There are many of you who feel that you’re not making enough as freelance writers. You slave away at the computer, head bowed, elbows aching, and eyes watering from clattering away at your keyboard for that client who promised you “bulk work” in the form of 50 articles for the princely sum of $5 apiece.
Yes, I’m talking to you.
You know that you deserve better. You know that there’s no way you can make a decent living by churning out a bunch of low paying articles. To add insult to injury, you probably won’t even get a byline on the content you’re producing – even if you wanted to, since the quality is greatly suffering from the quick turnover necessary to make a halfway decent rate.
But there’s a glimmer of hope: you can raise your freelance writing rates. You don’t have to write for pennies. You can make a decent living writing and without subjecting yourself to the stress and pressure of having to write article after article in order to make minimum wage.
Yes, I’m talking to you.
So listen up, get a little closer and I will share three simple steps for raising your freelance writing rates.
Step 1 – Ditch the starving writer mindset
Many writers begin their careers with a number of limiting beliefs and a disadvantageous mindset. Possibly the worst of these is the idea that the going rate for freelance writing is a penny a word.
This could not be further from the truth.
In fact, the Editorial Freelancers Association estimates that the average rates for non-specified writing starts at $.20 per word! Meanwhile, popular writer and blogger Carol Tice suggests that new writers charge $50 per hour.
The reality is that there are many writers who make a decent living through writing. There is no need to charge a penny a word, as there are many clients willing to pay decent rates for a quality piece of content.
This takes me to my second point:
Step 2 – Target new, higher paying markets
Targeting higher paying markets is of course critical to increasing your freelance writing rates. Many freelance writers become frustrated because of the difficulty in finding higher paying clients. The truth is they simply neglect to change the market that they target. You are unlikely to be able to find high paying clients on the same bidding sites or job boards where you found your previous low paying clients.
What you need to do is to target new clients and markets. This can be done through methods such as sending letters of introduction and queries directly to clients with a budget that would match your expected rates. If you don’t know where to start, Bamidele Onibalusi provides a great guide of websites that pay a decent wage to writers.
Step 3 – Let go your low paying clients
There’s no way around it. In order to raise your freelance writing rates, you must gradually let go the low paying clients that you already have. This will then free up time for you to take on higher paying clients that will allow you to raise your overall rates.
By all means, let your low paying clients know that you will be happy to work with them, provided that they are fine with paying your higher rates.
But by and large, low paying clients aren’t willing to up their rates for the simple fact that they can’t afford to. Their need for decent copy is often secondary to their limited budget, and more than likely they will be happy to move on to the next freelance writer who can produce halfway decent content. Even though ditching your low paying clients may bring about a level of uncertainty, it is absolutely necessary in order to move on to the next level of your higher paid career. If you need more advice on how to say goodbye to low paying clients, check out Carol Tice’s helpful article.
There you have it: with three easy steps, you can be well on your way to increasing your freelance writing rates. Do you have any other tips that have helped you to raise your rates? Please reply below, I’d love to hear from you.
Daryl George is a freelance writer and blogger who believes in the power of the internet to change people’s lives for the better. When he’s not writing about freelance related topics, you can find in immersed in the world of business. In 2011 he completed a Master’s Degree in Consumer Psychology, a cutting edge course that combines marketing with human behaviour. He’s also a short story writer and enjoys coming up with new scenarios for his characters. You can find him chilling out on the beach on the Caribbean country of Antigua, where he currently resides.