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Freelance Writing Rates: How to Set Them to Land More Gigs Now that the Busy Fall Season Is Here

  • By Yuwanda Black
  • Published 09/15/2011
  • Copywriting

Editorial is a cyclical profession, which means there is a busy season and a not-so-busy season for freelance writers. Knowing this is key to finding freelance writing jobs, because it clues you in on when to market – as well as how to market. One big area that stumps many freelancers (especially newbies) is how to set their freelance writing rates. Before we turn our attention to this, let’s take a quick peek at the workflow cycle of the editorial industry. Following is how it usually shakes out — from about the second week of January through the end of May is busy. June, July and August tend to be pretty dead. It picks up again around the middle of September (ie, after Labor Day), and is busy until about the second or third week of December. As I alluded to above, as a long-time freelance writer (since 1993), one of the most common questions I receive is how to set freelance writing rates, ie, what to charge for blogging jobs, SEO article writing jobs, editing jobs, etc. Now that the busy fall season is here, it’s more critical than ever to set your rates right. So, here’s how to get your freelance business “house in order” in this area so you can always be prepared for the busy season – and start landing more writing gigs. Freelance Writing Rates: How to Determine What to Charge One thing I’m not going to tell you outright is how much to charge. This is so individual and depends on so many factors (niche, experience, competition, services offered, turnaround time, etc.) that it’s impossible to give an across-the-board answer. What I will say though is to do the following when it comes to setting your rates for freelance writing jobs. Assess the Competition: Are your rates on par with theirs? Also take a look at how easy/hard it’s been for you to land jobs. If it’s been relatively easy, then you may be able to raise your rates and still do ok. If it’s been difficult, you might want to consider lowering your rates or bundling services so that you can justify them to clients. No matter where you are in the freelance writing rate spectrum, remember this — rates can always be adjusted. So if you’re new and/or are unsure about your rates, do some research to find out what others are charging, what the industry norms are and where you fall. Then, adjust accordingly. Where do you start your research on what to charge as a freelance writer? This is relatively easy; start by researching the blogs of other freelancers – particularly those in your niche. Also, consult industry resources like Writers Weekly. Freelance writing forums are another good outlet.

After doing all of this, you should gain enough insight to be able to set your freelance writing rates comfortably.

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