Listen up, future entrepreneurs and career climbers! If you’re gearing up to start a new gig, there are plenty of factors to mull over.
But don’t forget about the most crucial one: setting a price that won’t scare off your clients.
And if you’re planning on freelancing, pay extra attention, because that market’s about to blow up like a balloon!
Word on the street is, it’ll hit a whopping 450 million USD by the end of this year. Time to get those pricing strategies in check!
When it comes to freelancing, writing is a pretty niche service. But let’s be real, figuring out how much to charge for it can be a bit of a head-scratcher!
Here in this article, we discuss how to charge as a freelancer for writing services. Let’s go!
Hold your horses, let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of pricing just yet. First things first, we need to wrap our heads around the factors that can impact how much a writer charges.
Factors Affecting The Freelance Writing Rates
There are many factors that influence the rates and help us prioritize and eventually determine the cost. Let us go through the most prominent ones here.
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- Time it takes
The hours spent to create a piece of work are one of the basic factors to determine the rate for your work.
If you can do more in less time, then you could charge relatively less per word and not per hour, to compensate for the lost hours with words, which will score you more projects.
However, if your content is of high quality and requires more time to research and develop, then you can charge more per hour and per word.
Check out how to become a freelance content writer.
- Experience level
Experience plays a very important role in concluding the price. The more experienced you are, the more you can charge for the job, irrespective of the unit of charge (per word/per project/etc.).
- One-off or a package
As with any product, it makes sense to reduce the cost when ordered in bulk. Similarly, with writing, you can charge more for a single project and reduce the per-unit cost for a larger quantum of work.
- Project scope
Depending on the complexity, style, and amount of research involved, there are different types of writing.
For example, technical writing vs. copywriting.
Each of the specialty’s costs differs depending on the expertise and other factors mentioned above. The more complex, the more creative, the more researched, and the more cost.
Also Read: Top tools for content writers
- Type of client
A good customer who has more experience with freelancers can facilitate sealing the deal with the freelancer easier.
However, a less experienced customer needs to be explained about the project and cost. Hence, your offers with a new customer may need to be discounted until a rapport is built.
A closer deadline means a more concentrated duration of work with a higher rate of execution, hence, more cost. The more time available to finish the job, the lesser the job costs.
Depending on the geographical location of the freelancer and the lifestyle he prefers, the rate of the service varies.
For example, we could divide the location as tier 1, tier 2, and so on; and base the price on that, proportionally.
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- Industry of the client
Depending on the novelty and complexity of the industry the client hails from, the rate is affected. A technically advanced industry will require more and hence can provide more for the service.
The resources you spend to create the piece of content affect your cost price. For example, logistics, researching expenses, etc.
Writing in the mother tongue is far easier than writing in a second language. Hence, one can charge more for native languages, given the command of language.
Also Read: How to earn 6 figure income as a freelance writer
Pricing Based On Categories Of Writing Service
There is a variety of writing niches that demand different prices. Here we’ll look at the most common ones. A brief overview of the costs for different products is given below:
|Service||Beginner||Intermediate||Advanced||Unit Of Cost|
|White Paper||$2000 to $3500||$4200 to $4500||$5000 to $7000||Per paper|
|Blog post||$30 to $45||$50 to $100||$120 to $250||Per post (1200-1500 words)|
$50 to $100
$10 to $25$
100 to $250
$100 to $150
$75 to $100
$150 to $500
$30 to $150
$300 to $1000
$200 to $1000
$150 to $800
$600 to $1000
$200 to $500
$1200 to $2000
$1200 to $2000
$950 to $1200
|Per page |
|SEO writing||$10 to $12||$15 to $30||$30 to $50||Per hour|
