The majority of us who work as freelance writers get paid by the word. To earn more money, either increase your writing rates or become more productive. If you’re dissatisfied with the amount of money you make as a freelance writer, this post is for you.
Contrary to what many gurus will tell you, there is no secret to generating a good living as a freelance writer. It all boils down to negotiating reasonable charges and finding clients that are worth your time.
In this article, we’ll go through the four steps you must do to boost your freelance writing rates. Let’s start with the obvious: go where the money is!
1. Concentrate on a Profitable Niche
You don’t make as much money doing odd things here and there as you would as a medic or a lawyer. That rationale also applies to me as a freelance writer. In most circumstances, if you’re a ‘generalist’ who writes about everything, you won’t be able to command high prices.
The best-paying freelance writing gigs necessitate prior experience in the relevant fields. I mean markets with a lot of money when I say ‘the perfect niches.’ Among the freelance writing niches are:
- Content marketing
For example, insurance companies are among the largest spenders on web advertising. A single click can cost a business $54, indicating that they are ready to spend large sums of money on adverts and content to attract new customers.
The smaller the industry, the less likely it is that you will find well-paying positions there. If you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, you should pick where you want to concentrate your efforts. As a result, you can begin to construct a portfolio of highly specialized content and gain additional experience.
2. Broaden Your Client Base
The amount of money you can make as a freelance writer is significantly limited if you rely on only one or two clients. When you just have a small clientele, the only method to improve your earnings is to raise your rates. Raising pricing for current clients is far more difficult than negotiating better terms with new ones.
Diversifying your client base is also the best approach to protect yourself against work dry spells. The more clients you have, the less likely it is that you will ever need to get extra work quickly.
When looking for more work, it’s always a good idea to ask for a little more than you think you’ll get. I achieve this by revisiting my charges once or twice a year and using those figures while looking for new business. That way, you can occasionally give yourself a raise, which makes sense given that you should be refining your writing talents.
3. Agree on different rates for each client.
Being flexible with your per-word charges is one of the best ways to generate a consistent income as a freelance writer. Some freelancers will flatly refuse employment if it does not pay their preferred prices. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can work against you in some situations.
As a freelance writer, you should have a starting rate, but the great majority of your work should be priced higher. You want to pay the bare minimum for tasks that you know you can accomplish well.
Assume you have a client who wants to pay you $0.06 per word for a 1,000-word piece, but you normally charge $0.08. If you can complete the work in an hour or two, you may command an effective hourly rate of $30-60 per hour, which is quite reasonable. You acquired extra work that won’t take you long by being a little flexible.
If the same amount of work takes you numerous hours to do owing to its complexity and the quantity of research required, it seems sensible to charge a higher cost.
Ideally, your customer portfolio should include a mix of simple tasks and more sophisticated assignments. The amount you charge each client is determined by the level of complexity and the nature of your product.
4. Don’t waste your time on low-paying jobs that require a lot of effort.
Projects that take too much time and pay you below-market rates are your worst enemies as a freelance writer. Many novice writers fall into the trap of working for agencies that provide them with a high amount of work but at a low pay rate (content mills).
That should go without saying, yet it’s not a scenario you want to be in. Even if you’re making enough money to get by, this type of work doesn’t provide you with enough time to find better clients.
Worse, content mills rarely allow you to establish a solid portfolio, and you may be required to provide stuff that is tough and dull to produce. Those content factories, in my opinion, are one of the key reasons why so many freelance writers burn out.
If you are currently in such a scenario, you must end that job relationship as soon as possible. Start looking for better freelance writing employment right soon if you have the time, and establish a varied client base. Once you’ve worked with a few more clients, you should be able to decline a task that doesn’t pay well enough.
Freelance writing is a difficult career, but you have complete control over your earnings and when and when you work. However, how much work you put into negotiating rates and keeping clients pleased will determine a large portion of your success.
If you’re unsatisfied with how much money you’re making as a freelance writer, here’s what you need to do to change that:
- Specialize in a profitable niche.
- Diversify your client base.
- Negotiate different rates for each client.
- Don’t waste your time on low-paying high-effort jobs.
Do you have any questions about raising your freelance writing rates? Let’s talk about them in the comments area!
Source: Leaving Work Behind
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