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How Much You Should Charge for Freelance Writing

When you first start freelance writing, you are probably wondering how much you should charge for a project. You don't want to price yourself out of the freelance writing market, but you want to get paid for the quality of your writing. So, what do you charge? This is a question that gets asked hundreds of times by new freelance writers. They just don't have the experience yet to figure out what they should charge.

“ most novice freelance writers would be safe charging between $20 and 25$ per hour ”

You can go about pricing your project in a few ways, and I have provided a glimpse into each of those ways. Before we get into that, the first rule of thumb is this: Don't ever sell yourself short!

How much do you want to make? This would be my first question. Freelance writing isn't necessarily a cut and dried business where someone with a certain amount of experience and colorful credits behind their name gets a specified amount of money.

What I would do is set how much you make by coming up with a rate per hour that you would charge. Then, when bidding on a job, you will estimate how many hours it will take to do that job and voila! A price! And how do you come up with a price per hour? Here's how I would do it.

Figure out how much you want to make freelance writing over the next year. Let say you want to make $30,000 annually. You will probably work 220 days per year - if you are lucky, maybe around 200. For argument's sake, we'll use 220 days of work per year. If you divide the $30,000 per year by 220 days, you need to make $140 per day. How many hours of work do you want to do in a day? Let's say seven hours are dedicated strictly to freelance writing. So, take the $140 per day, and divide it by the number of hours - which is 7. There is your hourly rate - about $20 per hour. I think that's a little bit low for a per hour figure as a freelance writer, but to illustrate the example, it will work.

This is a formula that will work for you if you have the potential for steady business, but also as a backup when you are asked to bid on a project that just can't be priced any other way (per page, per word, etc.) Note: Most novice freelance writers would be safe charging between $20 and 25$ per hour for large project work. With that said, your price may vary depending on the scope of the project or any other curveballs that might be thrown in.

The price can be set for you. If you have queried a magazine about an article and it gets accepted, chances are they pay freelancers a standard rate (especially new freelancers), and you are likely going to have to stick with that rate for the first few articles you write for them. It is impossible to give you an accurate idea of what many of the magazines pay because the range is from $.05 to $2 per word and up. You can check with such resources as Writer's Market, and they provide the current rates of most magazines in North America.

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