As you know I won’t try to tell you what price you should charge for your freelance writing. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that setting a price seems daunting to new writers. I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s sometimes scary even for those of us with experience.
That said, and pointing out that there’s already a whole bunch of material here on setting prices, here are the ten things to know and do to set your prices well:
- I know my monthly expenses. Actually I know my absolute minimum, the amount where I feel some ease and the ‘I’m abundant’ amounts.
- I know how many hours I’m willing to work. This too has a couple of components. I know how many hours I can actually work in any day or week, and I know how many I really want to… which is less.
- I know what kind of writing I want to do. In my case, I coach writers, write ebooks for myself and others and ghostwrite books. Obviously I also blog.
- Determine if it’s the kind of work I do well and if I believe I can do it well.
- I will estimate the number of hours it will take me to do the job. Yes, this is difficult if it’s a new area or you’re a new writer and you will make mistakes, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
- Take the number of hours and using my expenses etc. figure out what I need to charge for this job. Usually I’ll come up with a range. I’m looking for an hourly rate here.
- I will add at least 10 percent to my hourly rate for contingencies.
- I will multiply the hourly times the estimated hours I need to come up with a flat fee.
- If I don’t yet know my price or feeling insecure, I will do a google search for the price (ie what do ghostwriters charge) and check with writer’s market. But in truth, what other people charge has nothing to do with what I charge except, maybe, to reassure me.
- I create a proposal for the client and present it with my fee and a rough outline of what I plan to do. This can be a formal proposal or just an email depending on the complexity of the project and the relationship I have with the potential client.
Okay, I no longer go through all of this. I do track my expenses carefully. I do estimate the time I think a writing project will take me, but I’m experienced, so this all happens now more or less automatically. You too will get to that place with practice.
How do you set your fees?
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