Freelance Writing Fees... ?

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  1. Katelyn Weel profile image84
    Katelyn Weelposted 13 years ago

    How do you set a fee for a freelance project? I've been working through Elance but have no idea what kind of fees to set in my proposals.

    How do you determine what to charge, and what are some average prices? I don't want to be over the top expensive but I don't want to cheap out on myself either. The project in question right now is an ebook rewrite.

    This might make a good hub if someone wants to write it!

    1. Susana S profile image92
      Susana Sposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      If you've just started out, go cheap but I wouldn't go any less than $5 per 500 words. Once you have a good feedback score you can push your price higher. Remember that you have the advantage over writers who are not native English (who will work for $1 per 500 words). Use that advantage to your benefit. This approach has worked for me smile

  2. The10DollarMark profile image61
    The10DollarMarkposted 13 years ago

    Depends on the quality of work you want done. Rewrites are easier than regular articles so they can go for cheaper.

    If you want it done cheap, 1$ per 500 words. On Elance it may not go well, but on getafreelancer there should be people willing to work for such low pay.
    If you want it done quickly, 5$ per 500 words and some qualifications and a single  sample.
    If you want it done well and quickly, 9$ per 500 words and with lots of qualifications desired and preferably 2+ samples, one of which should be a rewrite on a paragraph you choose (instead of samples from their previous work).

    The higher your price, the more qualifications you should require. (Samples of previous work, recent experience, preferably already having a job or many years in the field, diplomas/certificates related to writing or the ebook topic)

  3. Katelyn Weel profile image84
    Katelyn Weelposted 13 years ago

    Actually I'm the writer in this case, lol but thanks for the other perspective! I haven't yet found out the size of the project but those sound like some good average starting points. Thanks

  4. Marisa Wright profile image90
    Marisa Wrightposted 13 years ago

    Katelyn, Sufidreamer is a freelance writer and has written some interesting Hubs on the subject.  He also gives an indication of his rates on his website.

    $1 per 500 words is a complete insult, IMO.  You can make a lot more than that writing for HP or some other writing sites.

    1. The10DollarMark profile image61
      The10DollarMarkposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes it is, but for a rewrite it's actually very popular. I didn't realize the OP was the writer, I thought she was the person asking for freelancers but there are a LOT of people who do rewrites for 1$ per 500 words (mostly people from India, but there are others as well).

      That's why I put 3 price points according to the quality of work to be done.

      Taking it back to her, now that I know she's the writer, 5$ per 500 words is a minimum if she truly believes to be a quality writer and rewriter. Personally I'd go 6-8.5 per 500 for an ebook rewrite. Of course some people go all the way up to 20$ per 500 words if they are very experienced.

  5. Sufidreamer profile image80
    Sufidreamerposted 13 years ago

    Thanks for the mention, Marisa!

    Hi Katelyn - the problem with the freelance sites is that it takes a long while to build up a reputation and be noticed. My first assignment was $2 for 500 words, on oDesk, but I now charge 10 - 15 times that for standard articles, because I have positive feedback from customers.

    It can feel a little 'dirty' to take low price assignments, but I think of it like this:

    If you are setting up a real world business, you often have to give out special offers and work for very little, until you build up a customer base.

    The same with starting on the freelance boards - there is nothing wrong with starting for peanuts, but you should look to increase your rate after every successful assignment - think of it as investing in your own talent.

    The other tip I can give is to develop a niche - I charge much more for technical and academic writing, as an example.

    All the best, and feel free to PM if you need anything smile

    1. Katelyn Weel profile image84
      Katelyn Weelposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Good points, that's what I've decided on, starting cheap then working my way up as I gain experience.

      I'm not trying to make a living at it (yet?) just doing some simple projects to earn some extra cash while I'm in school.

      Thanks for all the tips!

  6. thirdmillenium profile image60
    thirdmilleniumposted 13 years ago

    I am a freelancer and never even look at pay less than $5 for 500 words.  Anything lesser, in my personal opinion, is not worth it.

  7. forlan profile image61
    forlanposted 13 years ago

    As an entrepreneur,  we should calculate the profit first before hiring any writer. We must sure the article value is higher than our payment. Example. If we pay $ 50 for a 500 words article, we should sure that our revenue is higher than $ 50.

