Freelance Writing Advice on Pricing Jobs


Since 1993 I have been a freelance copywriter, editor and editor-in-chief. So I have a lot of experience pricing freelance writing and editing work. However, I recently seriously underestimated one, costing me over 50% of my potential winnings. It just goes to show that even with experience it is possible to fall into this trap if one is not careful.

3 tips for estimating/pricing freelance writing jobs

Here are three suggestions for some precautions to take when estimating/pricing freelance writing and editing jobs so that you get the full amount you deserve every time.

I. Do not give a hard estimate: You should never give a hard estimate unless you are absolutely confident that you can complete the work within that time frame. If you are not sure, you should provide a conditional estimate.

In my case I give a firm estimate because I have worked with this client before. But several factors caused me to underestimate the amount of work that needed to be done.

What is a conditional estimate of a freelance writing job?

FYI, this is when you hedge your bets on a job before you know more details, for example it can be thoroughly inspected and a more accurate estimate can be made, which brings me to my next tip…

two. Estimate the job properly: My mistake was not checking the job thoroughly before giving a solid estimate. The document is only 12 pages – I should have read each page carefully before sending it back to the client. Instead, I only read the first few pages.

The problem is that the pages that require the most work are on the back of the document.

3. Stick to your freelance policy: At my (SEO) writing company, we only start projects when a minimum of 50% down payment has been made. Then create your editorial calendar based on today’s date.

In this case, the client misses the originally agreed down payment date, delaying the due date of the project. Although he paid later, I told him that we could still deliver the project within the originally agreed deadline.

This caused a knock-on effect on some other projects, which would not have happened if I had adhered to company policies and met deadlines based on payment terms.

Estimating freelance writing and editing jobs: conclusion

Estimate/Prize Freelance writing and editing is a skill – it takes some time to get it “right”. I’m a bit lax in judging different aspects of the job. This cost me profit. Learn more about how I grossly underpriced this freelance editorial job. Take note of these tips so you don’t do the same.


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