Usually, around the New Year, I’ll increase my writer rate. This has become standard. And it’s something all writers need to do at least once a year.
When you do it is up to you. In the past, I’ve done it in April and other times I’ve done it in the New Year. I haven’t done it yet in 2020. I was going to increase it in April, but then COVID happened, and I decided against it.
But this is something all writers need to do at some point. Each year makes sense and stick to the same time of year. Here are my seven reasons all freelancers need to increase their writer rate.
Your own costs are increasing
It costs money to run a business. Whether it’s the electricity you’re using in the home or the fees for using the coffee shop’s internet, you need to spend money. These costs will increase year by year.
Not only that but your other costs will increase. You’re working from home to create a career; to avoid the 9-5 right? You’re working to support a family and enjoy the luxuries that you have. Every single cost you have in your life will increase now and then.
So, you need to increase your costs to go along with that.
Content Strategy Planner | Second Edition: The Ultimate All-in-One Content Planning + Strategy Workbook
Your hourly rate needs to increase
With costs increasing, your hourly rate will increase. As you grow in your business, you’ll take on more outgoings.
You may hire a social media manager, decide to use a networking tool, or buy a few WordPress templates. There is always something new that you need for your business.
This year alone, I’ve bought four new tech tools for my business that I’d never even considered last year or before. They all help me to boost my social media presence and share my blog posts. If I didn’t have a higher writer rate than say two years ago I wouldn’t have been able to afford these.
I also recommend working out your freelance writing rate by working out the amount you spend per hour and then add a little bit extra. Do this yearly and increase your writer rate when you need to.
You’ve gained another year of experience
As you gain more experience, you deserve to be paid more. Someone with 10 years’ experience in business will get more money than someone who’s just graduated. That person with 10 years’ experience will work more efficiently and won’t need as much explaining. They can usually just get on with the job.
As a writer, you will be able to command a higher rate with more experience because you know what works. You’ve learned the best SEO tips and you know how to format a blog post. You’ll gain experience in different content management systems, like WordPress, Drupal, and others.
That experience is invaluable. Clients should pay you more because of it.
You’ve learned new skills
It’s not just experience, but the skills you gain. During my first two years of writing, I learned so much about SEO, backlinking, images, and creating good content for the web.
Since then, I’ve picked up skills in social media promotion, Pinterest image creation, tags and category choices and creation, formatting, and much more. I can offer more to clients, so my package prices have to increase with that.
Clients still want old prices? Then they don’t get to utilize the new skills you have. They want those skills? They need to pay for it.
You’re already underpaid
Chances are you’re charging less than you “should” do. I put the should in quotes, because this term is relative. There are some people out there who will tell you to charge $300 a blog post. There are others who say you shouldn’t charge anything less than $50 per hour.
Well, I’m going against the grain. I believe you should charge what you’re comfortable charging and what you’re happy receiving.
But generally speaking, you will likely be underpaid. Everyone else is raising their rates, so you need to do it too. You need to stay in line with industry standards.
Remaining underpaid isn’t just bad for you. It tells clients that you don’t value your work or skills and sends off alarm bells. They worry that they’ll get bad content for their money.
Other freelance writers are doing it too
As I mentioned, you are definitely not the only one increasing their rate. Clients will expect it every now and then. Once a year is a good amount of time between writer rate increases.
I know there’s a saying “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” The answer is supposed to be “no” and you’re not meant to follow the flock. Well, in this case, you’re not being a sheep. You’re being business-savvy.
Freelance writers need to remain competitive. Low rates aren’t going to keep you competitive for too long. Clients start to question your abilities if you charge too little.
You need to avoid the bad clients
PITA clients expect to get their content for very little. They aren’t necessarily poor clients—some of the richest people will try to undercut and I’ve found them some of the worst people to work with.
But if you never raise your rates, you get the reputation as a cheap writer. This attracts the wrong type of clients, who will drive you up the wall.
By continually increasing your writer rates, you make it clear that you have business sense and you’re not going to be walked over. Of course there’s more to it as a freelance writer, but it’s a start.
Struggling to increase your writer rate? Sign up for my email newsletter and get the extra support you need.