How I wish I were a freelance writer attorney. I would ensure every freelance writer gets paid what he or she deserves.
It pains me to see how colleague writers are underpaid. I feel like tabling a bill that would ensure every writer is valued, regardless of where you come from.
When you start your freelance writing career, you don’t have enough experience to command higher rates. Needless to say, you don’t even know that you should increase your freelance writing rates.
Due to the increase in the cost of living and other factors, you will feel the heat at some point and opt for an increase in your freelance writing rates.
Before looking at the ten proven tactics to help you increase your freelance writing rates, let’s discuss when to begin thinking about raising your freelance writing rates:
Situations When You Should Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates
But Denzil, are you not advocating for increase in freelancer writing rates? Why then are you bringing up the topic of “when to” in this?
Well, increasing your freelance writing rates can be tricky if you don’t take the proven steps. Doing it wrong can end relationships with some of your best clients.
That’s why it is better if you know the right time when you need to push for an increase. That said, let’s get rolling:
# 1. You Are Charging a Low Hourly Rate
How can you tell that you are charging a low freelance writer hourly rate? Well, Ali gives insight into this.
When you started writing, you had to take a couple of hours to write 1000-words blog posts, but as time went by, you realize you can craft an excellent 1000-word blog post in 30-45 minutes.
Personally, when I started writing, it took me 3-4 hours to write a 500-word blog post. Today, I can write a 500-word blog post in 20 minutes.
No, the point is, when you stick to your hourly rate, you will realize you are losing more. For example, assuming your freelance blog writing rate is $50 per hour (taking 4 hours to write a 1000-word blog post), then you’ll bag $200.
Now that you can write the same post in less than an hour, what will you charge? Do you realize you need to negotiate for an increase? I’d rather charge my clients using the freelance writing rates per word.
# 2. You’ve Never Increased Your Rates
Probably you are in your first year as a freelance writer, and you have never found the guts to notify your client that you will be increasing your rates soon.
Within one year, you should have had enough experience to enable you to increase your freelance writing rates. At this point, if you have never thought of raising your freelance writing rates, then you should.
# 3. Tons of Clients are Knocking on Your Door
Once you are an established freelance writer, many clients will come looking for you instead of you looking for them. How interesting is that? They’ll be willing to accept your freelance writing pay rates no matter what.
You will have more than enough jobs to tackle. So, the best option is to increase your rates and trim those projects at relatively low rates.
# 4. You Have Invested In Yourself
This is one of the tactics I love most. After every three months, I usually register for a paid freelance writing course to sharpen my skills and help me serve my clients better.
Because I invest in myself by taking a couple of paid courses, I increase my freelance writing rates to take care of the money I have spent. Does that make sense?
Up to this point, if you are not sure whether or not to increase your freelance writing rates, let’s go through why you need to negotiate for an increase:
Why You Should Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates
“I’m comfortable with whatever my client is paying me.” I know it may seem like what your client is paying you is decent, but here are two reasons why you should reconsider the idea of increasing your freelance writing rates:
# 1. Increase In Cost of Living
The value of $100 this year isn’t equal to that of last year. The cost of living increases every single day.
So, imagine yourself getting stuck on one rate for two or more years? Will you find it easy to pay school fees for your little ones? Or will you even think of traveling around the world?
Honestly, you won’t. You’ll be jumping into debts one after the other. So, to prevent this, make sure you increase your freelance writing rates.
# 2. You’re More Experienced
When you started your freelance writing business, you didn’t know much about freelance writing. You may never even have thought of negotiating for an increase in your rates.
Well, that was then. Now, you are a reputable freelance writer who clients are looking for every day. Don’t you think you need to increase your technical writing rates at this point?
Without further ado, let’s look at the ten proven tactics to increase your freelance writing rates without scaring away your clients:
10 Proven Tactics to Raise Your Freelance Writing Rates Without Scaring Away Clients
As I said, I wish I was a freelance writer attorney. I would have made it easier for freelance writers to charge what they deserve, but because I’m not, I’ll only give you the hacks to increase your freelance rates without scaring away clients. Let’s jump right in:
1. Charge Per Project
One of the reasons why you should charge your clients per project is because when you charge per project, your hourly rate increases automatically.
For example, you are charging $30 per hour, and you take 3 hours to write a blog post. That’s $90. What if you charge the client $180 for the project and work on the project for one or two hours?
From a client’s point of view, they’ll be getting the same results. So, it won’t appear to them like you are charging a lot.
2. Raise Your Rates for New Clients
I usually update my services page regularly, and while I do that, I ensure I update my rates too.
Let’s get real here: when you update your rates from your website, no new client will know what you were charging initially.
So, go ahead and update your rates on your website. Besides, you can quote a higher price than what you are already charging when a client comes knocking.
