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There is a serious demand for freelance writers today. Compulsory sales copy created by content writers from articles created for SEO by copywriters that drive revenue, companies are more comfortable than ever in outsourcing writing services.
While this is good news for freelance writers, it also means that writers need to be prepared to decide how to charge. There are plenty of models out there, but the three most popular ones are because clients are familiar with them. Read on to learn more about each and how to decide if it is right for you.
Related: It takes 9 skills to be successful as a freelance writer
Charging by the hour
If most new freelance writers are coming from another industry, they have a level of comfort to begin with. Whether it’s your most recent job in the office or any other position, you’ve probably been paid per hour or had a pay rate that has been converted every hour.
The hourly rate works well for freelance writers because those writers still don’t know how long it takes them to write a blog post, social media caption or even a book. Setting a moderate hourly rate can make it easier to get started, but charging every hour is also challenging because clients almost always have a budget or fixed rate in mind for writing.
A client who has to choose between an author who charges a flat rate of $ 100 for a blog and someone who charges $ 40 / hour just leads to confusion without specifying how many hours it will take to complete the task. If it takes the author ছয় 40 / hr six hours to complete the writing, the client may feel that they have been taken advantage of. So writers should always include a range or cap based on their best guess as to how long it will take them, such as:
- “I charge $ 40 / hour and estimate it will take 3-4 hours.”
- “I charge $ 40 / hour and expect to spend a few hours working on it.”
This makes the hourly rate easily accessible for freelancers and difficult for clients who have no idea how much time a specific project actually takes. So while this may be a decent starting point, new freelance writers should aim to track how long it takes them to do something so they can turn it into a flat rate.
Related: Start a side hostel as a freelance writer with these 12 workshops
Charging by project
The easiest way to charge once you know what you’re doing is through the project. This removes trading dollars for hours at the end of the freelancer. This helps the client to know the maximum amount they will pay outside the gate.
Charging by flat rate or project is most difficult for newcomers because it is very easy to charge low, especially if you are not familiar with writing the length in question. It takes a different level of work to write a 4,000-word white paper than a 1,000-word blog post.
To write, consider all the work you do to reach a finished part, which may include:
- Selecting topics or keywords
- Doing research
- Interviewing people
- Read the transcript
- Adding bells and whistles like links, pictures or captions
In order to charge a fair project rate, a writer needs to know which of the above works will be applicable to the project at hand and will be able to estimate them very quickly. For an experienced writer who has a lot of projects to look back on, it’s a little easier. But it is not easy for a newcomer. Newcomers may be better off working on hour-long projects or working on small / simple things so they don’t lose as much if they make a mistake in pricing them.
For example, you may have quoted $ 75 for your first blog post but quickly realized that you should have been charged more after a project based on your time and level of work involved. This is much better than taking a $ 5,000 project and realizing that you are charging significantly less, because at that point, you are committed to a huge project and the pain of closing down is much deeper.
Charging by sound
In the world of journalism and even across some digital companies, being charged by words is the most common. This method works best when the client has different types of projects for you and all of them have different lengths. Maybe you discovered that you need 3,000 words to cover a subject deeply. You will be paid for every word you write, where if you quote in advance for a 2,500-word article but cite 3,000, the client will most likely not agree to raise your rate to accommodate it.
Keeps math simple by word and is popular with agency models because they can give many authors the same rate per word but still allow them to do some of that customization in projects based on length.
Related: 4 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Working As A Freelance Writer
Reasons to consider project-per-hour and per-word rate transfers
The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with charging for your work as a freelance writer. More experienced freelancers prefer not to charge in hours because it is a subtle but important value change: with the project / word rate, your clients are paying for your skills, not your time.
When I started freelancing, it took me a long time. Over time, I’ve built systems, invested in software, and generally become faster at what I do. I didn’t want to be punished for being quick. Similarly, a “slow” freelance writer should not feel pressured to speed up because a client thinks that four hours is too much to write an article.
Whether it will take you two or ten hours to complete the project is not their business. Avoiding the hourly route also eliminates the possibility of a client arguing with you about how long it will take to complete something. Depending on your system and process, their ideas may be wrong, and shifting the price perspective from flat or per word per finished product means you may focus on meeting deadlines instead of feeling the need to justify how long you have done it or not. .