You’ve decided to become a freelance writer. Kudos to you for your bravery and your willingness to bet on yourself.
Here’s what I know: you’ll do it. Someone will pay you for your writing, because today, writing gigs are everywhere. Competent writers are in demand: it’s the best time in history to be a writer.
But… Yes, there’s always a but…. (Grin.) The “but” is this: you decide your fees. There aren’t standard rates, so there’s no ceiling on your income. How much you earn is up to you.
From my many years as a freelance copywriter, ghostwriter and blogger, here’s my best tip to help you to thrive as a freelancer.
Here it is…
Set your rates now: your business depends on it
I’ve been coaching writers for a couple of decades. In all those years, I’ve never found a writer who over-charged. Mostly, they under-charged. Some under-charged so grossly that they were going broke.
Here’s the thing: your clients will pay you according to the rates you set. Generally speaking, no one wants to cheat you.
When you set your rates, consider:
- Your expenses, including taxes;
- The time you have available to write each day. You have less time than you think. Running your business gobbles up hours each week — you need to manage marketing, client servicing, and more;
- The value you provide to your clients.
You can’t set your rates in a vacuum, so do a little research to gauge your local conditions: the recommended rates for the type of writing you do.
Start your research on the web, then chat to other writers.
Research current freelance rates: start on the web
Research the recommended freelance rates in your country with a simple web search in your chosen search engine. Search for “freelance writing rates 2019.”
I’m in Australia. The ASA (Australian Society of Authors) offers a good starting place for Australian freelance rates here.
Your rates will vary according to the client and your own experience
As the ASA page points out, when you’re setting your rates, consider:
- The prospective client’s budget;
- Your own experience.
A small local business with 20 employees won’t have the budget of a global business with 50,000 employees.
Will you charge the big business more?
Yes — but not because they’re “big.” You’ll charge a premium to large companies because your experience will confirm that:
- You’ll jump through many more hoops when you’re dealing with a large company;
- You’ll get paid when it suits them — often three to six months after you’ve completed the project.
Create a rate sheet today
When you’re just starting out, you’re building experience.
To repeat: how much you earn as a freelance writer is up to you.
Set your rates today and review them regularly. As you build experience, increase your rates.
Happy writing. :-)
Veteran author, copywriter, and blogger Angela Booth loves helping fellow writers. Visit Angela’s site for tips and strategies for writers.