Freelance writing is an industry rife with people who believe they must accept gigs that pay below-market rates in order to remain competitive. All writers have to take their experience into consideration when setting their rates, but undercharging does not pave the road to success.
When I started, like most others, I used bidding websites, or charged below-market rates. I also reached out to friends, and offered them low rates in order to gain experience. However, some of the work I did for them turned out to be more difficult than anticipated. To top it off, I wasn’t specializing in a niche. Instead, I was looking for just about any gig I could get my hands on. I thought being a jack-of-all-trades would benefit my career. Unfortunately, this goes against the conventional wisdom I learned the hard way: if you want to be a writer, you need to specialize.
Wanting to showcase my talent and professionalism to potential clients, I purchased my own website. I knew there were free websites I could use but I felt having my own website would help me better market myself.
After that, I focused primarily on product reviews, coverage of immigration issues, and health and wellness. After getting a few more credits to my name, I was no longer a new freelancer and I was able to negotiate higher rates based on bylines and additional experience. Plus, I acquired references from clients who had paid me what I wanted, and were able to prove my skills were worth their investment. I also saved time when I stopped applying to gigs that didn’t pay enough. And, as a bilingual writer, I was also able to charge additional fees whenever work needed to be translated as well.
Through increased experience, and focusing on a few specialties, I was also able to write faster, and spend more time finding high-paying writing work.
- Why I Don’t Post My Rates on My Website By Kathleen Krueger
- Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates: Do Both at Once! By Anne Bingham
- Two Different Rates For The Same Words
- I Got Higher Quality Clients, and Tripled My Income, by Raising My Writing Rates! By Joy Lynskey
- Writers! Never Work For Less Than Professional Rates!! By Elizabeth Armenta
Ingrid Cruz is a full-time freelance writer. She enjoys traveling, reading, and a good cup of coffee. Her website is: http://www.ingridiswriting.com
HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY
Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!
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QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments
Peek over the shoulders of highly successful freelance writers to see how they earn thousands per article! The query letter is the key!
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- Abbi Perrets' form letter that brings in $30,000-$45,000 annually
- Sample phone query from Christine Greeley
- The Six Golden Rules of Queries and Submissions...and How I Broke Them! by Bob Freiday
- Your Rights As a "Freelancer"
- and ANGELA HOY'S SECRET for finding ongoing freelance work from companies that have a stable of freelancers, yet never run ads for them!