How To Price Your Freelance Writing Services

By on May 9, 2016

One of the biggest dilemmas that you can have as a freelance writer is deciding what to charge for your services. You don’t want to price yourself too high, and therefore put potential clients off, yet, at the same time it is important that you don’t price yourself so low that a) you can’t make a living, and b) potential employers think that you are inexperienced and unprofessional.

Freelance writing is a highly competitive industry, and no matter how much experience you have, or how talented you are, every time you pitch for a job you are competing against other writers who want it too.

There are huge numbers of ‘writers’ out there who will offer their services for next to nothing, and there will always be a temptation to compete with them, particularly if you are’t landing enough work. However, doing this won’t do you or the industry any favours.

Most reputable businesses know that if they want a quality piece of writing, they need to pay a decent amount of money.

Writing isn't simply about putting the words down after all. It takes research, though, careful crafting, re drafting and polishing to produce a good piece that people will want to read. A decent employer will understand this and pay accordingly.

Unfortunately, there are some clients that are happy to pay out shockingly low amounts, preying on writers who don’t know their own worth, or who find themselves in desperate situations.

However, no-one can expect quality work from anyone who is willing to write for a few dollars an hour. Professional writers, while happy to negotiate, won’t lower their rates by huge amounts simply to secure a job.

Thankfully there are plenty of jobs available that offer a decent wage, or will accept a sensible proposal for a job well done.

In order to secure these kind of jobs you need to ensure prospective clients take you seriously. Set up a professional writing website and list your rates clearly on here - the bottom line is that it is up to you to decide how much you want to charge and you can decide to do this on a per hour or per word basis.

You know where your strengths lie, what experience you have had, and whether you have any professional relevant qualifications. These should all impact your fees. As you build up your experience, portfolio, and testimonials, you should think about raising your fees accordingly. Remember no one else is going to give you a pay rise so if you put in the hard work and gain experience then you should reward yourself for doing so!

It may take a few attempts to get your pricing right.

A piece that you thought might take an hour may end up taking three. Different pieces of the same length may take more or less time depending on how much research you have to do, and how familiar you are with the subject matter. If a client provides you with clear guidelines and plenty of information then some of the legwork has been done for you, if not, it will probably take longer to get your article right.

Because of the huge variation in pricing, giving exact numbers is tricky. The best way to make sure your pricing is right is to do your research, find freelancers who have similar skill sets to you and see how much they charge, then use this as an indicator.

Make sure you are realistic too, if a client is expecting a top-class article on a highly topical or intellectual subject that you have no experience in, ask yourself whether you really want to bid for it? You can’t please everyone all the time, but getting into disputes about the quality of your work can be a huge hassle, especially if a client tries to withhold payment, and depending how you landed the job, their negative feedback could damage your reputation too.

Putting a price on your freelance writing services is tricky. However, once you have done a little research and given it some thought you should be able to come up with a pricing structure that suits you, and then you will feel comfortable and happy with what you are earning which is the most important thing of all.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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