This year I made a bold decision not to increase my writer rate. Usually I do it around the New Year (or sometimes April) and on a yearly basis. It’s standard across the board.
So, why didn’t I do it this year? Well, the international move had a lot to do with it. It’s more due to why freelance writers need to increase their writer rate—something that the international move did for me.
If you want this in video form, I’ve done it on Facebook right here. But there are only six reasons here. This blog post has seven, so you’ll want to get to the end to find out what you’re missing from the video!
Your Own Costs Are Increasing
It costs money to run a business. Whether it’s the electricity you’re using in the home or the fees for using the coffee shop’s internet, you need to spend money. These costs will increase year upon year.
Not only that but your other costs will increase. You’re working from home to create a career; to avoid the 9-5 right? You’re working to support a family and enjoy the luxuries that you have. Every single cost you have in your life will increase now and then.
So, you need to increase your costs to go along with that.
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Your Hourly Rate Needs Increase
With costs increasing, your hourly rate will increase. As you grow in your business, you’ll take on more outgoings.
You may hire a social media manager, decide to use a networking tool, or buy a few WordPress templates. There is always something new that you need for your business.
This year alone, I’ve bought four new tech tools for my business that I’d never even considered last year or before. They all help me to boost my social media presence and share my blog posts. If I didn’t have a higher writer rate than say two years ago I wouldn’t have been able to afford these.
I also recommend working out your freelance writing rate by working out the amount you spend per hour and then add a little bit extra. Do this yearly and increase your writer rate when you need to.
You’ve Gained Another Year of Experience
As you gain more experience, you deserve to be paid more. Someone with 10 years experience in a business will get more money than someone who’s just graduated. That person with 10 years experience will work more efficiently and won’t need as much explaining. They can usually just get on with the job.
As a writer, you will be able to command a higher rate with more experience because you know what works. You’ve learned the best SEO tips and you know how to format a blog post. You’ll gain experience in different content management systems, like WordPress, Drupal, and others.
That experience is invaluable. Clients should pay you more because of it.
You’ve Learned New Skills
It’s not just experience, but the skills you gain. During my first two years of writing, I learned so much about SEO, back linking, images, and creating good content for the web.
Since then, I’ve picked up skills in social media promotion, Pinterest image creation, tags and category choices and creation, formatting, and much more. I can offer more to clients, so my package prices have to increase with that.
Clients still want the old prices? Then they don’t get to utilise the new skills you have.
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You’re Already Underpaid
Chances are you’re charging less than you “should” do. I put the should in quotes, because this term is relative. There are some people out there who will tell you to charge $300 a blog post. There are others who say you shouldn’t charge anything less than $50 per hour.
Well, I’m going against the grain. I believe you should charge what you’re comfortable charging and what you’re happy receiving.
But generally speaking, you will likely be underpaid. Everyone else is raising their rates, so you need to do it too. You need to stay in line with industry standards.
Remaining underpaid isn’t just bad for you. It tells clients that you don’t value your work or skills and sends off alarm bells. They worry that they’ll get bad content for their money.
Other Freelance Writers Are Doing It Too
As I mentioned, you are definitely not the only one increasing their rate. Clients will expect it every now and then. Once a year is a good amount of time between writer rate increases.
I know there’s a saying “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” The answer is supposed to be “no” and you’re not meant to follow the flock. Well, in this case you’re not being a sheep. You’re being busy savvy.
Freelance writers need to remain competitive. Low rates aren’t going to keep you competitive for too long.
You Need to Avoid the Bad Clients
PITA clients expect to get their content for very little. They aren’t necessarily poor clients—some of the richest people will try to undercut and I’ve found them some of the worst people to work with.
But if you never raise your rates, you get the reputation as a cheap writer. This attracts the wrong type of clients, who will drive you up the wall.
By continually increasing your writer rates, you make it clear that you have business sense and you’re not going to be walked over. Of course there’s more to it as a freelance writer, but it’s a start.
So, Why Didn’t I Increase My Writer Rate?
Well, as I said, the international move helped me. My costs did increase, but some costs went down due to local standards. My rent (when currency conversions are considered) is three quarters of the rent I paid in the UK, especially since all bills except internet and electricity are included.
Plus, the exchange rate now works in my favor. I used to have to convert from US dollars to British pounds. I always lost out so had to keep my rate high for that. Now I convert from US dollars to Canadian dollars. While it’s only around 1USD to 1.30CAD it’s still a better exchange rate. My income has technically already increased because of that.
I will increase my freelance writing rate next year.
Do you need help setting and increasing your freelance writer rate? Don’t forget to sign up to this 5-week mini course to help you get started.