  8. lawretta profile image52
    lawrettaposted 13 years ago

    $5 is good for a rewrite of 500 words. thats what i charge

  9. thranax profile image75
    thranaxposted 13 years ago

    I wrote a Hub on this topic awhile ago, might wanna check it out!

    I broke the link so its not self promotion, its just to answer the question asked smile


  10. mega1 profile image68
    mega1posted 13 years ago

    what's a rewrite?

    1. Katelyn Weel profile image84
      Katelyn Weelposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, that's an interesting question.. I'm sure someone on here has the proper answer to this.

      Many people hire ghostwriters to take an existing document and rewrite it so it looks unique from the original.

      As far as I know, most people have either articles or whole books they want rewritten, and it can be either for editing/improving the writing, making chicken scratch into readable text, or the case that I'm wondering about, which is when someone has work written by someone else that they want redone as a new product.

      Can anyone tell me how this works concerning plagiarism? If one is to take an ebook and transform it into a new document without adding any new research, facts, or ideas.. is this just a gray area when it comes to copyright?

      1. livewithrichard profile image74
        livewithrichardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        First, a rewrite is most often just a spun article where you just reword the same basic content.

        Second, there is no gray area if you just take an ebook that is not yours and make a new document out of it. It is still a copyright infringement.

        You are going to be seriously underpaid if you want to just do online freelance writing because the $1 per 500 word writers are just spinning articles so they pass a copyscape check. People buy this because they're not interested in the content only the link they can put in the resource box.

        Build up a portfolio of content here on HP and also on a couple other sites and then do some offline marketing of your services if you want to earn a living as a freelancer.

  11. SandyMcCollum profile image63
    SandyMcCollumposted 13 years ago

    I get $30 for 500 words at one of my freelance jobs. I thought that was pretty usual.

  12. Lady Libris profile image60
    Lady Librisposted 13 years ago

    I am so glad I found this thread. I think I might actually be able to get the answers I've been looking for. 

    My question about pricing for a "standard" 500 word article has been answered for the most part. Still, I do think its insulting to any decent writer to spend a few hours (sometimes longer)researching and writing an article for a total of $5.00. Still when I got my first job from ifreelance, I wrote one article with two rewrites for $5.00. We do what we have to do, I suppose.

    My second question concerns original content.
    Here is what I don't understand (and the issue applies to hubpages too). How can you research a topic and write the aritcle with original content if your information is coming from other sources? Even if you write the information in your own words,and add your own thoughts to it, the original ideas are still coming from somewhere else. Maybe I have just spent too much time writing APA formatted essays, but I'm really having difficulty grasping it.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      As with most things on the internet, this is a very grey area. Copyright law is not as strict as APA - you do not have to cite every single source. As long as you have expended 'unique effort,' then you are unlikely to infringe any laws, although it is good practice to insert links for credibility, if nothing else. My articles here are all from my own head, so I do not have that problem smile

      Of course, with creative writing, it is a different ballgame, as some of the high-profile cases over film scripts testify. That usually ends up as who has the better lawyers - I cannot see anybody trying to spin a Stephen King novel and get away with it.

      EDIT: Hasawaywithwords - crossed posts! - Good answer smile

  13. Has_aWayWithWords profile image64
    Has_aWayWithWordsposted 13 years ago

    Rewriting is not always bad and every article or book writen has research that provides info from other sources. Rewriting something in your own perspective that basicaly reinforces the point of the original IS NOT copyright infringement and uing your own words and views is the proper way to rewrite anything. Spun articles or ebooks using software is done by people trying to make a quick buck and it uses software to change the words in the artices to synonyms so it passes copyscape, Google however recognizes synonyms and that is why a good article has keywords but then also uses synonyms for those keywords throughout the article

  14. profile image48
    curioxatposted 13 years ago

    It depends on how much experience you can offer, how specialist the project is and lastly who you are competing against. It is becoming a lot harder for freelancers, I'm finding that i'm being undercut by 80% on some projects. It's about being strategic and going after ones that India might not be bidding for!


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