freelance writing rates

How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates – For New Writers

Are you pulling your hair out trying to figure out what freelance writing rates you should charge for your work?

When I first started freelance writing, I had NO idea what my freelance writing rates should be.

I remember asking anyone who would listen to me.

Then, the clouds opened up and fate smiled upon me…and I booked my first sales call. I thought I had it figured out, but the client threw some variables at me and AH! I panicked.

So before we even get started, know this.

You WILL probably make a mistake in regards to your rate. That’s totally okay and normal.

It’s part of the learning curve of trying to set your rates.

BUT, you want to make sure you set your freelance writing rates high enough in the beginning, and increase them as your skill level increases, so you don’t end up with a TON of work and very little money to show for it.

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What to Consider Before You Set Your Freelance Writing Rates

There are a few things to consider before you set your freelance writing rates.


When setting your price, you want to consider your experience. You probably don’t have much freelance writing experience at this point. But you DO have life experience, and probably some work experience to draw on.

The easiest way to get started in writing is to write about a topic you already know something about. This doesn’t have to be something you did for work, and you don’t have to be an expert (that’s what the internet is for). Having a familiarity with what you’re writing about will help you know the lingo.

You can set your rates a little bit higher if you’re writing about a topic you have experience with.

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What Extras Can You Offer?

When I first started writing, i had a basic familiarity with how blogging worked and ended up taking on a lot of bloggers as clients. I was running a Virtual Assistant business while starting my freelance writing business and all of my VA clients were bloggers. This meant I had some familiarity with WordPress and I could log in directly to my client’s websites and upload the content myself, saving the client time and frustration.

I had also learned quite a bit about SEO (search engine optimization) and could optimize my clients on page SEO. I also offered images with text overlay as a bonus so I could offer them a featured image and any other social sharing images they might want. Essentially, someone could hire me to write their blog and take over the entire thing from start to finish.

This allowed me to charge a higher rate than I would for just writing the content and delivering it in a Google doc.

So if you can learn how to use Canva, or learn SEO, or offer any other type of incentive for a higher rate, use what you have.

Can You Bundle?

Sometimes the person hiring you will need other services like social media marketing. Can you bundle your services together? If I’m bundling services together, they get a preferential rate.

freelance writing rates

How Much Do You WANT to Make?

There’s an industry standard for how much people charge for certain services, but the range is quite wide.

Ask around and see how much people are charging. Check the websites of your competitors and ask around on social media.

Once you have a good idea what the standard is, figure out where you fit within that standard.

If you’re starting out, you may want to start on the lower end. But be careful with freelance writing rates because many people charge WAY below what they should be charging and they will never make a living. For instance, charging $0.01 per word is just crazy. I had someone email me offering me a job paying this ridiculously low price last week. Needless to say, I turned it down.

There are a lot of content mills out there that churn out content for a low price.

You CAN make good money writing quality content, you just have to find the people who value what you do.

When you’re setting your rates, it’s easy to worry about whether your prospect will pay you a good price or not, panic, and end up charging less. Don’t fall into the ‘race to the bottom’ trap where you’re trying to beat your competitors on price.

This is where networking and making connections becomes a valuable practice. I’ve had people hire me without even interviewing others or rate shopping because we have a relationship and they know what kind of quality I provide. It’s the “know, like, and trust” factor.

There’s No Perfect Guide to Freelance Writing Rates

We all start out the same way.

You will, at some point at the beginning of your freelance writing career, quote someone a price that’s way too low and end up doing way too much work for a low price.

Not charging enough is almost a right of passage for a writer and we’ve all done it. You want that work under your belt, so you quote a low price and once you realize how much work you’ve gotten yourself into, you regret it and never charge such a low rate EVER again.

Forgive yourself when this happens and chalk it up to a valuable learning experience.

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