writers should chargeWe spend a lot of time talking about how much freelance writers should charge and how they should set their rates, but we rarely the merits and problems about how we charge – by the hour, by the word, or by the project.

Not surprisingly there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

A look at convention

An hourly rate is a familiar form of payment for both the worker and the employer. It’s easy to understand and when someone is looking for a writer they often expect to pay by the hour.

Being paid by the published word has a long history in writing. Dickens is reputed to have written such long books because he was paid by the word. Laying out a newspaper or magazine, having word counts in advance really helps. The editor knows how many words it takes to fill a particular news hole or article space in their magazine using their type. It also provided a convenient way to figure out how much the writer was owed.

That sets the background. Now let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses of all three pay schemes.

Hourly pay

When you’re paid by the hour you know how many hours you have to work in order to make enough money to pay your for your expenses and some of your wants. At first it seems straightforward and perhaps the easiest approach to asking for pay from a client.

On the other hand as you learn the job, the better you get at it the lower your pay. [click to continue…]


language changeBy Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com

During the American Copy Editors Society’s annual conference in March of 2014, the Associated Press announced a change in one of the rules of the AP Stylebook by removing the distinction between “more than” and “over” (and, by extension, between “less than” and “under”) when referring to numerical quantity. The organization cited “overwhelming usage” in both professional and non-professional contexts as the primary reason.

According to the AP Stylebook, “more than” and “over” can now be used interchangeably to indicate greater numerical value, and “less than” and “under” can be used interchangeably to indicate lesser numerical value. Prior to the rule change, the only acceptable use of “over” was as a locative, a preposition designating the physical placement of one thing relative to another. For example, you could say that the Empire State Building towered over us or that your teacher hovered over your shoulder while you did your homework.

“More than,” on the other hand, was used to refer to countable items. For example, it would have been grammatically accurate to tell your friends that you ate more than 10 bananas in one day but grammatically inaccurate to say that you ate over 10 bananas in one day. [click to continue…]


Freelance Writing Income Forecasting

October 23, 2014

For much of my freelance writing career I figured there was no way to forecast my income. Money was either coming in or it wasn’t; it either arrived or it didn’t. Truth be told, I felt pretty helpless about money for a long time. Then I learned how to get some control without going crazy or [...]

Read the full article →

The Fourth Secret of Freelance Writing

October 16, 2014

For years I said there are three secrets to successful freelance writing. I was wrong. There are four secrets to being a successful freelance writer. The initial three secrets were and still are: Write Rewrite Market What I have left out all these years is the secret that I’m calling the business of freelance writing. [...]

Read the full article →

Inequality and Freelance Writing

October 15, 2014

This post is part of Blog Action Day 2014 – the discussion this year is about inequality. One of the things I like about freelance writing is there is no real discrimination – if I produce writing that people are willing to pay for the fact that I’m a white woman of a ‘certain age’ [...]

Read the full article →

5 Freelance Writing Fears & What to do About Them

October 9, 2014

I’m not sure that freelance writing fears are worse than say sales fears or CEO fears, or teacher fears. My hunch is we’re more aware of our fear than others, partly because we are freelancing. That means we’re responsible for our income in ways that are very different from having a regular paycheck. Plus, as freelance [...]

Read the full article →

How Freelance Writers Can Deal With “World Noise”

October 7, 2014

I’m a fan of Mark’s Daily Apple and this week he had a post called How to Deal with Health “Noise”. As I read it I realized that we freelance writers have to deal with what I’m calling “World Noise.” For example, today feels very noisy for me. I’m expecting an email from a new client. There [...]

Read the full article →

When a Freelance Writer’s Marketing Stops Working

October 2, 2014

A writer I’ve coached reached out to me not long ago, concerned that her plan for marketing her writing was not longer working. She has been sending emails to corporations in her speciality and following them up with a phone call. Over the last year or so, this plan has generated enough for her to [...]

Read the full article →

Wish You Were Here: The Subjunctive Mood for Freelance Writers

October 1, 2014

By Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com Here at Grammarly, there are few rules in the English language that give us a hard time. We get excited about split infinitives, comma splices, and dangling prepositions, but the subjunctive mood gives even dedicated word nerds like us some real difficulty. English is a moody language even if we don’t always [...]

Read the full article →

Jumping Into Jon Bard’s Kindle Kids Mastery Course

September 27, 2014

In the post, Secret Freelance Writing Dreams, I talked about a dream of mine to write about cats in some sort of kids book. I’d gotten intrigued with Jon Bard’s Kindle Kids Mastery Course. Since Amazon has made a huge commitment to ebooks for kids with their  Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition and the free(!) software to create heavily [...]

Read the full article →