Freelance Writers: Here are 3 Ways to Charge for Writing SEO Content -- Which One Is Best?
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Rates for writing search engine optimized (SEO) content are all over the place. This is true of freelance writing in general by the way. If you’re new to freelancing, this makes figuring out what to charge very confusing. And, it’s one of the reasons newbies get so freaked out by setting their freelance writing rates.

Here, as the owner of an SEO writing company, I’ll outline three methods you can use and give my professional opinion on which one is best, and why. Here goes.

Setting Your SEO Content Writing Rates: 3 Methods

I. By the Hour: This is the least common method used by freelance writers – across all genres. The reason is, clients like more of a “guaranteed rate.” It’s hard for them to gauge how much a project is going to cost when you bill by the hour.

The only scenario in which I’d recommend charging like this is if it’s a big job and you truly can’t gauge how much time it’s going to take.

For example, I once had a client once who was redesigning her firm's website. My company was hired to rewrite the existing copy to make it more search-engine friendly. I charged by the hour for this, but put a cap on the number of hours so that she knew the most she would be paying.

This, in my opinion, is the easiest way to get clients to agree to this billing arrangement.

II. By the Word: If you scan online writing job ads, you’ll see some for SEO writers that quote rates by the word, ie: "Articles must be 800 to 1,000 words. We pay 10 cents per word." That translates into $80 to $100 per article.

This is a method that clients like more than the one above (but less than the one below), because again, they can set parameters that cap how much they're going to pay, by for example, limiting the number of words they want.

III. By the Project/Article/Post: This is the most popular way to charge for writing SEO content. Mainly this is because clients know right off the bat what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost, eg, one 300-word blog post for $35.

This pricing method is straightforward for both parties, so if you’re in doubt about how to charge, use this method.

How to Set Your SEO Writing Rates: A Tip

Do your research up front to be sure that you can comfortably and knowledgeably get your pricing right. Be sure to research the rates of other SEO writers in your niche; this way, you’re comparing apples to apples.

By doing this, you’ll know when clients come along who are trying to lowball you, and you’ll be much more comfortable turning down gigs that don’t pay enough. There’s a lot of money to be made in SEO writing, but you can quickly get burned out -- and turned off this wonderful career option -- if you’re not charging appropriately. So do your due diligence up front.

About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. She’s also the publisher of Inkwell Editorial, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based writing careers. Ms. Black has authored over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance / SEO writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get the training you need to start a thriving freelance SEO writing business. 1 Course. 1 Week. Right from Home!

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