Are your freelance writing rates too low?

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Among all the questions I receive, the most common revolve around freelance writing rates. Indeed, that was the driving force behind my desire to write The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid.

But today, I want to share a quick anecdote about one of the unseen dangers of freelance writing rates that are too low, in the form of someone whose estimate was so cheap that I almost didn’t hire her. [Read more…]

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Pricing freelance jobs for a former employer

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Dr. Freelance, I just started a new job, but my former employer has asked me for pricing on some freelance jobs on the side to help them with a large proposal they’re working on. I’ve determined that a set hourly rate will work better than a lump sum fee, due to fuzziness on the scope and my previous experience with this group. I’ve always been a salaried employee and am clueless how much to charge! I can do a simple calculation on what my “hourly rate” is based on my current salary, but they will obviously 1099 me, so I’ll have to pay taxes, etc. What’s your advice?—Boomerang Baby [Read more…]

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Raising your rates and driving traffic

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Found this two-part question about raising your rates and increasing traffic lurking on my “Freelance ghostwriting rates” post from quite a while back…

Dr. Freelance: I’m a former literary agent and I am just starting out after about a decade out of the publishing business as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. I plan to charge 20 cents a word for ghostwriting and 1 to 4 cents a word for editing, depending on the level. You say here that 50 cents a word is rock bottom for ghostwriters, but I’ve seen 20 cents elsewhere. Should I up my rates or is this fair since I’ve been out of the game for a while? [Read more…]

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The real minimum wage

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I was talking with a longtime freelance associate yesterday about two pricing issues she’s having. First, she’s trying to find a way to charge a premium for her services when the client wants to buy extensive rights vs. one-time, one-purpose rights. Second, she’s got a potential ghostwriting job and is attempting to calculate an appropriate rate that won’t price her out of the market. [Read more…]

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How to get paid what you’re worth

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If you don’t already subscribe to Peter Shankman (creator of Help A Reporter Out, aka HARO), you should. His blog post yesterday, “How to get paid what you’re worth,” is a must-read for all freelancers, as are the comments.

Pricing and estimating are among the trickiest aspects of the freelance game, as for any service business. Shankman puts a fine point on what I was getting at yesterday — you can always come down in price, but you can never go up — as well as offering some other excellent insights on how you can price your services properly.

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