Advice on price for article writing

22 replies
Good afternoon! I was hoping that I might get some advice about pricing for original content and revisions. I have a Ph.D. in English and I teach writing for a living at a few different schools, which is a tough way to make a buck. It would be great to get involved with this forum to get some extra work. I have worked on a variety of writing, editing, ghostwriting, web content, and other projects. However, my web content work has always been through direct contact rather than a forum. I have noticed a huge range in pricing and I want to be fair to my clients. Any suggestions?

Thanks very much for your time.

sean
#advice #article #price #writing
  • Profile picture of the author dman9969
    Hey Sean, Good to see you took me up on my advice to join. Guys, I can definitely vouch for Sean. He is local in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and has authored 3 books. (not e-books) Teaches at a University. Need I say more.
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  • Profile picture of the author NoGuru
    Certainly it would depend on the task. I'm generally paying around $3'ish per decent unique blog article or around 250 words posted directly into my Wordpress blogs, and before that was paying in the $2 range for the same type articles sent to me for me to post myself. You could certainly get some folks to pay more than that, and you could make more for longer articles and more still for e-books.

    Probably best to browse the forum services listings and perhaps also look on Odesk, Elance, GetAFreelancer, etc. at the job postings there. Those freelance sites might offer you a good opportunity to leverage your considerable credentials for projects that take more brainpower than made-for-adsense blog articles or clickbank product reviews. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      • Profile picture of the author rainyclayday
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


        It's really important, I think, to avoid the mistake of imagining that it's sensible to "start off by writing for low prices"
        Totally agree. That goes for everyone but especially someone with your excellent credentials.
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      • Profile picture of the author raylm123
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Welcome, Sean.

        It's really important, I think, to avoid the mistake of imagining that it's sensible to "start off by writing for low prices" with a view to raising your prices after clients have seen what you can produce. When writing for online markets, it just doesn't work that way. When you write for low prices you attract clients whose primary motivation is to pay low prices, and you lose almost all of them when you increase prices later. One competes in the markets in which one chooses to compete. If I were in your position, I would certainly not be aiming to write articles for less than $50 each.
        Totally agree! Avoid the $3 - $5 per article market. It's not worth your time. Position yourself as a higher quality writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author P.Sharma
    well, good article writers charge upto $5-7 for 1 400-500 words article.

    But since you are starting out I would suggest $3/article
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonboom
    I would also advise against low paying article jobs. You can easily snatch $15-$50 per article through freelance writing sites. Those types of sites tend to look heavily on credentials and past performance, so your work history should help you out plenty.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    I agree with what has been stated. As far as education, I am A.B.D., and at one time wrote for others at a ridiculously low prices thinking I would be able to eventually raise the rates. I raised the rates and those looking for cheap writers moved on. Start off with rates that you can live with IMO.
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  • There's more money in teaching people how to write, than there is in writing SEO optimised articles. You could offer personal or group tuition, or put together a product to sell on the topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author xohaibx
    I did the mistake starting low as an article marketer a few years ago, but trust me, it's just about raising the bar higher and taking some risk. Sure, you might lose a lot of "clients" who want to have you write articles for $3 a pop, but don't let that deviate you.

    You should start off at at least $15 an article. The best way to get such projects is through contacts. Develop contacts, strike friendships, partnerships with people out there. Approach them directly if you can.

    There are many big sites who are looking for content on a regular basis. Email them and let them know about your background, send some samples and ask them to give you an opportunity to work with them. If necessary, use fax, mail or phone.

    Networking is to getting big projects and high rates. Get to know online marketers, content site owners, newsletter publishers, etc. I'm definitely sure you can end with a few juicy projects that go way beyond what you get at the freelance sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author BiancaRaven
      When I was first beginning, everyone advised me to take the lower paying gigs just to 'get going' too. It's not necessary.

      Work out how much you need to earn in an hour to make it more profitable than flipping burgers at McDonald's. Then figure out how much you can write in an hour. I'm lucky to be able to type at 115 words per minute, so my hourly earnings will be a little different to yours - but equate your output to the rate you'd like to earn.

      Then charge that amount per article and stick by your prices.

      You will always get customers trying hard to beat you down on price. You have the choice to accept lower offers or not. I choose not to - my time is important to me.

      Good luck in your endeavors - there's nothing finer than the life-style that comes from writing, both financially and creatively.

      Cheers,
      Bianca
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      • Profile picture of the author grayambition
        Originally Posted by BiancaRaven View Post

        Work out how much you need to earn in an hour to make it more profitable than flipping burgers at McDonald's. Then figure out how much you can write in an hour. I'm lucky to be able to type at 115 words per minute, so my hourly earnings will be a little different to yours - but equate your output to the rate you'd like to earn.

