The Financial Side of Freelance Writing

by Shenron on October 6, 2009

As a freelance writer, you are already aware that a true writer writes due to a love for the written word and a passion for being read. Nevertheless, there still exists a financial side of the writing realm. As much enjoyment and pleasure that we get out of seeing our words in print or on the internet, we still have bills that have to be paid. So, with that in mind, we have to be aware that there is a middle point to writing and making a living, a financial intersection, if you will. To succeed as a freelance writer, you have to know where this intersection is and now how to approach it.

Freelance Writing The Financial Side of Freelance Writing

Initially, let us take a look at the evolution of the financial side of freelance writing. The written word has come quite a distance in a relatively short period of time, entirely due to the culmination of the World Wide Web. The internet has brought the craft of freelance writing to a level never seen before. Freelance writers originally had to buy magazines and then submit potential articles with the knowledge that these articles might not be accepted. Originally, there was a constant financial investment and no guarantee that a paycheck would ever be written. In these times, you can find plenty of writers’ jobs online and know for a fact that you will get paid before you actually begin the writing process.

As freelancers, we also saw a great leap in writing opportunities directly after the online revolution that crossed us over into the web 2.0 eras. Prior to this point, most internet marketing was performed via emails. Now, due to search engine optimization and back links, we find that the opportunity to make a living through internet writing has expanded exponentially. There are plenty of jobs out there that pay a decent amount, but you have to know how to write a keyword rich article to make a living at it.

Now, armed with the knowledge of the past, let’s take a look at your present as a writer. Starting out, don’t expect to get rich. You have to make a name for yourself. This is a process that you will get through in time. Regardless, in beginning, you have to set a few financial guidelines to go by. For the amateur writer, or the beginner, don’t set those expectations too high, or too low for that matter. There are writers out there that produce 500 word articles every single day for 1 or 2 dollars per article. There is absolutely no reason for you to go this low. You simply cannot survive at that rate. Also, clients that are looking for good writers will automatically assume that those who charge that much will produce low-grade articles. For the beginner, there are two separate ways to that you should adhere in setting your rates.

The first option is that of “by word” writing. This means that you set a certain level that you will not go beneath. Most beginning writers will charge around one or two cents per word for their works. It is not a get rich quick rate, but one that will pay your bills and put some cash on the table. If you run across a job request that goes below this rate, no matter if you know about the subject, don’t take it. You have to stick to your financial guidelines. Once you drop below those guidelines, you will find yourself doing it more and more often. Your words are worth at least a penny or two each.

Freelance Writing 5 The Financial Side of Freelance Writing

The other option, and one more often chosen by beginning writers, is the flat rate. The majority of beginners will generally want to get around five to ten dollars per article, regardless of the length. Of course, this is within reason, as you wouldn’t want to write a 10,000 word article for five dollars. The length is generally between five hundred to one thousand words.

Use your best judgment when considering what your financial gain must be. Factor in how many hours per day you will be writing, how much your monthly allowance for bills, food, and other aspects will be, and then break it all down into basic ideas on how much you need to survive. Write for that, and no less. You are a writer, and in that, you are a fairly rare commodity in these times. If you believe you are worth being hired, then you are worth being paid decently for. Stick to your guns and never underestimate your financial worth.

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