|Formal writing||20% to 50% more than informal writing||20% to 50% more than informal writing||20% to 50% more than informal writing||Per project|
|Resume/LinkedIn profile||$50 to $75||$100 to $400||$450 to $600||Per resume|
|SOP||$15 to $25||$30 to $45||$50 to $75||Per SOP|
|LOR||$15 to $25||$30 to $45||$50 to $75||Per LOR|
|Cover letter||$20 to $40||$50 to $100||$120 to $200||Per letter|
|Essay||$30 to $50||$75 to $300||$400 to $600||Per essay (1500 words)|
|Ghost-writing||$0.3 to $0.75||$1 to $3||$5 to $8||Per word|
|Press release||$7.5 to $10||$15 to $80||$90 to $125||Per hour|
|Social media content||$7.5 to $12||$14 to $35||$40 to $70||Per hour|
|E-book||$8 to $13||$15 to $25||$30 to $50||Per page|
|Magazine article||$300 to $500||$600 to $2000||$3000 to $5000||Per article|
|Technical writing||$15 to $20||$30 to $60||$70 to $100||Per hour|
|Medical writing||$15 to $25||$30 to $60||$70 to $100||Per hour|
|B2B writing||$40 to $75||$100 to $200||$250 to $400||Per hour|
|Product description writing||$15 to $20||$25 to $40||$75 to $100||Per hour|
|Academic writing||$15 to $20||$25 to $40||$75 to $100||Per hour|
- White paper
Creating a white paper involves more research about the organization/government. It requires a good professional caliber and hence, one can charge relatively more for a white paper.
The average charge for a white paper ranges from $4200 to $4500 per paper. Writers specialized in this field charge $5000 to $7000 per paper.
- Blog post
Depending on the category, creativity, complexity, and length of the blog, the blog can be charged. For a typical blog, the writers charge between $50 to $100 per post of length 1200–1500 words.
Copywriting usually requires more creativity and research on the company’s product and hence is usually charged more for.
Here is a table that lists out typical charges by freelancers for various copywriting categories:
• Website copy: $150–$500 per page
• PP Advertisement: $30–$150 per ad
• Landing Page: $300–$1000
• Brochure: $200–$1000
• Email: $150–$800
- Formal Writing
When writing formally, requires more complexity and proper language. For example Academic writing. It is usually charged more than informal writing (e.g., a blog). So, you could charge 20% to 50% more than informal writing, depending on the level of formality.
- SEO Writing
SEO content requires more research on the keyword, and the ability to write naturally on the chosen keyword. It demands immense research and authority over the keyword to make the content rank on search engines.
The typical freelance rate for SEO writing is between $15 to $30 per hour.
- Resume/LinkedIn Profile
Depending on the credentials and expertise of the customer, the charge for building a resume or a LinkedIn profile varies. One can charge between $100 to $400 per resume, based on it.
A typical SOP can be charged between $30 to $45 based on how advanced you need your SOP to be.
A LOR is also charged based on its level of complexity. Similar to an SOP, it is charged between $30 to $45.
- Cover letter
A cover letter requires similar proficiency as that for writing a resume. But since the amount of work is comparatively less, one can charge between $50 to $100.
Essays are relatively easy to charge for. They are usually charged based on the length and domain knowledge. A typical 1500-word essay can be charged between $75 to $300 ranging higher for more experienced writers.
Ghostwriting requires good adapting skills to sound more like the author who they write for. It is therefore charged more than the above documents. An average freelancing charge for ghostwriting lies between $1 to $3 per word.
- Press release
Press releases are usually written based on the amount of information the customer provides. However, the language is usually ultra-formal and hence charged based on the length and is higher than the average content writing. Freelancers usually charge between $15 to $80 per hour based on their experience.
- Social media content
Social media content is usually less formal and demands more creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. It depends more on the audience profile. One can demand around $14 to $35 an hour.
E-books can be categorized based on the type of content: Academic, Fictional, and so on. Based on the volume of the book, complexity, and creativity, the cost of writing an e-book varies. Freelancers typically charge $15-$25 per page.
- Magazine articles
Magazines thrive on writing and hence, they usually pay more for their content and are consistent. Depending on the classification of the magazine, and the quality of the content, one can expect anywhere from $600-$2000 per article.
