Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Get Help Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates
A fair amount of traffic comes to The Writer's Blog asking how much freelance writing pays. The answer is that you can set your own freelancing rates. How do you do that so that you can remain competitive but not give your words away for well below what they're worth? Here are some tips:
-Do some research. A job bidding site like Elance, Guru, or GetAFreelancer can help. Beware, though, that many of these sites are filled with a majority of lower paying gigs because the freelancers often go into bidding wars. Because not everyone is in the same area with the same cost of living, the rates will fluctuate. That said, these sites can be worthwhile once you build a portfolio and impressive set of positive feedback referrals on the jobs you've done and can give you a ballpark of what clients are paying for particular types of writing jobs.
-Read job postings. You can find freelance writing job board sites that are forums and blogs, writing categories on classified sites like Craigslist, and you can Google for the type of freelance writing job you want. (Always be careful to avoid writing scams)
Check Out the Competition
-Look up writing rates on freelancer's business websites. Many freelance writers do not list their rates but you'll find some who do list general guidelines.
Calculate Your Needed / Desired Earnings
-Figure out how much you need to earn. Jennifer Mattern, an experienced freelance business writer, announced the release of a helpful freelance writing rate calculator on her blog yesterday. This calculator takes into account your desired annual income, your desired hourly rate, and other factors to help you figure out your rates and how much you need to work to meet those goals.
An important factor to consider in setting your freelance writing rates is that not every moment you work is billable. You'll be marketing, quoting, looking for work, doing administrative work, doing revisions to writing work, and doing other tasks that won't net you a rate per word or per hour. Be sure to keep your overall time spent working as well as to consider your business-related expenses such as: membership fees, private health insurance, taxes, office supplies, and the cost to use the technology needed to do the writing job.
It could take time for you to make the rates you want and there's nothing wrong with using stepping stones to help you develop a profitable freelance writing business but keeping in mind how much your time is really worth can help you set helpful goals that are attainable.