I’ve seen many writers say that the end of the year is the best time to raise your writer rates. Well, I’m going to go against the grain here.
For me, the end of the year was never the best time. I tried it one year and lost clients. It took a while to build that client base back up, so I didn’t do it again. I took a completely different approach in recent years.
I’m now at a point where my hourly rate is above the minimum that I want it to be and I’m supporting a family of four on just my own wage. I must be doing something right, right?
So, does that mean you shouldn’t raise your writer rates now? What about the whole idea of a fresh year and a fresh start?
Well, maybe it is time for you. It could definitely be worth trying it. Before you jump right into raising your rates, you need to think about the following.
When Did You Last Raise Your Writer Rates?
If you only raised your rates last month, you won’t get away with raising them now. Trust me when I say that this will be a monumentally bad idea. Clients aren’t going to appreciate being hit twice in such a short space of time.
But what if you only raised your rates for some clients? Then maybe you could get away with raising your rates for the other clients. But then you’ll need to consider how long you’ve had that client and assess whether they have the budget to increase the amount they pay for content.
If the last time you raised your rates was a six months to a year ago, you could consider raising them again now. If you haven’t raised your rates for a year or more, then definitely considered it.
How Long Have You Had the Client?
Now look at your client relationship. How long have you worked with the client?
If this is one of your newest clients, they won’t appreciate suddenly hearing that you want to raise your rates. This is especially the case if you’ve had the client for a month or two. If this is a client that you’ve had for the past year and never raised your rates, you’ll want to consider talking about raising your rates.
A year-long client will likely expect to have this conversation. After all, they’ve likely had the conversation with other clients.
Write Your Way to $1,000 Per Month and More!: Support Your Family With Your Writing Income
Do You Prefer a Different Time of Year?
I actually prefer the middle of the year for raising my writing rates. Christmas/New Year is just such a difficult time for everyone. Businesses will be doing their end of year accounts and individuals have their families to think about.
There’s just something about this time of year that strikes me as a little Scrooge.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with your current writer rates. Like I said, I like the middle of the year. I’ll have the discussion somewhere between April and July with clients about raising my rates. This tends to be a better time of year for this type of discussion on both ends.
Is Your Client Likely to Say No?
You know your clients better than I do. There are some clients that I know wouldn’t be able to afford a rate increase, no matter how long I’ve been with them. I know that if I said that I wanted to increase my rates they’d either share their disappointment and try to get me to keep them the same or they would just say OK and then not contact me for any more content.
That happened in the past—although one of my clients I was surprised to hear that she couldn’t increase the rate by the small amount that I’d requested, but never mind.
If you think your client is likely to stop sending you work because of your rate increase, you could look at other options instead. Why not find better paying clients, so it won’t matter if your other clients say no when you say you want to raise your writing rate?
Is This the Best Time for You to Raise Your Writer Rate?
I’m going to turn the question over to you. What do you think? Is now really the right time for you? Are you like me and think that later in the year is better?
Yes, you do deserve a pay rise, but at the same time you want to manage it in the best way possible. So, take your time to decide the right time for you to raise your writer rates.
If you want to discuss more about your writer rates, I’m available as a writing mentor. I’m offering a special deal at the moment on my rates so get in touch and you can increase your writing income in the New Year.