How to Decide Freelance Writing Rates
By Ritika Tiwari / April 17, 2017 / Comments: 3
For every freelance writer who is just about to start his journey, the biggest question is always – How should I decide my freelance writing rates?
Deciding your freelance writing rates can be difficult, especially because they are so many low paid writers out there ready to work for pennies.
But why would you want to work for pennies if your goal is to become a full-time freelance writer and quit your stable job? You should be earning well enough to pay your rent through freelancing.
If you always charge like a part-time freelance writer, then you will always remain a part-time freelance writer. Instead what you need to do is set your freelance writing rates like a full-time freelance writer.
If you are still struggling to decide what to charge for your freelance writing services then here is the ultimate guide:
Do not have a standard pricing for everything
The biggest mistake that a freelance writer can make which can put him in a financial hell hole is charging a flat freelance writing rate for all of their freelance writing services.
As I stated above, every client comes with a different requirement and it wouldn’t be fair to you or to them if you charge the same price for everything.
For instance, if you were to write one travel article about Goa and other highly technical article about cloud computing, then it’s obvious the latter would take more time writing.
But charging the same price for both of these articles means you wouldn’t be valuing your own time.
Understand the project requirements clearly
Before blatantly sending a price chart to your client, ask their requirements and make sure you are absolutely clear about it when you send the price, to avoid any confusions.
Here are some questions that you should discuss with your clients
What will be the number of words for each article
Do you want me to follow a specific approach and tone
Do you want me to pitch topics
Do you want the articles to be search engine optimized
Do you want to add images to the articles (Also, what kind of images – public domain, creative commons, screenshots, or just about anything)
Calculate the total time it would take for you to finish the project
Once you have all the requirements for the project, it’s time to calculate the total amount of time it would take for you to do the project. Some content writers in India just provide pricing according to the number of words and topics, but that is also a wrong approach.
If you are required to provide topics and images for the articles as well, then you should take that into account. This is because writing a 300-word article does not take the same time as writing a 300-word article and adding 5 images.
Consider if its a bulk project
This is a very controversial topic for some freelance writers because some like to give clients discount on bulk projects, others don’t. So, I will put the pros and cons for both the situations and let you decide.
If you charge your standard freelance writing rates for a bulk project, you will definitely be happy with the pay and that you are putting your time in the right projects. But, the client might not be happy. Bulk projects comprise of work which extends over 20,000 words per month. For clients who have this much of work to be done, they might be looking for a more cheaper and long-term solution.
Not to mention, if you charge a bulk rate, clients tend to stay with you for longer. All in all, it’s a big juggle between getting the right pay and keeping long-term clients with a fixed pay every month.
Decide whether you want to charge per word or per article
Another place where content writers often get confused with their freelance writing charges or rates, is whether to charge per word or per article.
The answer depends on your client’s requirements. If your client needs articles that vary greatly in word length, then its always best to go for a per word rate. At the same time, if the articles are all of the same length, then putting a per article charge would be easier for you and your client.
Finalize your freelance writing rates
So, now that you have everything with you, it’s time to finalize your freelance writing rates.
Increase your rates if the articles involve a lot of research
Increase your rates if images are required
Increase your rates if you are required to pitch topics
Increase your rates if the client wants you to be available at a particular time (You are a freelance writer, you work on your own time, and if a client is asking you to be a dedicated resource don’t hesitate before charging them extra and letting them know about it)
Here are some places you might want to decrease your rates but it’s completely up to you:
Decrease your rates for bulk projects
Decrease your rates if your main goal is to get authorship and byline on the website/magazine
Do not haggle
As a freelance writer, we are often expected to haggle over our rates, but do not let your clients get to you. Once you calculate your freelance writing rates, stick to it and do not change it for any client – No matter how many ‘future’ opportunities they claim to have.
Trust me when I say this – There are no ‘future’ opportunities for pay raise or anything else. Whether the client is from an established company or a startup, the question is not that whether you can work under their budget, the question is whether they can afford you.
You might have noticed that in this 1000-word article I haven’t mentioned any pay number anywhere, and that is because I am no one to decide your rates, just like I didn’t let anyone else to dictate my freelance writing rates.
You should charge what you think is apt for the quality you provide and stick to that