Advice for Freelance Writers

Posted December 22, 2008 by

Like franchising, freelancing is a great way for college students and recent college graduates to earn money because they can set their own hours. In his aarticle for the December 2008 issue of Writer’s Digest, “Off the Clock,” Art Spikol gives freelance writers advice about how to charge for their services. In some instances, charging by the hour can be a bad idea, he says.
“An hourly rate always comes with the likelihood of somebody getting hurt,” Spikol says. “If you’re fast, you earn less than the slowpoke, which, of course, is absurd.” He goes on to say that experience alone will make a writer faster and more efficient, and that speed and efficiency should be rewarded, not penalized. By charging a flat fee for the entire job – research, writing, etc. – a writer can charge what he thinks h’es worth, then negotiate with the client from there.
“Flat fees work because business doesn’t like surprises,” says Spikol. “No matter what else you’re offering, your first priority is to make your clients feel safe.”
Spikol realizes, though, that sometimes a writer will be required to “provide an hourly rat or lose the project.” His advice? Provide it.
Spikol generally offers flat rates so clients know exactly how much the project will cost them. With an hourly rate, the amount the client owes can fluctuate, leaving the client with a feeling of uncertainty and stress. If a client chooses not to hire him, Spikol doesn’t take it personally. “There are lots of ways to lose a job,” he says.
If you’re a freelance writer who isn’t sure how to charge for projects, weighing the pros and cons of flat fees could be time well spent.

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