How Much You Should Charge for Freelance Writing

When you first get into freelance writing, you may be wondering how much to charge for a project. You don’t want to price yourself out of the freelance writing market, but you want to get paid for the quality of your writing. So what do you charge? This is a question that has been asked hundreds of times by new freelance writers. They just don’t have the experience to figure out what to ask.

There are several ways to price your project, and I’ve briefly discussed each of them. Before we get started, the first rule of thumb is: Never underestimate yourself!

How much do you want to earn?

This is my first question. Freelance writing doesn’t have to be an easy endeavor where someone with a certain amount of experience and a solid reputation can earn a certain amount of money. What I would do is determine your earnings by coming up with an hourly rate that you will be charged. Then when you bid on a job, estimate how many hours it will take to complete, and voila! a price! How do you arrive at an hourly rate? Here’s how I would do it.

Figure out how much freelance writing you want to do in the next year. Let’s say you want to earn $30,000 a year. You probably work 220 days a year – maybe around 200 if you’re lucky. For the sake of discussion, let’s assume the number of workdays per year is 220. If you divide the $30,000 per year by 220 days, you should be making $140 per day. How many hours a day do you want to work? Let’s say seven hours are spent on freelance writing. So divide the $140 per day by the number of hours — or 7. This is your hourly rate — about $20 per hour. I think the hourly figures are a bit low as a freelance writer, but for the sake of example, it will work.

This formula works for you if you have the potential for a stable business, but also as a backup when you’re asked to bid on items that can’t be priced any other way (per page, per word, etc). For large project work, most entry-level freelance writers safely charge $20 to $25 per hour. That said, your price may vary depending on the scope of the project or other curveballs you can throw at it.

The prices can be determined for you.

If you check with a magazine about an article and it is accepted, chances are they pay freelancers their standard rate (especially new freelancers) and you should probably stick around for the first few articles you write for them. It’s impossible to give you an exact idea of what many magazines pay, as it can range from $0.05 to $2 per word. You can check resources such as which provide current rates for most magazines in North America.

Once you’ve published a few articles in a magazine and established a good relationship with the editor, don’t be afraid to raise the bar. They clearly love your work and you’ve paid the price to be one of their reliable freelance writers. You have every right to request an increase in your word count or distribution speed. If they pay you $0.50 per word, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t charge $0.55 or $0.60 per word. For the most part, editors are happy to have a good writer working with them because they don’t have to worry about it.

You may also come across projects with a specific budget. These are good items because you know your price won’t raise the bottom line. What you need to decide is if you can get a job done for that price. If the task budget is $1,000 and you estimate that it could take 50 hours to complete correctly at $25 per hour, that’s $1,250. You may jump at the chance and hope that you can work fewer hours by being productive and earning your hourly wage. But if you think a $1,000 job will get you 80 hours at $25 an hour and $2,000, then you want to leave it to the vultures.

fair price.

After you’ve done a few jobs and know how much time and effort it takes to complete a project, you’ll have a better idea of what a job is worth. This is perhaps the best yardstick for pricing the future of work. You’ll still find work that’s more fulfilling than your paycheck, but hopefully with experience you’ll get paid just as much with less work than you thought.


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