You are currently viewing How little is too little when it comes to your writing rate?

How little is too little when it comes to your writing rate?

Disclaimer: This blog makes money through affiliate links. It costs you nothing but means we get a small amount to help keep the blog going. All affiliate links are denoted clearly with the asterisk.

Everyone will have an opinion about your business. Everyone will think something about your writing rate.

You’ll hear clients tell you that your writing rate is too high, and then you’ll have other writers or your business support telling you your rate is too low.

But what if you’re comfortable with your rate? For years, people telling me my rate is too low has grated on me. I don’t feel like it is too low. It’s just right for me and for what I want.

When I want more, I up my rate. As I take on new clients, I’ll charge them a little more than the other clients I have.

But if I’m happy with my rate, I don’t see why any other writer can tell me otherwise.

Is there such a thing as too little when it comes to your writing rate, though? Well, yes, there is, and I’ll get into that right now.

So, how little is too little?

How much should you be aiming for? This really depends on where you live, what you need to afford your monthly outgoings, and what you need to actually live.

Too little is making just enough to survive. You’re making enough to keep the roof over your head and to put food on the table. But if one thing goes wrong, you have nothing.

Just right is being able to enjoy your life and do more with it. It’s the ability to take time out in the year. You have money to put away for savings.

When setting my writing rates and any financial goals I have, I assume that I’ll take four weeks off a year. I want to be able to enjoy those four weeks.

Your income needs can change year on year. You need to reassess your writing rate regularly to make sure it’s not too little.

The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms ($)

Setting your writer rates: How should you do it?

What do you need to set your rates? These are the things I recommend.

Take into account:

  • Your country and taxes
  • Time off that you want to have
  • Any other income you have coming in
  • All your outgoings inc. rent, insurance etc.
  • The length of the project
  • The amount you’re guaranteed to write for a client
  • The amount of time you’ll need per piece

Why do I add the last three on the list? Well, if you’re guaranteed to get 10 articles out of a client, you may be able to set a smaller rate. By writing 10 $50 pieces, you’re guaranteed $500 per month. Get another client where you’re guaranteed that and you’ll have $1,000 per month.

This is much better than having a few clients that send one or two pieces a month where you have to encourage them to pay $100 or $200 per piece just to be able to meet your income goals.

If the pieces are short, you’ll also be able to take on more work. A 200-word piece (it’s very rare you’ll get them unless you’re doing email copy) isn’t going to take you anywhere near as long as a 1,000-word piece, so you don’t need to charge as much. In fact, clients won’t pay $300 for a 200-word piece, but may pay it for a 1,000-word piece.

There are writers even getting $500+ for 1,000 word pieces because clients understand that it takes longer to write these articles.

How little is too little for your writing rate?

Your rate isn’t set in stone!

Just because you set a writer rate doesn’t mean you have to stick with that forever.

Think about it in an employment sense. As you gain more experience, you earn more money, right?

Well, it’s the same with your writing rate. As you build your exposure and experience, you get to command a higher rate. Those writers you see getting $500+ per article have been writing for years; or they’re extremely well-known in their industry.

Set a lower rate for now and work your way up. The new year is a great time to increase rates.

There will be people who tell you that your rate is too low. They’re judging on their own experiences, and maybe they’re scared you’ll undercut them. Honestly, though, it’s what you’re happy with. You can always increase your rate as you need to!

As long as you’re meeting your own needs, your writing rate is just right.

Oh, and definitely don’t listen to the clients who say your rate is too high. That’s not a problem.

MORE: 5 tips for raising your rates without losing your client