How to set your Freelance Writing Rates

How to set your Freelance Writing Rates

I do not know about you, but I struggle my way through my hourly rate as a writer.
Up till recently I charged either per word or per article and it didn’t cover the cost of research and such.

All the administrative duties that come with running a business and all the unpaid hours e-mailing prospects just made it difficult to keep track with my bills.

In the process of determining my rate I look around on the internet, freelance job – websites, and I discover that some people will work for pennies. I cannot work for pennies, I have to work for dollars.
And I think the market is just unfair when it comes to a housewife wanting a home based job next to het husbands income, not realistic about het price settings since she is not depending on that income as I am. Or a person in a low income country working 24/7 for just s few dimes per word.

I simply cannot compete with them

Looking at past jobs and new futures I feel lost in the jungle out there when it comes to hourly rates.
And so are you probably, otherwise you would not have ended up your Google search at this article.

What’s a minimum writing rate?

The truth of the matter is that a minimum writing rate is however low you’ll go and how much you need money.

But is that the freelancer you want to be? Is that the image you want to share with the world?

Hi, this is JC, I value my work so little I will work for pennies.

Now that will make a hell of an elevator pitch.

Maybe you are interested in this article on hourly rates

You will never be able to keep working as a freelance writer with an attitude like that. In the previous article about setting hourly rates I define which items to inclose in your price, how to look at your expenses and how to set a rate.

And although we all have to start somewhere, starting off with a rate that is too low, you will have a hard time raising it in between business since you will have to explain every raise to your customers. Better start with a good rate right away.

For you will alienate clients if you raise your rates without being able to explain why. And believe me, they are simply not interested in you stating you cannot pay your bills.
You only look stupid for not being realistic in your business-deals.

So how do you do it without alienating the people you want to work with?

One day I looked at all my services and I figured that I have two standards: I work with project rates and with hourly rates.

And than it hit me: Why not work with project rates all over?

I have decided on a ticket system. This way the client buys a product/project which is clearly defined, and whether or not I can finish within the set time, that is my problem, not the clients.

I took an average of time spent on certain projects. Some had overtime, some involved less time, overall I will do just fine with the ticket system.

It is my unique way of project pricing.

I have other costs to cover, and that makes me as flexible as my income

Living in a low income country makes it even more profitable.

Another way to make sure I can keep up with bills to pay is moving abroad. I live and travel in low income countries and I can spent my money on different things since I do not have fixed bills anymore, except website expenses.

Other tips to increase your income and to take some of the weight and pressure of your freelance writer life:

  • learn how to write and research faster
  • build yourself a database of bookmarked websites and topics
  • keep track with price changes in the business and follow inflation
  • teach yourself new works like copywriting, white papers and website content
  • new products and projects can start of at higher project prices

Why should people pay writers this much?

We writers love our job, don’t we? And therefor we are always willing to work for nothing or less, because we just love to write. It comes effortless and you enjoy it. And that is your excuse for being plain stupid about your income.

Let me explain:

The businesses you write for most likely make money selling products and ideas to their customers by using your text. Therefore,you should be paid for your work, you help them to make money.

Business success depends on communication. If you write for them that makes you a part of that process, you’re a valuable business asset that is worth investing in. Keep that in mind when you set your rate.

Make sure that this concept of business success by words you write for them, is clearly stated in your proposals, clearly communicated  in both your elevator pitch and your sales.

After all that is your communication and makes you successful or not

I hope my words have inspired you to take a closer look at your hourly rate and your way of living and working.

If you need any advice or help on the topic, just drop me a note or buy a ticket

Do you need articles like this for your website, please contact me, I will be happy to write them for you, charging you a fair price.

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