The start of every new career is difficult but freelance writers could find it downright impossible to establish themselves. One of the most important rules of finding freelance writing jobs involves setting the right hourly/per project rate and knowing how to filter through all of the “exploitation” offers that freelancing websites are so full of.
Setting the right freelance writing price could be a catch 22 in the beginning. A very low price will create a vicious circle that some freelancers will be incapable of breaking out of. Asking for too much will deprive them of opportunities to start working on interesting projects.
Are you feeling confused about pricing? I’ll share some of my experience and suggestions in hopes that these will help you launch your career without having to deal with problems, haggling clients and jobs that pay pennies.
Underpricing, Overpricing or Somewhere in the Middle?
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to set your own price and to come up with a minimum threshold.
The minimum threshold should cover the production expenses and leave you with at least a little bit of profit. For some writers, it may be two dollars per 500 words, for others – it could be at least 20 dollars.
Know what your writing is worth, even if you are just getting started. You need to have a bit of confidence – clients will sense that. If you are too willing to accept compromises and to take steps back, you will find it impossible to establish yourself as a reputable and respected professional.
At the same time, you should understand the dangers of overpricing your work. Asking for too much in the very beginning will make it impossible for you to create a portfolio and to get good ratings. If you want to be paid 20 dollars per hour, for example, consider accepting projects that offer 15 dollars per hour. A new client will get to test your skills and if they are happy, they will probably be willing to increase the amount in the future.
Protect Your Professional Rights When Looking for Freelance Writing Jobs
Exploitation is widespread in the world of freelance writing. It comes from content mills and it comes from clients, as well.
Just recently, I was forced to deal with this ugly problem once again. After getting in touch with a new client, I made an offer of two cents per word for the content that he wanted to have written. Considering the fact that the texts required research, I thought that this price was quite fair and reasonable.
The person got back to me, offering a payment of 1.5 dollars per 500 words of professionally-written content! You can only imagine how furious this got me. On top of that, the client decided to be rude and aggressive in his communication with me. The saddest part of the experience is that some poor writer from any underdeveloped country will be more than happy to slave away and produce content for this ridiculous amount.
The truth of the matter is easy to understand – if writers are willing to get scraps for the work that they do, clients will be quite willing to offer just that.
As a writer, you are the one responsible for protecting your professional rights when looking for freelance writing jobs. Standing against this kind of exploitation, being outspoken about it and educating clients about the benefits of paying for well-written content will help you enjoy better gigs and it will affect the world of other freelance writers, as well.
Do a Bit of Research about Hourly Rates
If you are really fresh and just about to get established in the field, you can do a bit of research to see how other freelancers approach the issue.
Freelance writing jobs are available for all kinds of professionals, having all kinds of experiences. Dig into the particular niche that you have interest in and try to figure out what the averages are.
Writers that have specialized knowledge, like the ones writing about finances and medicine, can afford to charge customers more. Your know-how, experience and ideas are the ones you are getting paid for. The more specialized the knowledge is, the easier it will be for you to launch your freelance writing career in a stellar way.
Learn through Trial and Error
The final thing I suggest doing is learning about freelance writing jobs and pricing through trial and error.
Apply to a few jobs. If you don’t hear back from any of the clients, you have probably set a very high hourly rate. Underpricing could also be decreasing the amount of feedback that you get because many clients want quality for reasonable price, rather than the cheapest offer on the market.
The manner in which you apply is also very important. Learn how to create a professional presentation and how to impress potential clients. A cover letter that is full of grammar and selling errors will never make clients get the urge to write back to you, even if your hourly rate is low.
Freelance writing jobs are really exciting but the beginning could be scary. Take your time to find your niche and to figure out what clients want. Work on having a professional presentation and think about setting a reasonable rate. Underpricing is a major sin but so is asking for too much without knowledge and experience to back your demands.
Want to learn more about becoming a full-time freelance writer? My book contains some useful suggestions and practical step-by-step guides. Visit this page to learn more about the ebook and the topics it covers.
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