How Much to Charge for Writing

by Meryl Evans | Category: Business, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 3 comments

One of the more challenging aspects of freelancer’s life is determining how much to charge. Projects vary greatly in size, scope, type, and so on. Quoting is a challenge because the client might not have enough information to help you calculate the quote. For example, new content for a Web site.

  • How many pages is the Web site?
  • How much content on each page?
  • How much content can the client provide (brochures, company information, etc.)?

The writer might decide on the number of pages, but that won’t happen until the project begins not before. Not all clients want an hourly quote, which is the easiest way. I’ve wanted to do research on the Web writing process. Most Web writing articles and books talk about the actual content and formatting — not the work around it.

I’ve provided quotes on Web-related content only to hear from the client that my rates were the highest. Steve Slaunwhite suggests “Do value quoting.” This means listing out what you would do in the project so the focus isn’t only on the price.

Let’s say someone requests a quote for editing a paper. This could be a quick job or it could take a full day depending on how the person edits. If it’s just looking for grammar and punctuation errors — then it would be a lower quote than someone who rewrites sentences to change them from passive voice to active voice as well as ensuring the paper follows a specific style guide (AP Style, APA, Harvard, and Chicago don’t do things the same way.).

The quoting process is what I struggle with the most as a freelancer. Difficult clients, deadlines, getting paid — all those I can handle. Have you found a quoting process that works?


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