Things I learned in my Twenties

Setting your Rates as a Freelance Writer

I’ve received a lot of questions in the past week about how to determine your prices as a freelance writer. Should you set fixed prices or should you change it up every single time? Is it better to set your prices per word? Should you have packages? In this article, I will share some of these details based on research and from experience.

Factors that determine your rates

  • How many years of experience do you have as a freelance writer? (the more, the higher the rates)
  • How much time will you spend researching the topic?
  • Who is your client? Individual/Entity?
  • How available/busy are you at this time?
  • How heavy/important is the document you’re writing?

Setting rates per hour

Some writers prefer to charge per hour. This is beneficial if you’re not really sure how much time a certain project will take from you and the client needs you more frequently.

Example of charging per hour:

300 SAR – 500 SAR
Rates Card Per Hour Example

I don’t usually prefer this method because I feel like with more experience, you become faster. Just because you spend less time doing something, it doesn’t mean it’s not that valuable. You could spend 15 minutes to come up with 12 post ideas. It’s easy for you but that’s something your client couldn’t do, otherwise they wouldn’t hire you.

It also doesn’t work for me because with university and my schedule, I tend to work on ungodly hours. I like to work on my own pace and manage my time the way I would like to; it’s the reason I like being a freelancer.

Setting rates per word

Some people prefer to charge per word. This is mostly efficient for articles. Here’s an example of how you can charge per word:

Word in English Word in Arabic
0.5 SAR – 3 SAR0.75 SAR – 4 SAR
Rates Card Per Word

It looks a bit silly when you lay it out like that, but if you calculate it then if you have a 500 word article in English for instance, that would be range from 250 SAR – 1,500 SAR.

Setting rates per tasks/project

It helps to segment your rates according to the tasks required in the project.

Example of rates per tasks:

100 – 150 SAR50 – 100 SAR250 – 500 SAR
Per PostPer TweetPer Article
Rates Card Per Task Example

You can also create packages like this:

1,500 – 3,000 SAR1,500 – 3,000 SAR 1,000 – 1,500 SAR
12 posts + 15 story ideas30 Tweets + 12 Retweets5 Articles + 3 Reviews
Rates Card Packages Example

I personally prefer this method as it’s a bit more flexible, keeping in mind the factors mentioned above. I mainly focus on how much time the project will take to research and compare it to how available/busy I am at the moment. If it’s a big project and I’m fairly busy, I do raise the price.

I prefer to set a deadline and manage my time at my own pace to work on the project. This way I have a full overview on the steps I need to take to complete the task and how much time it’ll take from me to get to the end goal.

This method is also a bit more organised than the rest in my perspective.

Other aspects to consider

I also like to consider the client as well. If it’s an individual, I usually charge less compared to a brand/entity.

I personally like to have set prices or at least an approximation to always refer back to. I only make small changes to them to fit the new client’s needs.

Heavier documents, like company profiles for example, definitely should be more expensive than say, an instagram post. Just because it weighs more and it has more benefits; that’s the way I look at it at least.

This method works with me because I like to have a deep understanding and a good relationship with all of my clients. If you prefer to keep a set standard for all of your clients, that could work for you as well. It might even be easier for you to send the same rates over and over to all your clients.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions!

By Elaf Trabulsi

Engineer & freelance writer

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