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You need to set your rates as a freelance writer. Your freelance writer rate will differ per project and client. Not sure how to get started with setting it? Here are four simple steps to help you set your writing rate for each client.
You’re not going to have a set rate for all work. Writing work differs between clients. There are some topics you’ll be more proficient at. Some clients will want you to do extra research or collect interviews and data, while others will want you to just write basic SEO posts.
Now you need to figure out how you’re going to set it. Remember that your rate isn’t set in stone. You will be allowed to raise it as you see fit. I wouldn’t do that after a month, but if you realize after three months that the project takes more time, there’s nothing wrong with upping your freelance writing rate.
So, do you work with the minimum hourly wage for your area? Not at all. Here are four simple steps to help you set your rate.
Create your minimum hourly wage
It doesn’t matter what your country’s minimum hourly wage is. This isn’t going to cut it for you as a freelance. The hourly wage is set for employees who have other benefits, including vacation time, sick pay, and benefits. You get none of them, and you have to pay your own taxes. If you’re like me in Canada, you’ll find the taxes are slightly higher when you’re self-employed because you pay more into the state pension.
So, you need to work out what your minimum hourly wage is for your freelance writing rate.
This involves working out the amount you would like to make each month, calculating your business expenses, and deciding on the amount of time off you want.
This is a very basic freelance writer rate calculator that you can use.
Remember, that just gives you your minimum hourly wage. Now you need to work out the amount you will charge for your projects.
On a project by project base for the freelance writer rate
I always set my rate on a project-by-project base. I look at the amount of time that it will take me to do the research, get interviews, and do the writing. I’ll also consider whether the client wants me to ghostwrite or create content with my byline, and the type of content the client wants.
Once I know the time it will take me, I can work out the amount I am going to charge. There’s no point going into the hourly rate with your client. Give the total cost of the project to make it easier to understand. It also avoids the client wondering whether you’re dragging your heels to get more money out of him.
Set your contract with your client to just 90 days or so. You can then revisit the freelance writer rate if you find the project took less or more time, and negotiate a change in the future if needs be.
You will want to know your minimum hourly rate for this. This helps to make sure you make enough each day.
Know your daily rate as a freelance writer
How about your daily rate? This can sometimes work out better than an hourly rate. After all, some projects end up taking longer than you anticipated in terms of hours.
You can work out how long the project is going to take in terms of days. You then charge for those days that you would be working. It doesn’t matter if the project doesn’t take the full eight-hour work day. Chances are as a freelancer, you’re not working on one project for a whole day.
Set your freelance writing rate based on the number of days you’ll predict you’ll be working, and round up. Again, projects often take longer than you expect. The calculator above will help you figure out the daily rate.
Add in a likability or a PITA factor
Do you really want to do the project? Sometimes, you’ll find a client wants you to do work that doesn’t interest you. You could say no, or you could add in a likability rate. This is extra on top of the regular freelance writing rate to factor in the extra time this project will take. When we don’t want to do something, we will procrastinate. Well, I do!
There’s also something I call a PITA tax. If I’ve worked with a client before and they’ve been difficult, I will charge a little extra for the work. Sometimes, I charge a lot extra.
The extra fees are designed to make the client decide to find someone else. I don’t mind losing this work. If they really want me to do the work, then I need to make it worth the time and hassle.
There are some clients I just state “no” to, though. These are the ones who don’t pay on time or have other communication issues that make projects far harder than they need to be and disrupt everything in my business.
Have you set your freelance writing rate? How did you manage it for your business? Share in the comments below.