The need for speed [in freelance writing]

freelance writing speedDr. Freelance: I’ve been offered $0.10 a word, for a total of $9350, between now and December 30 to provide writing content for five different websites. No two sentences can be the same. I’m trying to decide if this is physically possible.—Karin

I’ll be honest: When I first read this, I was thinking you’d been offered a freelance writing job for 9,350 words, which is physically possible. But after our follow-up conversation, I understand that the project is actually a headier 93,500 words. I wrote a bit about writing speed in “How much time will it take to write the copy?” a while back, but let’s break your particular situation into its component parts—because it’s not just about the need for speed. It’s about math. [Read more…]

Help! I’m underpricing my freelance rates

underpricing freelance ratesDr. Freelance: You have probably heard this before, but I constantly look at the going freelance rates for a project on one of the industry rate charts, add up the average per page/word costs, then think, “I can’t charge THAT!” So I end up underpricing myself and throwing in freebies such as marketing plans and so on.

I am aware of the danger of undervaluing my work, but I have really yet to find a client who understands the value in what they are receiving and are willing to pay full price. I recently lost out on an editing project, which I’d priced at $1,500 for 80 hours, to another editor who charged $400. I understand that I need to do a better job of pricing accurately, but how do I avoid losing work to someone who’s supplementing their retirement income with a few dollars?—Shooting Myself in the Foot [Read more…]

Are your freelance writing rates too low?

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…]