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What Hourly Rate Should a Beginner Freelance Writer Charge?

by | Oct 30, 2018 | Pricing

If you’re just starting out, you most likely have no work samples. This means that you need to do whatever you can to break into the industry and get some solid samples under your belt.

You can start out looking for gigs on job boards and freelance marketplaces like Upwork. At first, you may just need to take anything (paid) that comes your way so you can build up a small portfolio of samples.

After that, there are a few things that you should consider before you set your hourly rate.

Your Standards

After your first few projects, you’re going to want to set a minimum hourly rate for yourself. This should be an hourly rate that you’re 100% comfortable with.

It’s important to make sure that you stick to this rate as a minimum and that you don’t waver. Of course, you can go higher, but you don’t want to go any lower.

Working for less than you feel comfortable with will make you resent the work you’re doing and your client.

Who You’re Writing For

Some clients can pay more for content than others because of the economics of their business.

For example, if you’re writing white papers for a medical device company, you can charge much more than if you’re writing short stories for a humor blog because of the return the client is getting for their investment.

You’ll want to consider this whenever you provide a quote to a client. This can be good ground to cover when you’re speaking to a client during an initial discovery call.

The Value You Provide

All types of writing aren’t created equal. Blog posts, email newsletters, press releases, sales letters, etc. all provide different levels of value to the client.

Writing that facilitates a sale like a sales letter is going to pay more than writing a company’s services page.

You have to take the industry into account as well. Writing for an oil and gas company will most likely pay more than writing for a non-profit.

How You Position Yourself

So, how do you get the highest hourly rate possible? You need to position yourself so that you stand above the competition.

FIgure out what niche you can serve and market yourself as a solution (writer) for that segment of the market.

Your sales messages will resonate with prospects in that segment and you will have a better shot of breaking through and landing more gigs than a generalist writer.

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