Value Your Writing, and Your Time

Many freelance writers undercharge for their work. It is probably the most common mistake new freelance writers make.

Pricing is a complicated issue. Every freelance writer has different needs and a different level of experience. My first writing job was to write 500 words articles, that required some light internet research, and the pay was only $1 per article. I found that the pay was too low once I realize how long it took me to complete each article. It was the equivalent of $2 per hour and that is just ridiculous.

I would say that as a general rule of thumb, don’t settle for less than a penny per word. Think about the time it will take you to research and write, and what your income goals are. It is okay to start a little lower at the beginning, but as you gain experience, you should be gaining more income as well. The temptation when starting out is to settle for any pay to gain experience. Set a minimum standard and don’t compromise it. People need content, and you will find someone who is willing to pay what you require.

Thinking in terms of “per hour” as opposed to “per article” can help. If you are offered an assignment, think about these things:

-Does it require research?

-Do you know the subject well, or not very much at all?

-Does the client expect you to revise?

-Is the deadline reasonable?

Obviously, research and revisions will take up your time. A per article price might seem great at first, but it takes you night and day to complete, it is probably not worth it. A freelance writer should make above $15-$20 per hour. That is on the lower end of the business. If you are just beginning, and you have no portfolio and no experience, you might start as low as $10 per hour, but I wouldn’t accept jobs that come out to much lower than that to start (not after the experience I told you about). It may take time to accurately access how long a certain project will take you, because you never really know your speed until you have been doing it for a while.

Don’t fall for the “bulk rate” offers that some buyers might suggest. Don’t lower your price dramatically for the promise of “a lot of work.” It would only take your time away from better per hour rate opportunities out there. Value your writing, and your time. Don’t charge outrageously if you don’t have the quality or experience, but don’t work for pennies, either.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I absolutely agree. If your writing professional – You have to get the value for your services.

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