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What determines a writer’s pay: Get paid more for your talents

You’re worth more for your content. You really are! But a big question for many is what determines a writer’s pay? How do you know just how much you’re worth?

There are a few factors that affect your worth as a writer. Part of this is uncontrollable by you and depends on the client (and where you find him or her!) but a lot of it you can control. You have a say in the amount that you charge.

So, are you worth $50 per post? Maybe you’re worth $100 or even $300 per post. What about your hourly rate? Are you worth $30 per hour or $100 per hour?

Here are some of the factors that help determine a writer’s pay.

Your experience as a writer

It makes sense, right? Those with more experience are worth more as a writer. You know the market, the tips for creating great headlines and the way the industry works. You know how to make your piece stand out and help a business increase its reach. You know the different types of jobs—blogs, articles, white papers, case studies, everything!

A writer’s pay is often determined by the quality and quantity of clips. Your samples.

Publications will be able to tell right away how long you’ve been writing for just looking at your clips. Clients will have an idea of experience in a certain field based on the quality of your writing.

You need links to all your clips. You can do this with your writer’s website. If you don’t have a writer’s website, create one today!

The current market rates

The overall market rates affect a writer’s pay and at the moment it’s not looking good, is it? If you look around at job boards, you see companies offering $10 or $15 for highly complex pieces because that’s what some writers are willing to accept!

There was something on Craigslist last week about a whole 10 cents for a 500-word article! And what’s worse is there were people bidding on that!

It’s a little difficult with the international market. There are writers who find $15 per article perfect for their needs. The cost of living is dramatically lower than in the UK and USA and $15 is their $50. $50 is their $300 in some cases!

This is driving down the cost, like it does in any market, and drives down a writer’s pay.

You can fight against this and you need to. Don’t accept the lower pay. Eventually, those with English as a first language will stop working for pennies so companies have to pay more for that privilege. Don’t just accept it!

What determines a writer's pay?

The client’s budget affects a writer’s pay

Yes, the budget of your client will directly affect the amount you get paid for a job. Smaller businesses have smaller budgets for freelancers and they will look at paying you less. If you want to stick to the $1-per-word pieces, you need to look at the bigger businesses only!

Trade publications pay less than bigger magazines and national newspapers. Why? Because they gain less from their advertising and the money brought in from subscriptions.

Before you start quoting, it’s worth finding out the client’s budget. They can give a ballpark figure or an exact maximum and then it’s up to you to quote within that frame.

However, there are exceptions to the rule and that’s when it comes to a very specialized niche. If you can find a trade publication that is for a specific audience, there are chances your writer’s pay will be much higher.

You are worth more money and you do have some control over a writer’s pay. As your experience increases, show that by increasing your prices. Stop accepting the lower market rates just because they’re there and prove companies have to pay for the best quality.

MORE: Top tips for dealing with a PITA client as a writer

Do you struggle to increase your writer’s pay? Maybe you have experience in how the current marketplace has driven prices down. Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.

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