How Much Should You Charge as a Freelance Writer?

How Much Should You Charge as a Freelance Writer?

Set up a sustainable freelance writing business by knowing the three major ways to charge and the pros and cons of each one.

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Today freelance writers are in serious demand. From content writers turning out articles geared for SEO to copywriters crafting compelling sales copy that drives revenue, companies are more comfortable than ever in outsourcing writing services.

While that’s good news for freelance writers, it means that writers must also be prepared to decide how to charge. There are plenty of models out there, but three are the most popular because clients have familiarity with them. Read on to learn more about each one and how to decide if it’s the right fit for you. Charging by the Hour

Most new freelance writers have a comfort level in starting off with an hourly rate if they’re coming from other industries. Whether an office job or some other position was your most recent, you were likely paid by the hourly or had a salary rate that converted to an hourly rate.

Hourly rates work well for beginning freelance writers because those writers don’t yet know how long it takes them to write a blog post, social media caption, or even book. Setting a modest hourly rate can make it easy to get started with work, but it’s also challenging to charge hourly because clients almost always have a budget or fixed rate in mind for writing.

A client who has to choose between a writer who charges $100 flat rate for a blog and someone who charges $40/hour without clarity on how many hours they’ll need to complete the work only leads to confusion. If it takes the $40/hour writer six hours to complete the piece, the client might feel as though they’ve been taken advantage of. So writers should always include a range or cap based on their best guess of how long it would take them, such as: “I charge $40/hour and estimate this will take 3-4 hours.”

“I charge $40/hour and expect to spend several hours working on this.”

This makes hourly rates both easily accessible to freelancers and harder for clients, who don’t really have a sense of how long certain projects take. So while it can be a decent starting point, the goal for new freelance writers should be to track how long it took them to do something so they can turn this into a flat rate.

Related: Start a Side Hustle as a Freelance Writer With the Help of These 12 Workshops Charging by the Project

The easiest way to charge once you know what you’re doing is by the project. This eliminates trading dollars for hours on the freelancer’s end. It also helps the client know the max they’ll pay for out of the gate.

Charging flat rate or by the project is hardest for beginners because it’s very easy to undercharge, especially if you’re not familiar with writing the length in question. It takes […]

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