Freelance writing rates are a touchy subject for clients. You don’t want to go too high and push the client away, but you also don’t want to low-ball it and end up working your tail off for pennies.
Freelance writing rates require a delicate balance – a balance of your needs, the client needs and how those two intersect.
Though there’s no hard-and-fast formula for what rates you should charge on your next project, there are 7 main factors you should take into consideration. Once you’ve evaluated these, you can determine what the appropriate freelance writing rates to propose are.
1. Your experience
How long have you been working as a freelance writer? Before that, were you in journalism or writing professionally in some form? The more history you have on your resume, the more you can demand from your clients.
2. The time it will take you to complete
Will the project take a day? A week? Two months? While you might not charge hourly outright, you at least want to make sure you’re charging a per-word or per-project rate that would compensate you properly for the time you put in. Try to guesstimate how long the project at hand will take you, set your goal hourly rate, then work backward from there.
3. Editing costs
Will you be sending the project to a professional editor before handing it in? If so, factor these costs into your freelance writing rates. Of course, you want the extra quality an editor can provide, but if it eats into your profits too much, what’s the point of taking the project?
4. The client – and their budget
What’s the client like? Are they a huge, million-dollar corporation, a tiny start-up or somewhere in between? Try to gauge what sort of budget they’re working with, and go from there. If they’re strapped for cash, you might not want to charge them an arm and a leg just for one blog post.
5. Your expertise
How familiar are you with the subject at hand? Is it something you can write about easily and freely? Or would it require research, interviews and other footwork? Remember: the more you have to pour into the piece timewise, the less you actually stand to make.
6. The approach
Did the client approach you? Or was it the other way around? If a client came to you out of the blue or based on a recommendation, then they need you – and they’re probably willing to pay a premium for it. If you approached them, you have a little less leverage.
7. Your interest
How interested are you in the project? Better yet, how much do you want to do it? If you’re like me, you got into freelancing to have an enjoyable career you’re passionate about. If the project won’t further that, the pay needs to make up for it – and in a big way.
Still, need help determining what rates to charge? Check out my recent post on going freelance rates. I hope it helps provide some clarity!