#ChroniclesOfAWriter – Here’s how to charge for your services as a freelance writer


Two weeks ago, I wrote about how I got my first few clients as a freelance writer and I gave some tips that will help you get more clients. I promised to talk about how to determine the price for your services and that is what I want to do in this post.

You need to understand that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pricing, neither is there a once size fits all approach. All I can give you is a guide. You will have to tweak it and determine what works for you.

When it comes to charging for the services I offer as a writer, I started out with trial and error. The first fee I was paid to edit a book was N5, 000. That was 3 years ago. No one knew me, I had little authority and I needed the money. So for that one I wasn’t too bothered about the money. I just wanted to improve my skills in editing books.

The next paid job I got after that was to write a couple of academic essays which I was paid N20, 000 for. While the price was ok for me at the time, knowing what I know now about the work involved with writing academic content, I will not charge that fee.

These are the factors that inform the price that I charge is;

1. The amount of effort the work involved. If I have to do a lot of research or if I am working on content that is difficult, I charge more.

2. The nature of the job. What I charge to create content for a website is different from what I charge for one-off edits. Also the price for editing a book is different from the price for a research project. Like the first point, the time and effort involved is different.

3. The delivery date. If the clients wants me to deliver within a short time-frame, I charge more while for projects that extend to two-three months, I give a discount.

4. Ability to delegate. Currently, I am building a team that I can sub-contract writing jobs to because my hands are getting a bit full. These people are paid on commission. So whatever I charge needs to cater for the commission that they will receive and leave me with good profit at the end of the day.

There is more but I cannot tell you all. For those who will attend our writing course on the 27th of August, I will show you price models that are appropriate for different projects based on my experience with handling various work over the years.

Despite this, I always tell our sparkle trainees that when it comes to pricing, you need to charge what you are comfortable with. If you are just starting out, money should not be your main focus. Your focus should be on building your portfolio and gaining visibility.

Afterwards, you must think of how to make profit from your writing briefs. You will need to learn how to say no to certain projects because they are not worth your time. There are certain clients I have said no to because the money they wanted to pay was not worth the time and effort I would have put in executing the project for them. A few years ago, I would have gladly jumped at such projects. Now things are different.

One important thing I will add is that you have to begin to put in proper accounting structures to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Before 2016, I didn’t properly manage the income I received from writing. It came on an ad hoc basis. So since I couldn’t plan for it, I spent the money as it came.

Coming into 2016, I decided to be more deliberate about the income I receive from writing, mainly because now I have staff to pay and I am also looking to expand. So I became strict with money that came in and it is paying off for me.

If you are struggling with making money as a writer, you need to register for our writer’s course. There are many ways you can get income as a writer but you are oblivious to them. There are people in your network who need your skill but you are not positioned correctly. For some of you, people are not taking you seriously yet so you’re where I was years ago – earning N5,o0o per writing project which comes once in a blue moon. All this can change. The course costs N20, 000 and this fee includes the personalized resources that you will get. Don’t miss out. Register now by sending an email to [email protected]

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