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Q: Pricing Freelance Writing ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Pricing Freelance Writing
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: needsomeinfo-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 21 Jun 2006 19:16 PDT
Expires: 21 Jul 2006 19:16 PDT
Question ID: 740083
I have been asked to do some freelance writing and I'm not exactly
sure how to price my work.  I'm being asked to write 150-300 word
articles about new materials, manufacturing processes, or design
products.  For example, I could write about a new way of bonding
metal.  The article is to summarize what is different/new about the
product, how it works, and some ideas for possible uses and the
audience is general uses with a variety of technical and non-technical
backgrounds.  I am provided with some background/technical
information, but the quality of this information varies significantly.
 Sometimes the information is pretty complete and other times I have
to spend a significant amount of time doing additional research.

I'm writing for a smallish company that is growing.  I've been told
that finding a writer was difficult because the technical writers
tended to write too much of the technical/jargon aspect and other
writers had difficulty explaining/grasping the technical aspects.  I
write 20 article each time, but sometimes the information is given to
me steadily over a few weeks and other times I get the bulk of the
information at the last minute and have to turn them around quite
quickly.  Each article takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to
write depending one the complexity of the item and the quality of the
background research I am give.

My "real" job is not anywhere near the field of freelance writing, so
I have no idea what they going rate is for this sort of thing.  I've
been told what the company has "budgeted" for my writing, but for all
I know, what they've budgeted may represent what they want to pay and
not what my work would be worth or what they could get away with
paying someone who writes for a living.  So here's my question.  How
is freelance writing typically priced/what is my work worth (either
per article or for the 20 article set is fine)?

Please feel free to ask for clarification if any other information
about what I am doing would help with the pricing.  Thanks for your
Subject: Re: Pricing Freelance Writing
Answered By: webadept-ga on 22 Jun 2006 01:35 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I do a great deal of freelance writing, probably between 25 to 40
articles a month for various companies and websites. The field is
huge, and the range of payment can be astonishing.

Magazines, which make up the bulk of the freelance world, make
payments between $0.075 cents a word to $0.10 cents a word on the
average. So that can be one base line you can use. You can discover
this by going through a Writer's Market book at your local library.

Typically I charge $35.00 per article between 500-800 words, which are
used on web sites. These articles generally require a bit of research
and some SEO/keyword knowledge and crafting as well.

Specialized knowledge articles, such as technical writing or news
articles generally go up a notch, to about $50 per article of the same

With the articles you describe I would probably go for the $0.10 per
word, or $30 per article. They are short, but as you say, require
knowledge or research to create, so not just anyone can put them

300 words is not a great length for any article. For example we are
just now reaching the 200 word length for this answer. Adding another
100 is a matter of a few minutes. If you know the topic and can punch
through the subject quickly then these are fair rates, if you can't
then they are not.

I have seen writers who will create articles like you describe for
much less, but I've also seen their work and caliber of the writing is
... let's just say you get what you pay for. On the websites I use for
freelance work ( for example) I often see jobs posted that are
only willing to pay $5 for articles of that size (300-500 words). They
don't get picked up very often by the other freelancers, and I never
touch them.

The best way to figure out a rate is to time your writing. For
example, I can put out about 3000 well crafted words a day. From that
I figure out how much I believe my hourly wage is worth. 3000 words a
day is 375 words an hour. I want to insure that I'm getting at the
very least $25 per hour on the jobs I do, so $0.06 cents a word is the
least I will accept for my work.

That 'timing' includes and assumes research time, and draft time. If I
were to just sit down and start writing stuff, then my rate of words
per day would be much higher of course.

I've checked around several times (every year) to see what others are
charging and I frequently ask my clients what they are use to paying,
and find that I'm mid range on the whole. Some writers are more
expensive, and others are much cheaper, but the general population of
freelancers out there are very close to my scale.

Hope this helps, and if you require more information , please use the
Clarification function.


needsomeinfo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Perfect - That's exactly what I needed.  Thanks!

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