspect of the job — like the content. Others, like myself, may do it all — which lowers your cost and keeps everything on track because I "maestro" (manage) the project so everything is scheduled and happens in a reasonable manner. Writing costs will range from .10 a word to .50 or even a $1 a word depending on the project's scope. You can find cheaper rates (.01 to .05 cents per word on Upwork and Fiverr), but again, the quality will range. Good writers will start out low, then raise their rates quickly once they establish a good clientele willing to pay higher rates, so the churn is high.
Consistency Matters More Than Talent
You don't have to be talented to succeed. You do need to be consistent.