“How much should I charge for my work?”

It’s the question that I get more than any other. Ok, I do get one question more often - “Where can I find work?” - but how much to charge comes in a close second. I can give you a list of websites that list freelance writing gigs, but I can’t tell you how much to charge for your work. Not completely, at least.

Recently, I added the article How Much to Charge for an Article to the After Graduation article bank, but even that piece doesn’t completely answer the question. I know some writers who are happy to charge $15 per article, while others gasp at that amount. I know some writers who feel justified charging $100 per article, while others’ faces get red at the mere thought of asking that much for their work. I’ve seen other blogs discuss price, with commenters getting into virtual shouting wars with one another because they disagree.

So who’s right? And who’s wrong? And why does talking about price get us so riled up as a community?

In my opinion, to determine price, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. If I work at this price, can I afford to pay my bills and stick a little extra in savings?
  2. Am I happy with that price or do I think I deserve more?

If you think you deserve more, you probably do, and frankly, there’s probably someone who’s willing to pay it. I only say probably because I don’t think anyone will pay a million dollars an article, but if you’re reasonable, you’re going to find clients as long as you provide a good value.

That’s what it’s all about, after all - value. If you charge $30 per article but provide crap, you’re going to lose your clients. If you bump your prices to $50 per article, but provide awesome work, you’re going to continue to find clients. It’s not about the dollar amount. If it were, everyone would by the cheapest version of everything. Frankly, I don’t want the cheapest car on the road. I want the car that’s the best value. I don’t want the cheapest shoes in the store. I want the shoes that are the best value.

And clients don’t want the cheapest writer. They want the best value.

So figure out how to be a better writer, whether that means boosting your research skills or learning SEO or coming up with better titles. Maybe, like me, you need to work on being a better self-editor. Maybe something else holds your writing back. But above all, believe in yourself as a writer. The best writers in the world can charge pretty much whatever they want, and they have people lining up to purchase there work. Be worth the price you charge, and you will find clients to pay you.

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