Setting your freelance writing rates can be one of the hardest things to do. You want to set writing rates that are fair to both yourself and your clients. It's a fine balance between what you want to be paid and what you can charge. To find the right rates for your writing services consider asking these five questions.
What Is Your Time Worth?
This isn’t always an easy question to answer. You may know how much you want your time to be worth, but the reality may be much different. Instead of pricing your services by the project, consider pricing them by the hour. Or at least determine what hourly rate you want to make and adjust your rates to reflect that.
How Long Will It Take You to Complete the Project?
To a certain degree, you can take a look at how long it takes to complete a typical project. For example, you may be able to finish a blog post in thirty minutes, but it might take you three hours to write a five-page report. If you want to earn an hourly rate of thirty dollars an hour, then you might decide to charge fifteen for a blog post. Likewise, you might decide to charge twenty dollars a page for the report.
What Is the Market Rate?
While you may not want to base your writing rates on your competition, it is important to know what they’re charging. That knowledge will help you position yourself. You can market your services with your competition in mind. For example, if your writing rates are higher than the standard rate, you might market your services as a more exclusive product. You might stress scarcity or market your authority to justify your rates. On the other hand, you might want to price yourself directly underneath your competitor’s rates, to attract those looking for the best value.
What Is Expected of You?
What does the client expect from you? For example, can you write the content based on your existing knowledge, or do you need to cite references and interview people for the content? If you're writing SEO content does the client provide the keywords or do you need to research them? More expectations will require more time and effort and therefore it'll require a higher fee. Determining exactly what you will have to do to complete the project will help you have more clarity when setting your writing rate.
What Are Your Financial Goals?
Finally, what do you want to earn? Consider your hourly rate. Also, consider your weekly, monthly and annual goals. Take a look at the number of average projects you have. Also, explore your average income. Think about what your monthly expenses are so you can know how much revenue you need to bring in. Consider adjusting your writing rates to reflect your goals.
If you're just starting out you won't have a lot of these data points. It’s okay to adjust your writing rates as your business grows and changes. It’s also okay to leave room in your agreement for adjustments. Just make sure any additional fees are cleared by the client in advance and that they're reasonable.
To help with keep track of the income that you bring in from your freelance projects, I've created a Freelance Writing Project Management Template. You can use the template to keep track of your projects and the revenue you are earning. It will help make setting and managing your revenue goals easier. Enter your information below to get the template now.
Have you done any freelance work? If so, what are some methods you use to set your writing rates?
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