Thursday, April 3, 2008

Four Dollars a Word?

Do you have dreams of getting paid dollars instead of pennies for your writing words?

Last night I watched a rerun of Sex in the City and the main character Carrie Bradshaw was thinking about taking on freelance work with Vogue for $4 a word. I almost fell outta bed dreaming of those rates.

Last week I was copied on an email from a client that included another writer that they obviously use. I Googled that writer and found out they are selling a ten article pack for $790.00 which translated to about .15 a word. Even that sounds wonderful to me! I almost fell off my stability ball (seriously. I almost ended up on my head. I try to work on my stability ball at the computer a few hours a day and the idea of fifteen cents per written word threw me off balance). I am SO ready to make that kind of dosh and getting there will ultimately lead to the elusive dollar per word.

I'm not going to get there unless I make it happen so that's the plan. There's no boss doing a performance and salary review annually to help me get a raise since I'm self-employed so it's up to me to raise my rates and buy Darling husband that new boat he's been wanting...

Yesterday I was reading some blog posts from some very established writers and definitely saw some areas I can improve on both in my work as well as in how I project myself to clients so I'm working on a plan to get the kind of clients willing to pay for value added writing services.

I had one client haggling with me recently over a few pennies per word and I've now decided after working with some clients paying the same rates to me as two years ago that wherever possible I'm going to quote pricing with a six month period listed so I have the opportunity to move up financially. I'm also planning on targeting new niche areas that seem to pay really well so am developing my skills in key areas.

I know my work has improved in many areas in the two years I've been freelance writing so it's time to make sure my rates improve as well. I've quadrupled my original rates for the most part in two years. How have you fared over time in getting raises on your freelance work rates? How did you do it?

9 comments:

Shannan Powell said...

I ran into this recently with an older client who contacted me after a year and needed some things done. When I quoted him my new rates, he ran like the wind and was posting the next day on a forum I read, looking for writers. I was almost upset at first, but then I realized I had outgrown him.

Things are going well enough for the moment, but I have decided that after the summer, another raise will be in order for any new clients.

Laura Spencer said...

Where do I sign up?

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Sign me up for $4 a word. I've done well with my rates in the past two years. I've trebled, quadrupled and sometimes quintupled them. However, like you, I don't want to spend more time haggling over pennies. I've decided to up the ante in marketing myself. With 20+ years' writing experience, including three on the web, I'm ready. Good luck with raising your rates, Dana.

suewrite said...

Good post Dana, and good luck with raising your rates. I'm doing better than I was but there are still so many people out there wanting work for 1cent a word. I am now learning to say no to these other than in very exceptional circumstances.

Yuwanda Black said...

Seems like a lot of great minds are thinking alike. As I noted in my blog post on 4/3, I've confronted the rate/price thing three times this week alone. Each time I got what I wanted by simply asking, which a lot of us are afraid to do.

I took that bull by the horns though and wrestled his butt to the ground! Good luck in raising your rates Dana. Found your blog by way of Sharon Hurley Hall's site.

Yuwanda

Nikki said...

Dana I hear you! I am making these changes this year and I am happy to say I have one client who is paying $.10 per word. To me that is HUGE and I want to keep on getting that type of work so I need to make the necessary changes to get there! A great post... and that whole Sex in the City???? I like to put that right up there with Romance novels... "Stuff that happens to me... Never."

Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer said...

Dana,

I wish you luck! There are quite a few of us who are stepping up and letting it be known that we're only working for what we're worth, but we need even more to join the team. Although, I don't think it will be long until clients start realizing that paying for good, quality writing gets them better results than paying pennies for low quality.

By the way, I followed your link through Twitter and just subscribed to your RSS feed. Oh yes, I added yet another blog to my Google Reader, but hey, I love to read and write, so what's the harm. ;)

Dana Prince said...

Thanks to the new visitors who stopped by and who have subscribed. Gotta love Twitter!

Suzanne James said...

I have no problem getting $.10 a word - but the problem is that I find these guys stop paying after a few months. That leaves me with a couple hundred dollars of unpaid work. Sometimes I've done the math only to find that I wrote for less than $.05 a word ... sigh.