How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates
As a freelance writer, you will compete against many writers who are just as talented as you are. You will also compete against writers who write poorly and who offer their writing services at ridiculously low fees. These writers can and do get jobs. Many times you will tempt yourself to lower your rates to match or beat the bids to snag the project. Don’t do it! You are a professional. Professional writers don’t lower their rates or work for next to nothing.
Many individuals who lack writing skills drive down rates, way below what professional writers can rightfully charge. If the true professionals do not keep up their prices, this will become an even bigger problem. Just because writers from other countries want to work for eight or nine American dollars per hour, this doesn’t mean you should. As a writer, you can earn far more than many freelance writers—and certainly more than freelance writers who speak little English but still bid on the English-speaking jobs at much lower rates.
Visit any writer’s marketplace and scan through the projects. You will discover all types of bid prices and proposals. What you won’t see is how these writers came up with their bid prices or how they decided what and what not to include in their bid proposals. Often times these writers don’t know how they came up with their fees for bidding either. It becomes obvious when you see the same project posting listed under different genres or price ranges. Some of the same writers will bid on the same projects with a large spread in proposed bids. It is quite comical.
Freelance writers need to know what they can charge based on the job at hand. This can vary depending on the marketplace. When it comes down to freelance writing, here is the truth in a nutshell: You can charge whatever it is you want to charge. You can base your fees on whatever you want to base your fees. The trick is finding someone to pay it who believes it is a fair price.
Freelance writers are a rare breed. Many of them are quite difficult. There is no need to be one of them. Decide on your fees and stick to them. Keeping your fees consistent enables you to keep your bookkeeping simple. You are a writer, not an accountant. Simplicity in accounting should appeal to you. Regardless of how much work you find, keep yourself grounded. Make your job fun. Take things in stride. The money will come.
What to charge for your freelance writing rates
Many writers will charge way too much for their services while others will charge way too little. You can find current market rates in Writer’s Market. You can also use the following as a guideline until you feel you have a good sense of what you want to charge. Remember, you can charge anything you want to charge. Always ask yourself what your time and skills are worth. More importantly, do clients feel you are worth what you are charging?
Some writers prefer to charge by the word too. This is slightly different as it varies on several factors. If you are going to charge on a per word basis, decide how much that is and stick with it on all your projects of varying lengths. Often the rate per word charge fluctuates by writer depending on what the writer is writing (article, book, and web content).
Whatever you choose to charge, consider the time you spend creating the work. Remember, if you are an educated writer in your field, you should be able to realize anywhere from $30-$75 per hour.