3. Charge Double What’s Charged In Your Country
I thought I was the first to use this hack until I came across Ali’s article about “how to raise your rates as a freelance writer.”
In my country, most clients offer to pay between $0.01 – $0.02 per word, which is way too low. As a freelance writer, especially from my country, charging something close to $0.06 per word won’t be that bad.
I stopped working with local clients because of their low pay, but that shouldn’t prevent you from working with them. Some awesome clients can pay you way better.
4. Join the Freelance Writers Den
(This post may contain affiliate links. So, when you click on a link and buy any product, I will get a commission.)
Huuuh! Finally, I’m about to explain my best solution to charging higher rates – joining the freelance writers’ den by Carol Tice.
I first came to know Carol Tice when I bought Jon Morrow’s Black Book that contains editors email addresses of top magazines.
I realized that you could only get published on Make a Living Writing if you were Jon Morrow’s student or her student.
When I visited her website, I checked her pages and came across her portfolio. Oh My! All her samples had been published on Forbes.
I learned of the Freelance Writers Den and joined. I must confess there are lots of resources that will help you earn more as a freelance writer.
Reasons, why Freelance Writers Den is a Must-Join forum, include:
- Forums where you interact with reputable online influencers
- More than 300 hours of videos for learning
- Bootcamps where you can learn more every month
- A job board that’s filtered with only high paying clients
- And finally, it costs just $25 monthly
Isn’t that too low with all the advantages you get from it? Try and join the Freelance Writers Den. Be a member and start earning what you deserve.
5. Escape the Content Mills and Bidding Sites
This may sound rude, but this is my point of view. If you are serious about quitting your shitty job and making freelance writing your primary source of income, then content mills or bidding sites like Upwork won’t be the solution.
I know it hurts to hear something of the sort, especially if you think you are successful on Upwork, but that’s the bitter truth. Thank me one day.
When I thought of increasing my freelance writing rates, the first step I took was to leave Upwork and concentrate on finding clients outside (direct clients).
6. Design a Professional Website
I seriously doubt if you can pitch big companies without a website, and to be more precise, a professional website.
That said, it is necessary that you create a good-looking website. You can design your website on your own or hire a web designer to work on it as you concentrate on other projects.
When I bought my domain name denzilfreelancekenya and hosted it, I was confused about how to design my website. I made several mistakes until I opted to hire a web designer to help.
Since I started reading people’s blogs, the best website I have ever come across is Elna Cain’s blog. I don’t know whether or not to admit that I’m jealous, but the truth is that Elna’s blog is beautiful.
Now, the point here is to design your website to look professional. If you can’t do it on your own, please hire a web designer.
7. Work With an Editor (Wording Well)
I never knew the importance of going through my work several times before publishing it online for the whole world to read.
Thanks to God for letting me know Lorraine Reguly, the founder of Wording Well. She has been helping me with editorial services, and I must say, this is where her passion lies.
If you were wondering, Lorraine could also help you become an author through her courses. I bet you can’t wait to meet Lorraine.
Again, my point here is that you make sure your writing is on point. That way, clients are going to take you seriously even if you opt to increase your freelance writing rates.
8. Ask for Testimonials
If you are one of Jon Morrow’s students in his Content Marketing Certification Program, you’ll realize how passionate he is about testimonials.
He says that testimonials do the speaking for you and that he’d instead value a client’s testimonial than payment because the testimonial will increase your credibility.
So, when you have completed any project, and the client is happy, go ahead and ask for a testimonial. I have done this before, and this is what I usually say:
It’s been nice working with you, and I’m glad I have helped your company grow within the last three months we’ve been working together.
Would you mind leaving me a genuine testimonial? I would appreciate it if you did.
The reason why I’m asking for a testimonial is so that it can help me serve you and my future clients better.
Thanks in advance!
9. Inform Your Clients In Advance
Never make a mistake to increase your freelance witing rates without issuing a notice to your clients.
If you do so, there’s a possibility that your clients can end the relationship with you and look for other writers.
Therefore, issue a notice to your clients in advance to allow them to ponder over it. For example, you can write an email notice to your client in November that you’ll be increasing your freelance writing rates as from January the following year.
10. Raise Your Rates Around the Same Time Every Year
This is a tactic that works. To give you some insight, let’s use Apple company as an example.
Now, what comes to your mind when you see an apple logo? Probably, you begin to think about the Apple Company.
The same will apply when you want to increase your freelance writing rates. If you usually raise your freelance writing rates in January, it will stick in the mind of your clients. So, they will have prepared for the increment.
I would love to conclude with Bamidele’s principle – the law of demand and supply. As a freelance writer, you should convince many clients with your writing such that tons of them come looking for you instead of you looking for them. With that, you can increase your freelance writing rates comfortably without scaring away any client.