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Many writers switch their focus from writing to editing after a few years. Finding jobs is a topic for another day – today let’s talk about how much you should charge for your services.

I’m probably opening a can of worms here. Whenever any blogger mentions writer pay, people come out of the woodwork to fight about it. So, let me preface this by saying that I am NOT an editor and I don’t think it is wrong to charge more OR less than what I propose here. This is just my opinion.

First, let me be totally transparent about what I pay my editor. We negotiated and settled on a price of $2 per page. Anything over 1/3 of a page is counted as an additional page. So, if an article is just a few lines on the second page, he’s paid $2, but if it is a page and a half, he’s paid $4. We talk about special prices for some projects that I take, because when I get bonuses, I like to pass on a percentage of that to my editor. Occasionally, for huge groups of articles, I give a discount to my clients, and in turn, my editor gives a discount to me. In general, though, I pay $2 per page.

Does that mean you should charge $2 per page? Maybe. The work I send to my editor is generally fairly clean. There are typos, but he doesn’t have to do much rewriting. So, he can breeze through a number of pages every hour, making at least $30 an hour, which isn’t a bad salary. It’s comparable to what I make as a writer.

Now, you might want to make more per hour…or you might be ok with making less. If that’s the case, you can adjust your prices accordingly, just like writers do.

There’s something to be said about the amount of work you have to do. Heavy editing jobs, where you have to do a lot of rewriting, will take you longer, so you should charge more. I talked to one editor I know, and when she’s determining a price for a writer, she asks for three pages, which she edits for a base price of $1 each (the lowest she’ll go). She then returns the three pages and a sample of what she can do for the client, as well as a quote per page for the rest of the project.

As an editor, you can charge more if you’re willing to go above and beyond as well. For example, I paid my writer more for a project where he checked if all the links included were working. Another time, I paid more for him to format all of the articles (they came from multiple writers on my team) so that they looked uniform, something I like to do for clients. The more you can do as an editor, the more you can charge.

I’m dying for you all to weigh in on this topic, especially if you’re primarily an editor. How much do you charge per page (or per project or per hour or whatever)?

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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