Technical content requires very formal and neutral language unless asked otherwise. It follows stipulated standards and style guides. It requires immense research and domain expertise involved in the content. Hence, it is usually charged more. Typically, $30 to $60 is charged per hour.
Medical writing also follows standards but is related more to clinical research, patient records, and documentation. Freelancers typically charge between $30 to $50.
Business-to-business (B2B) writing involves writing emails and papers for other companies. It addresses a wide range of audiences and requires writing content to meet all of their expectation.
B2B writers often demand good skills and typically charge $100 to $200 per hour.
The product description is a marketing document that justifies why the product is good for the customer. Relatively less research is required as the details are gathered from the product managers and other SMEs.
Product description freelancers typically charge $25 to $40 an hour.
Academic writing requires expertise in scholarly publications such as essays, research papers, and dissertations.
It demands a good knowledge of the relevant subject to be able to articulate the content to meet the prime requirement of the documents, to educate.
Academic writers usually charge $25 to $40 an hour.
Strategic Ways To Charge For The Service
A freelance writer can quote for his service with one or a combination of the following units.
Check out how to price your service for the first-time customers.
- By word
This is the most popular unit used by freelancers to charge for their work. When your working hours are not consistent, and you know you can write more within the given amount of time, then this is the right choice!
Typical charges are $0.03 to $0.15 per word for beginners, $0.05 to $0.30 per word for intermediate, and $0.75 to $1.0 for advanced writers.
- By Page
This is similar to the previous unit, only that you charge per page instead of per word. This is used to quote for a larger volume of content, like e-books.
- By project
Estimating the volume of the job comes with experience. You can quote for the entire project when you know the amount of research, complexity, and creativity involved.
Usually, the experienced freelancer estimates everything (volume, time, complexity, creativity, etc.) prior to quoting the price for the entire project.
- By hour
When you are not sure about the amount of job involved and you feel like it takes more time (considering research and homework) you could quote the price on per hourly basis. Especially when you work full-time.
- By experience
This is more like a factor affecting the above-listed units. Based on your experience, you could factor in a percentage of the unit additionally.
For example, 25%-40% more on the base price (beginner’s fees) for intermediate experience and 50%-75% more on the base price for advanced writers.
Mistakes To Avoid While Setting Writing Rate
Here are a couple of mistakes that can be avoided so that you don’t have to learn the hard way.
- Setting your rates too low to get more work
Low rates are an easy option to get the contract, but it could end up being costly for you. You may end up burning out mentally when your work isn’t financially appreciated.
Make sure you account for all your costs and add the overheads while you quote for the job.
- Setting your rates too high
Sometimes, you feel confident enough to quote a higher price. But you may end up not getting a contract if it is unreasonably high. Make sure you explain the price set by you to your client so that the higher rates are justified.
- Not covering the entire scope of your service
Not listing out what you offer can depreciate your rates. You may also end up doing what you did not agree to do if you did not clarify the scope of your job. This may end up being costly for you.
Tips For Increasing Rates
Check out the tips through which you could increase your freelance rate gradually:
- Factor in all the components of your service
List out all the components of your service clearly, allotting rates for each component of your offer.
- Don’t choose hourly rates unless it is the last option
If you are a fast and efficient writer, you tend to do more in less time. Then, charging on an hourly basis, will not cover your efforts and work. Therefore, choose hourly rates only when it is profitable, and when you work full time.
- Charge extra for revisions and additional work
Account for client revisions and re-work when you quote for the project, so that, you don’t spend extra hours when you should be earning more.
- Increase your rates with time
As you gain more experience and expertise, charge more for your job, and most importantly, be more confident with your quotes. You could always show them a sample of your work to support your offer.
Check out how to raise your prices as a freelancer.
To set a price for your offer, there are a variety of factors influencing the price, as discussed above. One cannot fix the price for a service just on a limited perception.
The above-listed factors and features will aid you to consolidate the price for your work, for only you know which part of the work means more effort for you and need more priority when it comes to pricing.
Feel free to deduce the prices for your service based on this.
Read more: How to generate six-figure income as a freelance writer.