Wanna get freelance writers – who are normally a docile bunch – to start hurling insults at each other? Mention rate, as in "how much should you be charging for your freelance writing services?" Boy, that’ll get’em going almost every time! I've actually left some blogs and forums because the discussion degenerated so much it had completely gotten off the topic of what to charge.
My Evergreen Advice When Asked, “How Much Should I Be Charging as a Freelance Writer?”
I always tell newbies to charge what they feel comfortable with because nobody has to pay their bills but them. This advice is grounded in the fact that freelancing is different for everyone. Some freelance for “pocket money”; others to earn extra income; others just to see if it's something they might want to really pursue; and yet others because they want a full-fledged freelance career.
All of this – in my opinion – plays into how much you charge. So I don't think there’s a one-size-fits-all way to charge for freelance writing. Now, with that being said, following is some insight into how to set your rates "just right" to increase your chances of landing more jobs.
3 Things to Consider When Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates
I. Assess Your Experience: Do you have experience in the niche you’ve chosen (if you’ve chosen one)? If so, you can command higher rates because you come with an in-built set of knowledge you can put to use for clients.
For example, in my past professional lives I’ve been a real estate agent and a mortgage consultant (ie, home loan officer). It’s one of the reasons I chose real estate writing as a niche when I first started writing SEO content back in 2007. Because of this, I can easily justify my rates to clients – and land these types of gigs quicker than someone without this background.
II. Research the Competition: Whether you choose a niche or not, you should research what other freelance writers are charging for the types of services you want to offer. The reason is, you don’t want to be too low or too high; somewhere in the middle will make it easier for you to land clients.
III. Assess Your Service Offerings: How you charge will depend on which type of services you’re offering, eg, case studies, blog posts, foundational/cornerstone SEO content, etc. So when you’re researching the rates of others, try to compare “apples to apples and oranges to oranges,” so to speak.
By doing these three things, it will be easier for you to set your freelance writing rates – and be comfortable with them. THIS, believe it or not, is half the battle in landing gigs.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company, and is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based freelance writing careers. She's also the author of over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get everything you need to start a successful, work-from-home writing business (including how to set your freelance writing rates to make a real living).
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