If you are a beginner writer you probably know, how tricky the process of setting up the rate for your job is. Quite often beginners feel shy to charge people for their services. That is why they set the price way too low. Well, after many years of being a freelance writer I can say that it is just as complicated as being an office worker! The fact that you are working from home wearing your pajamas should not influence the price for your services.
So if you are a beginner writer like I was a few years ago and you are having troubles with setting your rate – I am here to help you! I created a list for you that consists of tips on how to set your writing rate while being a freelancer. So let’s begin!
Think of the type of your rate
Typically, there are three types of rates for freelance writers – per hour, per word and per project. They all have their flaws and conveniences. Frankly speaking, I prefer to be paid per word. Here is the thing – when I just started my freelance writing career, I was super slow at writing my articles. However, with time I got better, gained more experience and confidence. So the price stayed the same and time consumption decreased. Due to the knowledge, I gained over the years, now I spend less time on my research and writing. And my income even increased, even though I didn’t raise my rates.
Let’s think of another situation. For example, you decided to charge your clients per project. That might sound convenient until some little problems occur. What if your client demands a revision? Or does not like something? If you have not discussed situations like that beforehand, you might have to do that job for free. I have been in that situation once and after that, I decided to switch my rates to ‘per word’. Trust me, this is the most convenient way.
Find your specialty
Cheryl Heller, a contributor at unreasonable.is points out that profile specialists earn a lot more than all subject writers. Let me tell you from the personal experience – find a niche you feel most comfortable in and start developing your skills within it, broaden your knowledge as much as possible. Nowadays technical articles are in the highest demand.
When I was only starting out I took every order that I could, regardless of the topic. I used to think that I was a ‘diverse’ writer but in reality, I wrote pretty basic articles that only repeated everything said before on the web. Not to mention that I did not earn much for them. So I decided to change my tactics and focus on something specific. With time, I noticed that it became easier for me to write and my articles became more complex. I also could express my opinion more, comparing to repeating someone else’s because I did not have the proper knowledge of the topic.
Consider your expenses
If you want your writing to become a real job – think of it as of a real job! This means that the amount of money you receive must cover your daily expenses. I used to think that if I earn $2000 per month I will have $12000 in half a year. Oh, boy, I was so wrong! Before setting your rate, estimate how much you spend per month, add some extra amount for unexpected expenses and you will have the approximate amount of what you should be earning. If you do not do that you might as well find yourself being a member of a ‘starving artists’ club in no time.
If you can agree with the client that you will remain as the rightful owner of the article – you can reduce a price a little bit. Being an owner gives you additional benefits like reselling the article later. Just remember to mention that the article had already been published elsewhere.
So these are the 4 tips for setting your freelance writing rates. I wish I had known about them earlier! I guess I learned all those things the ‘hard way’ to pass this sacred knowledge to future generations and make their lives easier. At least that is what I keep telling to myself. Anyway, I really hope it will save you some time figuring all that out on your own.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on