How much do you earn as a freelance writer? Irrespective of the different figures this question receives as answers, one thing’s for sure – we’d all love to earn more.

Nobody’s stopping you from raising your rates. But, personally, I like to raise my rates only if I can justify doing so. 

I already charge a rate that’s a little over average, so I can afford to wait for a justification. If you, on the other hand, charge rock bottom prices, that’s all the justification you should ever look for when you decide to increase your fees.


The One Reason Why YOU Aren't One of the Best Paid Freelance Writers

What distinguishes you from your competitors – experience, testimonials, quality…knowledge?

The last one is very debatable – many freelance writers would argue that knowledge is not a prerequisite if you want to be a good writer. It is not. It is not a requisite if you want to be a better writer, either – experience will help you become one.

However, if you want to be one of the best freelance writers around, knowledge is important.

I don’t know if you’ve studied the freelance writing landscape. I have and I know that the best and most expensive writers are the ones with ‘knowledge’.

They are thought leaders, they know what makes good writing great.

Some of what they know has come from experience. However, most of what they know is because they actively sought to know.
 
The only thing that distinguishes an exceptional #freelancewriter from an excellent one: Knowledge. Feel free to tweet this sentence.


If You've Done This, You Can Increase Your Rates NOW
 
Have you sought knowledge since the time you set your current freelance writing rates?

Have you attended webinars or meetups, read articles from authoritative writers, worked on your language skills, enrolled and completed a course, read books on writing or did just about anything that increased your knowledge and made you a better writer?

If yes, then it’s time to increase your rate NOW.

Hey hold on! There’s a catch. You can’t increase your rate if you attended one webinar, or read two articles. You also can’t increase your rate if the knowledge you’ve gained does nothing for your writing.

There has to be ‘significant’ increase in your knowledge.

So, here’s what that means: You can increase your rates if you ‘know’ significantly more than you did when you set your current rate.

‘Significant’ is a relative word.

For a freelance writer who knew very little about writing when she set her current rate, a 40% increase from her previous knowledge could be termed significant, since that 40% increase might serve to bring her on par with other writers of ‘average’ knowledge. 

For a freelance writer with significant experience and knowledge, a 10% increase might be sufficient to warrant an increase in rates, for it would place her notably above the crowd. Makes sense?

There’s a flaw in the explanation above and I am sure most freelance writers would pick on it. There’s no way to quantify learning…

What I think is a 40% increase in learning, may be a 20% increase for you. So, you’d have to rely on your judgement.

To ease the estimation, you can sit down and write all that you know you’ve done over the recent past to improve your knowledge as a freelance writer – you’ll then be able to better gauge how much you’ve actually learned.

If you’ve learned a lot, but haven’t increased your rates yet, the only ones benefiting from your learning are your clients. Not that helping them benefit is wrong. However, ensure that you too are getting returns on all that you invested in your learning – time, efforts, and money.

And the way to get that ROI is to increase your rates.


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Author: Urooj Kazi is a professional freelance writer. To hire her, visit this website's Contact Urooj page.  
 


Comments

09/26/2012 23:33

Great points, Urooj. Many people also charge according to what they think they should get at a 9-5 job. e.g. "I can make $30 an hour at my day job so that's what I should charge freelancing".

Here are the flaws with that: at a regular job you don't have to pay for marketing, advertising, holiday leave, superannuation, etc. Also half of what you do as a freelancer you won't be getting paid for! e.g. initial discovery meetings, invoicing clients, maintaining one's website and portfolio, travelling, etc etc.

Couple that with the fact that it's impossible to work a 40 hour week as there just isn't enough time in the day to so all the above as well as work, and for a creative profession you need time to unwind and just think. Also hiring extra staff such as proofreading, admin assistant, etc and you end up having full fledged small business expenses at a minimum wage hourly rate!

You need to start at double your "normal job" hourly rate at the very least, in my experience.

Your thoughts?

Reply
Dipakkumar Chakraborty
09/27/2012 09:26

Dear Damien,
You are doing a good job. I wish to become a free lance writer, hence I can start if you can give me the job of proof reading. This will give me a learning ground to become like you. Can you help?
Regards.
Dipakkumar

Reply
10/02/2012 07:12

Hi Dipak,

There are several resources that'd help you become a freelance writer and get good jobs. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

-Read a lot - it will improve your writing and grammar considerably
-Write a lot - maintain a blog and post there regularly
-Check online bidding sites (Elance.com, Guru.com, Odesk.com) - they'll help you get started + you'll get to build your portfolio

And please don't ditch your full-time job for freelancing right away. Moonlight for a few months to ensure that a. you enjoy freelancing and b. can earn enough from it to make a living.

All the best!

09/23/2013 05:55

I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written! so like it=$)

10/31/2013 01:33

Payment could be a tough for a free lands author. the ideas that you simply given in your article for the increment of earning as free lands author is incredibly helpful. thanks for the helpful writing. the explanations that you simply listed for the rationale for low wage is incredibly relevant.

10/02/2012 07:02

Hi Damien,

Sorry for the late reply. The last week's been a blur - lot of work.

As always, I totally agree with your comment. I cannot understand how $15 or $20 per hour be feasible for a freelancer. Ed's Industry report reveals that freelancer writers charge, on an average, $55 per hour. That is, I think, a wonderful asking price when you start, if you are a good writer.

So, as a benchmark, freelancers can use either $55 or your very-awesome-suggestion of 'double their normal job hourly rate'.

Reply
05/08/2013 01:55

Payment is a difficult for a free lands writer. The tips that you given in your article for the increment of earning as free lands writer is very useful. Thank you for the useful writing. The reasons that you listed for the reason for low wage is very relevant.

07/25/2013 00:21

19. I have been reading many articles on the same issue but found this one uniquely written. You covered almost every point over the topic. I don’t feel need to read any other article on this topic now.

I don’t know if you’ve studied the freelance writing landscape. I have and I know that the best and most expensive writers are the ones with ‘knowledge’.

Reply
08/07/2013 02:37

A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is a person who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.These workers are sometimes represented by a company or an agency that resells their labor and that of others to its clients with or without project management and labor contributed by its regular employees. Thanks.

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09/04/2013 00:35

Now a days freelancing is in every sector. Whether its marketing or writing or teaching in all the field. And another reason of high rate is very they are getting good opportunities also.

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Have you went to webinars or meetups, perused articles from legitimate authors, dealt with your dialect aptitudes, enlisted and finished a course, read books on composing or did practically anything that expanded your learning and greatly improved the situation scholar?

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On the off chance that yes, then now is the right time to build your rate NOW.

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04/21/2014 05:48

Hey hang on! There's a get. You can't expand your rate in the event that you went to one webinar, or read two articles.

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You additionally can't build your rate if the learning you've picked up does nothing for your composition.

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