Essential Freelance Writer Negotiating Tips

freelance writer negotiating

One of the most significant benefits of working as a freelance writer is that you can set your salary. To achieve this, you need to learn a little about freelance writer negotiation. At the moment, I am reading a book called ‘You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth.’ I highly recommend it if you have any confidence issues in the freelance writer negotiating area because it aids you in developing the outlook you need to earn what you deserve.

Unfortunately, clients and freelancers don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to negotiating rates. That’s natural because we’re all trying to make the most of our businesses here. While your potential clients want to take a cost-effective approach, you want to make sure you earn what you’re worth.

So, you need to learn a little about negotiating and creating the right environment for getting more from your solo business.

Freelance writer negotiating tip number one: determine your minimum hourly rate

freelance writer negotiating

Everyone who wants to make their business succeed should know what their minimum rate is. Your minimum price isn’t the same as a rate you will settle for all the time. You can, and should, always aim higher, because that’s how you increase your earning power.

Your minimum hourly rate is the lowest you’ll go when accepting a job. Once you know what it is, you should never go lower. It’ll depend on factors such as how much money you need to earn to survive and do the things you love to do, plus a little extra for covering your business costs and saving for a rainy day.

If you’re new to freelancing, you have to sell yourself and your skill set to achieve this. However, as you gain experience and develop a fantastic portfolio, your minimum rate can rise. Having your blog is an excellent way of showcasing your work, so even if you don’t have experience right now, launch a blog to show how great you are at writing.

In some cases, you’ll find that a client pays a fixed fee per project rather than paying you by the hour. As such, you need to figure out how much you can write in an hour and use that to determine your per-word fee too. That way, you’re more likely to achieve your minimum hourly rate, even if they’re paying you per article rather than per hour.

Know your worth and don’t cheapen yourself because of competition

freelance writing negotiating

There is enough work out there for everyone, trust me. Freelance writer negotiating tactics sometimes come under the influence of the fact that there are people out there who will charge much less than you. Let them go ahead and do that, but don’t lower your rates if you’re worrying that your client will go for someone cheaper.

Those of us who do charge what we’re worth will dedicate the time and effort that gets results. We’ll research thoroughly, develop the right keyword strategies, and look at the client’s competition so we can ensure they stand out. In contrast, when someone doesn’t receive high pay, they’re more likely to rush their work and rehash whatever is out there on the Internet.

Engaging in a race to the bottom also makes life harder for your fellow freelancers. Also, a decent client will understand the phrase “Buy cheap, pay twice.” Think about it, when you buy a physical product that is cheap, it’s more likely to break quickly, and so you end up paying for something new faster than you would if you went for the better option. The same applies to freelance writing negotiating. If you ask for what you’re worth, you produce results that are astounding, and your client won’t need someone else to mop up sloppy work.


Make sure you’re clear about what you’re offering

freelance writer negotiating

Few experiences are more frustrating than finding yourself knee-deep in a contract and realizing your client wants a lot more than what you agreed to. For example, when I’m negotiating my rates, I’m usually referring to words only. So, if a client then turns around and tells me that they need royalty-free images, they’re going to receive a firm ‘no’ because this is an additional effort on my part and it reduces my minimum hourly rate.

More often than not, clients are lovely creatures who openly state what they need, and they make the freelance writer negotiating process simple. Those who suddenly remember that they do require an add-on such as an image usually are just forgetful so and so’s. They’re not trying to squeeze something out of you for free.

However, there are some people out there who will try it on. That means you need to remain firm on what it is that you’re offering. You’ll also need to recognize when someone’s request isn’t going to fit into your budget. For example, if they want a listicle that’ll require over a thousand words but they feel as though you can manage it in 400, you need to make sure both of you have realistic project expectations before proceeding. 

Look at what’s in it for you. Is this an ongoing project?

Freelance writer negotiating

There are times when I will write one-off pieces for a client. However, as a freelance writer, it’s in my interests to secure ongoing projects that’ll act as my bread and butter. I need to make a living, after all.

Of course, you can’t demand that a prospective client signs you up for four blogs a week when all they need are one. However, if that’s all they need, it’s then down to you to go and find someone else who’ll provide you with work that fills the gap.

On that note, if you know that your client is an agency rather than a business, it doesn’t hurt to ask if them if they have any similar work available. Sometimes they have gaps they need to fill, so make sure you get in there first before they have a chance to place an ad online. Doing this saves a lot of time when it comes to freelance writer negotiating.


Realize that some pieces naturally cost more than others, even when the word count is the same

freelance writer negotiating

How is this so? Well, because you might need to conduct more research. For example, one of my most significant freelance writer negotiating challenges is determining just how much effort I’ll have to put into a piece.

Unfortunately, this is a skill that’ll come with practice. For example, as someone who has degrees in medical sciences, I find it easier to write about some specialties than others. Or, if someone is asking me to focus on a particular niche topic, I’ll probably have to dig further for studies that support the claims they’re making about their products or services.

When you know that will happen, ask for a higher rate. The end game with freelance writer negotiating is to not go below your minimum hourly rate. Also, if you’re finding a project too robust in terms of effort, don’t bite your nose off to spite your face. Drop it and admit to your client that someone else with better skills is the best choice for them.

Most of all, never forget your worth. There’s no point in denying that the online world is full of freelance writers who are willing to work for a pittance. That doesn’t mean you need to be one of them.

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