by Ime Morales
Ever since FWGP was established in 2011/2012, this has been the single most common question writers ask me. Even writers who have been writing professionally for many years would send a note and ask, “How much should I charge for writing website copy?” Or text for a newsletter, a brochure, a press release, and so on. There is nothing wrong with asking—I understand that. But what gets my goat every time is when someone gives incomplete details and expects me to give a good answer.
It shows a lack of understanding about an important aspect of your work
Freelance writers worth their salt should know that before one can come up with proper costing, there are several factors to be considered:
- Who is the client? (You can give discounts to NGOs, family or friends, small firms, etc.)
- How long will it take you to finish the work? (How fast do you work?)
- What is your hourly rate as a professional? (How good are you?)
- Does it involve research (what kind of research?), interviews, meetings with clients, etc? (Include your fee for time spent on these, plus allowances for transportation/food.)
- How long will it take before you get full payment? (A client who can pay in 2 weeks should not be charged the same amount as someone who will take six months to pay.)
These are just the basic stuff. I would also consider my professional relationship with a client. If he or she is easy to work with, doesn’t give me the run-around when it’s payment time, is nice and polite to me, et cetera, then I definitely give discounts.
So you see, whenever you need to come up with a price for a newsletter, for instance, don’t think that there is a standard cost for all newsletter projects. That doesn’t exist. Each project needs to be treated (and priced) differently, depending on unique factors.
A quick formula
All things being equal, however, a general formula would go something like this:
Number of hours spent working x Writer’s hourly rate = Net cost
The hourly rate is different for every writer, depending on skill, seniority, genre, etc. Offhand, I’d say freelance writers shouldn’t accept an hourly rate of less than Php 63. This can climb up to Php 5,000 per hour for veteran freelancers.