Freelance Writing Rates – Wandering Wednesday

Setting prices as a freelancer scares many writers. Entrepreneurs in all fields that have to ask for pay for services often struggle to put a value on those services. This Wednesday we are wandering over to Freelance Folder where Laura Spencer has done a thorough job of providing a map for freelancers to develop a fee scale that will satisfy.

Quick Steps to Set Writing Rates

    1. What do you need to earn? Writers working full time or just bringing in a little extra income all need (or want) to be making a certain amount. Break down your household budget to see what you need to be earning as a freelance writer.

    2. How many hours do you intend to devote to WRITING? These hours have to be spent writing and not just surfing around different social networks or instant messaging other writing friends – not that I do that.

    3. What would be the hourly rate that you would need to charge? Divide the amount you need to make by the number of hours you know you can work and you will have an hourly rate.

    4. How many articles can you write in one hour? Divide the hourly rate by the number of articles and you will have your ideal writing rate.

More Tips for Writing Rates

The perfect world pays you what you want. The real world looks at other factors.

“A time-honored method of determining rates is to look at the averages of what other writers charge.” Laura Spencer knows a thing or two about writing and takes a look in her article at several surveys that can help guide the freelance writer to the right rate.

Know what the competition charges!

The perfect world pays you because your heart is in the right place. The real world pays you based on what you know and what you have done.

“Before you decide what to charge take a good, hard look at your writing history and ask yourself the following questions:
• How long have I been writing professionally?
• Do I have specialized knowledge in a particular field?
• How extensive is my writing portfolio?
• Have my clients given me good referrals?
• What can I do for a client that my competitors can’t?”
-Laura Spencer, Freelance Folder

Never underestimate the value of what you do. Talk to others in the industry or use the internet to research what freelance writers are getting paid. Be realistic about your goals, but continue to raise the bar as your experience and portfolio grow.

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  • Thanks so much for discussing my post on rates Kathryn.

    Determining what rate to charge is a challenge for many freelance writers. I’m hoping that my post will at least provide a few guideines.

    I think your questions are a good addition. I especially think freelance writers should think about how much time they are going to devote to writing (billable work) as opposed to other tasks such as marketing and accounting (not generally billable work).

    • Hey Laura – thanks so much for stopping by. I enjoyed your website and was glad that I discovered it.

      Something else that writers often forget is setting aside time for networking. 😀

  • Thanks Katherine! I recently had to ask someone with more experience what to charge for a certain job. It does help to know, or at least have an online relationship, with those that have already been there.

  • Thanks Kathryn for posting about an often confusing and difficult decision to make-how much charge. Am I charging too much or not enough? I think there are several factors to consider and it’s good to have a range from what I definitely need to make to what I’d like to make.

    • If you are struggling to land new jobs then you might want to consider adjusting your rates. I had a favorable response from one company only to miss out on the job. I felt comfortable enough asking why – my rates were a little higher but he told that for my experience and samples that it was reasonable. They just wanted to work with someone more centered in that particular field. It was nice to have confirmation that my rates were at the right place!

      Ultimately – your rates are right if you are getting jobs and you are happy with the amount you are earning!