Set Your Writing Pay Scale

Freelance writing as a career requires knowing the value of YOUR written word. It only takes a few questions to begin to see where pay rates fall in the current writing market.

I am worth a billion dollars. Just ask my children on a day when they are happy with me. Other days they will tell you that I am not even worth a plug nickel. Trying to put a figure on a new quote, I averaged out those two figures from my loving family. I came up with about $30 – $60 an hour. Exactly where I fall on that scale comes down to a few factors.

Determining a Pay Scale

    1. What will the market take? No matter what I think I may be worth, I can only make as much as a client is willing to pay. I have to balance my thoughts with the reality of the market.

    2. What am I doing to justify the pay? The more specialized my skills then the more qualified I am at requesting the higher end of the pay scale.

    3. What am I willing to take? No matter what a client might offer, it is only enough if I feel like it is enough. Settling for less than I feel justified earning will only leave me resenting the job or the client before too long.

There are freelance writers that comfortably make three figures for an hour of work. I live in a community that does not hold up to that level of demand. The rates that I have chosen are comparable to the existing market but still have me on the upper side of that market. I can make what I need without feeling like I am stealing from the clients in the process.

Before you begin pursuing a freelance writing career with vigor, take some time to figure up your pay scale. Knowing what you are worth, in the current market, will help you to set rates for quotes and stand on solid ground when asking for those rates.

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  1. Kathryn,

    There are so many websites that tell you what you should be charging and when you can’t charge that much, it can feel awful! You do have to make quick decisions on what the client can pay and what works best for your particular situation. As business owners we do need to think strategically. We don’t all have the same skill level just because we love to write. We do sometimes need to be prepared to walk away from a gig. As you say, it is a tough balancing act.

    1. I have walked away from jobs after I doing a portion of the work because the client kept asking for changes and rewrites and never could clearly explain their desires. You have to look at more than the word count but the work cost. The more I learn the more I have to learn. 😀

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