Today, I’ll talk about the most crucial part of freelance writer jobs.
Yes, it’s the most crucial because that’s what we write for. Isn’t it?
I know you’ve been searching for this a lot but couldn’t get a standard answer.
And how could you? Because there’s no standard rate. Nobody can tell you charge so-and-so for freelance writer jobs. I see people charging from INR 1 per word to INR 500 per hour. See the difference?
How can you determine your charges for freelance writer jobs?
Consider the following factors to determine your freelance writing charges:
- Your niche: Technical writers earn better than non-technical ones. Here’s how to pick your perfect freelance writing niche.
- Type of Freelance Writing Work: Different freelance writer jobs have different earning potential.
Web content, blogs, and SEO writing generally pay the least. On the other hand, writing in newspapers, magazines or for social media campaigns pay better.
Writing marketing-related content such as the copywriting, sales pages, press release, ad campaigns, and email pay much higher than general content creation.
White papers, brochures, and position statements also have a higher pay-rate.
- Your expertise in that niche: Do you have a degree or past experience of working in that field? Expect a higher pay-rate. For example, a person who has worked for a law firm can expect better payment for writing law-related posts than a person who hasn’t.
- Your experience as a writer: Don’t expect high pay-rates in the beginning of your career.
- The word count: More the desired number of words, higher the pay-rate.
- Research required: How much time you need to devote for doing research on that topic? You can set your hourly rate accordingly.
- One-time gig or ongoing project: Ongoing projects pay better than one-time projects. So, always strive for long-term ones.
- The time involved: How much time you actually need to spend on that project? Not just writing, but research, editing, all included.
- Deadline – urgent or not: You can set higher pay-rates for urgent projects.
- Your overhead expenses: Treat freelance writing like any other business. Though you work remotely from your home, you need a laptop, internet connection, and electricity. Count all these expenses while setting your charges.
Take all these factors into account while setting your price for freelance writer jobs. I follow one easy step to do this:
Search the top 10 content writers in your niche and see their writing charges for PPW. Of course, it won’t be same for all. Calculate their average and set it as your starting rate for freelance writing.
However, the next big question is….
Should I charge PPW (paisa per word), PPH (paisa per hour) or PPP (paisa per project)?
Personally, I don’t recommend PPH model.
Some websites make you calculate your hourly rate based on your expecting monthly salary. And the formula is too complex.
Plus, you can’t charge the same hourly rate for every project. Each project is unique and requires you to spend a different amount of hours. This will require a different rate.
When you are starting out in freelance writing, go for the PPW model. You won’t know how much time it will take you to curate a 500-word blog post.
So, do some assignments and note down the time you take to complete them including research, editing, and plagiarism-check. Gradually, as you gain experience, move to PPP model.
PPP is my go-to source of earning as a freelancer, but I learned this after a lot of trial and error. To set your PPP rates, you have to:
- Understand your client’s business. You can’t be blunt and ask for exorbitant amounts.
- Understand your business as a freelancer, your overhead expenses and expectant income per month. You can’t undercharge or work for peanuts.
Find a way that’s agreeable to both.
Should you charge the same amount for every freelance writing job?
Short answer: NO
Long-ish answer: There can’t be a one-size fits all. Every freelance writing job is different. The requirements. The approach. The deadline. All are different. So, how can the charge be the same?
In fact, that’s the common mistake many new freelancers make. They never ask questions or discuss the project details with the client. What they need and how can you serve them?
Without understanding these details, you can’t quote the right price for the project. You’ll be undermining your capacity as a writer and working for meager amounts.
Plus, the quality of work you submit would be low or in worst cases, not what the client wanted.
So, ALWAYS switch on your interrogator mode and get as many details about the project as you can. However, ask only practical questions and don’t be overbearing.
Charge what you think is right and justified for the project in question.
Other Factors to Consider for Pricing
Besides the above factors, you need to consider the following to set your rates:
- The cost of living in your area and in your client’s area.
- Type of the client. You may give a discount to non-profit clients who work for a social cause but have a little money.
- Will the client give you a byline to boost your credibility and exposure? This allows you to charge more.
- Will you share royalties or the percentage of sales your content and ads generate?
- Are you allowed to keep the rights to the work you did? Keeping the rights to what you write can help you resell it later.
So what should be your charges for freelance writer jobs?
Unfortunately, there’s no one amount answer to it. However, on the whole, your niche, the type of writing work, your expertise, experience, client’s requirements, and your overall expenses will help you decide your perfect rate.
As a beginner, you may charge less initially, but raise your rates if your clients praise your work. Re-evaluate your rates every six months to make sure you charge what you’re worth of.