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When I schedule work, I typically don’t jam pack every single day. Sure, I have days with crazy deadlines, but in general, I prefer to work casual 12 hour days rather than face-paced 8 hour days. It’s just how I am.

There’s definitely an advantage to this – I can easily take rush assignments most days, getting assignments done quickly with little notice. It isn’t always possible to take rush assignments, but when you can, you increase you value to a client. Freelance is all about building trust with people who send you work. They want to be able to trust that you’ll turn in great work on time. When you can take a rush assignment, they’ll trust you even more, knowing that they can turn to you in a tight spot. So, I encourage you to take as many rush assignments as possible.

When you’re assigned something with a quick due date, though, you should charge more for it. It’s comparable to paying for rush shipping. Basically, they’re asking you to rearrange your schedule or work more hours during the day in order to finish their project. And yes, you should charge extra for this inconvenience.

I know some writers who charge double or more for rush work. Personally, I don’t think that’s fair in most cases. If you were working a regular job and were asked to work overtime, you’d get time and a half – or +50% to the regular cost. I add 20% to 60% to the price, depending on just what they’re asking me to do and how quickly they’re asking me to do it. For example, if I’d typically charge $20 for an article in ten days, I’d probably charge $30 if the client wanted it in three days instead. I consider anything needed in less than a week as “rush,” with the exception of a single, short article. For larger groups, “rush” might be more than a week. Say someone wanted 100 article in a month’s time. That’s definitely rush!

I can’t urge you enough to add some extra cost onto rush work. It should be every freelancer’s policy, because if there are freelancers out there willing to do rush work for no extra cost, it hurts all of us. But now I’d like to open the floor to you all. Do you accept rush projects? What’s a short enough deadline that you consider the project to be “rush”? Do you charge extra for rush projects? If so, how much?

A version of this post, written by me, was first published on b5media’s Bizzia website. It is reposted here with permission.

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