This week, several writers have contacted me about “how to charge for freelance writing”.
There are many ways to work out a rates sheet for your freelance writing business. However, you can’t always stick to it.
With any project you contemplate, you need to consider two things:
* Who’s the client?
* Who are YOU?
“Who’s the client?” is important. If someone’s running a micro-business from his third bedroom he usually won’t be able to pay much. A corporation with 30,000 employees will pay you beyond top rates.
So there’s that. There’s also… YOU.
If you’re just starting out, you can’t charge like someone who’s been writing for years, and has skills and experience, as well as a stable of clients.
In addition, need to consider this, when you’re thinking about how much you should charge: many of your hours aren’t billable.
“Remember that all the hours you work aren’t billable. You need to spend time on marketing, and business chores, so a good half of your work week’s hours won’t be billable – your rates must cover all the hours you work.”
If you’re thinking that that’s not a problem — you work from home, so you can work 20 hours a day if you wish — you need to be aware that you shouldn’t over-work yourself. That way lies disaster.
Over-work leads to the inability to work at all
I write for four to five hours a day. By “write”, I mean sitting at the keyboard, writing for clients, working on various projects, and so on. Over the years, I’ve found that four to five hours of solid writing is about all I can manage, if I want to stay productive.
In addition to writing, I can spend another few hours on writing-related tasks, like researching. But doing creative work — the actual writing — is exhausting.
Over-working — WRITING for eight or nine hours for days on end, leads to burnout. And burnout means not being able to write at all. It’s horrifying, and I pray it never happens to you. It’s never happened to me, thank heavens, but I’ve come close.
Over the years, I’ve known several writing friends who just burned out. A couple stopped writing for several years. One vanished. He just disappeared. It’s been 16 years since anyone heard from him. One swore off writing for good.
It seems that creativity is like a reservoir. Drain it, and it refills slowly. It may never refill at all.
Here’s how this is related to realizing that many of your hours aren’t billable: you need to set your hourly rate with non-billable hours in mind. So, if you WRITE for 20 hours a week, and the other 20 hours aren’t billable, you need to double your hourly rate.
When you’re setting your freelance writing fees, it’s wise to keep this in mind.
Publicity Is Powerful: Make Money for Your Clients — and Yourself
Why should YOU learn how to write press releases?
One word: money. Once you learn how press release campaigns work, you can create simple campaigns for your clients.
You can feel quite comfortable charging anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 per campaign. This is a drop in the bucket to businesses, which are used to paying at least 10 per cent of their net for advertising.
Writing publicity is a form of copywriting, and YOU can do it — even as a relatively new writer. I’ll show you how.