LET’S LOOK AT IT FROM THE CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE
How much do freelance writers make?
That’s one of those “how long is a piece of string” type questions where the real answer depends on a few variables.
How many hours a week are you prepared to work? How aggressively are you going to market yourself? What kind of work are you prepared to do?
And of course, how much are you going to charge!
I thought it might be interesting to look at it from a different angle – that of a potential client.
How are you basing your pricing right now? Best guess, what someone has told you, something you read somewhere? If you’re working on job sites like Upwork, your fee is pretty much cast in stone – or is it? Try pushing your price up and see what happens, you may be surprised, I was.
So, what are clients’ expectations when they retain you to write for them? That’s another tricky one. That said, I found this infographic, AIMED AT CLIENTS, that attempts to set out some kind framework – take a look.
Is it Accurate?
To be fair, I think the infographic gives a reasonable representation of what to expect.
I do take issue with how writers are classified i.e. beginner, intermediate, pro and expert, based mainly on how many years you’ve been writing. How long you’ve been writing has little to do with ability.
In my experience, you can get to pro level for certain types of writing in months, if you apply yourself and are prepared to learn. You definitely don’t have to wait over 5 years – I didn’t!
Nothing is ever going to be 100% on the money for every situation, and you’ll need to use a degree of judgment when it comes to pricing. What I DO like is that the infographic sets clients’ expectations as high as $2 per word – nice!
So, how much do freelance writers make?
Coming back to our original question, how much do freelance writers make, here’s my summary of the variables:
Experience – not so much, you can learn quickly
Ability – yes, you need to be able to string words together
Type of work – yes
Scope of project – yes
Type of client (beginning entrepreneur vs. large, well-funded corporate) – yes
How aggressively you market yourself – yes, until you have too many clients
How many hours you work – yes
Ultimately how much you earn depends largely on how much you ask for.
And THAT comment is not as throwaway as it might seem at first pass…