Freelance Profit Academy – How Much Should Freelance Writers Charge?

This is a question that comes up again and again in Freelance Profit Academy and I’ll be honest with you, there are so many variables to this question that it’s not easy to answer. Nevertheless, because I’m that kind of guy, I’m going to tell you how I think freelancers work out what freelance writers charge.

How Much Should You Freelance Writers Charge?

Many writers balk at the idea of only charging one or two cents a word. Additionally, you don’t have to look very hard for writers pretty much insulting other writers that do, saying that it brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator. But that is unfair as everyone has to start somewhere. 

The fact of the matter is that how much you should charge for your freelancing depends on you. You’ll need to think about your experience, the job, the client, the time required and your goals. So, let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.

What Is Your Freelancing Experience?

Let’s be honest again. If you are just starting out and you think you’re worth a dollar a word, go for it. You never know your luck. But with no portfolio, no work to show, and (maybe) no idea what you are doing, I would be very surprised if you got any work at all.

And I’m afraid if you tried 10 cents a word, you may well get the same result. The fact is the freelance writing market is saturated. Now, don’t start panicking. There’s plenty of work out there and there will be more and more in the future, but you need to start small and work up. 

Freelance Writing Riches

I started at ONE CENT a word. It was painful and I hated it but it only took me a month to double my rate and only another month to double my rate again. If you start small, you should get enough work to justify increasing your rate.

If you sit there for six months, you may not have worked for a crap rate but you may not have worked at all! Of course, Freelance Profit Academy can guide you to get there quicker. Unfortunately, when I started out, there was no Freelance Profit Academy.

Who Is Your Client?

If you are working for someone who owns a pissant little blog that has three posts, you are not going to be able to charge much. This is mainly because the owner probably doesn’t have any money.

However, if your client is Forbes or a massive successful affiliate site, then you not only should charge more but you must, or you probably won’t get the work for being too cheap.

One good way to judge what your client can afford is where you saw the job ad. If it’s on a freebie site like Craigslist, you’re probably not looking at something that’s going to pay big money. If it’s on a job board like ProBlogger, which costs money, then you’ll be able to charge more.

How Much Time Is Required?

You may not be charging by the hour but you still need to work out how long the project will take you. If you reckon something will take you three hours, then that should be the basis for your price. If you’re working for less than minimum wage, that’s shit, no matter whether the project takes three hours or three days. 

Image by Devanath from Pixabay

Don’t forget to add in the costs of researching the project, editing, and revisions. If you do not charge for them, you’ll be paying for that extra work. And that could be seriously annoying if you’re working for a picky client who makes you do half-a-dozen revisions.

What Are Your Goals?

The more you want to earn, the more you want to charge. Of course, the more you earn, the less you may need to work, which is another reason to think about your rates. Think of it this way. It’s all about your quality of life. Look at this:

Example 1:

– 10 hours a day
– 5 x 1000-word articles a day 
– 2 hours per articles
– $20 per article
——–Total $100 a day

Example 2:

– 10 hours a day
– 5 x 1000-word articles a day
– 2 hours per articles
– $40 per article
——– Total $200 a day

Example 3:

– 10 hours a day
– 5 x 1000-word articles a day
– 2 hours per articles
– $60 per article
——– Total $300 a day

As you can see, in Example 1 you are charging a crappy $0.02 a word and earning $100 a day. In Example 2, you have only put your price up to $0.04 and yet you are now earning $200 a day. In Example 3, just by adding another $0.02 a word, you are now earning $300 a day.

Freelance Writing Riches

And remember that you don’t have to keep doing so many hours. Maybe you’re happy with $200 a day. So in the third example, you might decide to only work six hours and earn $180 a day. Get to $0.10 a word and now you only need to work four hours and you’ll be earning $200 a day. Very nice.

Another way to do all of the above is to decide how much you want to earn a year and divide that by 12 months. Now divide that by how many hours you want to work. So, if you want to earn $25,000 and you want to work 100 hours a month, you need to charge $21 an hour. Remember, that’s 100 hours of writing. Everything else you need to do to support those 100 hours is not billable.

What’s Your Financial Situation?

How much do you need to earn? Add up your monthly outgoings including mortgage, utility bills, food, car payments and running cost, alcohol and cigarettes (oops that’s maybe just me). Now divide that by hours you want to work and that’s what you need to charge.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

If you included the extras that make life living, then that’s your hourly rate. If you didn’t, don’t forget to add that into the mix. You don’t want to only be earning enough to pay the bills; you’ll end up going crazy.

Wrapping Everything Up

So as you can see, it’s not exactly black and white. Plus, you really don’t even want to be working per word. Hourly or by the project is much better for you, but it will depend on what your client wants, of course.

Think about everything you want factoring everything we’ve discussed above, and then base your rate on that. Don’t be afraid to charge more. After all, the client can always negotiate you down and you can either accept it or not.

Freelance Writing Riches

The rate question is a complex one to answer but the Freelance Profit Academy can help you come up with exact rate figures. Check out my review here for further info.

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Giles Ensor

Ex-soldier, ex-teacher, present-day stay-at-home dad. Recently retired from the real-world education business, now working in the online e-learning industry,

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