        Then charge that amount per article and stick by your prices.

        Cheers,
        Bianca
        Bianca, I agree that you should start with how much you need to earn and work back from there, but I take exception to your implication that your writing output will be determined by your typing speed. IMO, that perpetuates the idea that articles can just be cranked out at the speed of your typing fingers.

        I type about 80wpm, so that should mean I can write a 300 word article in 4 minutes, right? Good writing requires thought and at least some research in most cases. Of course some of us do the thinking and researching more quickly than others, and some of us do it better than others. That's where the differences lie, not in typing speed. Unless your typing speed is under 20wpm or so, I don't think it should affect your productivity much. I'm sure you didn't quite mean it like that; I just wanted to emphasize the point that writers are not typists.

        btw Sean, one of the sources Alexa posted has a great rate calculator.

        Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator

        Just enter your desired yearly income, how many billable hours you expect to work per day, how many days off you want per year, etc., and it'll tell you the hourly rate you need to charge. If you know how long it takes you to complete an article, just divide the number of articles you can do per hour into (or divide it by - math's not my strong suit ) your hourly rate, and you'll know what you need to charge per article. So if you determine that you need to make $40 an hour and you can comfortably write 3 articles an hour, that means you need to charge about $13 per article.

        One caution with this, which I learned when I ran a massage practice. Even if you can physically write non-stop for 8-10 hours a day, chances are you won't be able to maintain that pace. For several reasons. You need to allocate a portion of your time to deal with the business part of your business: marketing, bookkeeping (even if you outsource, some of your time will be involved), client contact, and other stuff. A general rule of thumb is that at least 20-40% of your time will be spent doing non-billable tasks.

        Anyway, please don't listen to anyone who says you should start at $3 or $5 an article. You can do better than that. I just saw a couple of ads in Craigslist for blog writing at $24 for a 250-300 word article, and $60 for a 500-700 words. So hang in and get what you're worth!
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  • Profile picture of the author jennypitts
    I have to agree with Alexa, do not settle for less than what you are worth. I have a friend who also writes articles as a way to make ends meet, and she charges a Minimum of $15 for articles of less than 500 words. She obviously takes other things into account like the complexity of the theme, how much research needs to be done and so on. I have used her services and I would much rather pay her what she is worth than hire someone who is going to charge me $1 per 500 words but I will get crappy articles.

    My advice is set your a price per 500 words and negotiate with your clients from there. You are the only one capable enough to know how long a specific article will take you. Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author lulu25
    I agree with Alexa. We hear all the time to start doing articles for $3 or less sometimes, but one thing we forget is that them people are selling our work for more. If you can set your standards from the start you are better off.

    You can do some samples so that they see your standards.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    Hi

    A thought:

    You're a good writer, and you write books. Just do that, but in the online world. Self publish books (hard copy and digital), and write your own articles for your own blogs and article sites, etc, getting them all to point back to your sales sites.

    Take time to learn copywriting - different skillset, or do some quid pro quo work.

    If you want to self publish, I recommend Tanner's product on publishing on Amazon: http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...edibility.html

    If you're going down the articles route, approach local business owners and show them how valuable you are. I mean, what kudos for them - articles written by a published writer!

    Don't go down on price (you might just as well do a cleaning job and at least get some exercise) and conside rhow many hours you can spend doing it and what you need to earn to make it worth your while. 3 regular clients paying you $50+ an article is much better than 30 paying you $3 per article.

    Best of luck

    ~ Jacqui
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    • Thank you all so very much for your insightful comments. I am truly impressed with the amount of thought that you all put into answering the question of an uninitiated forum user. The advice seems sound, logical, well-supported, and highly applicable, and I am truly grateful to each of you for taking the time to answer the inquiry of a stranger. Best of luck to all of you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    Personally, I did start in the lower range here on WF. My initial pricing was $7/article, but quickly got to the $15/article range. I had been writing for higher prices elsewhere, but since I was new here, I did want to get a few folks in the door, see my skills, get testimonials, etc. If you are looking to do serious volume HERE, I think you might have to not venture TOO much higher than $3 per 100 words. Though there is room to push it, many who pay $4 per 100 words and up have already locked into solid writers.

    Either way, good luck, there is certainly work to be had for sure and this forum is simply the BEST that exists on Internet Marketing...period.

    Mac the Knife
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    • Profile picture of the author grayambition
      Mac, I think your advice is probably good for the Warrior Forum. But the writing world is larger than this forum. It's a big world, and there are plenty of clients out there who actually value writing skills and have never heard of a $5 article.
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      Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain

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  • Originally Posted by Sean Elliot Martin View Post

    Good afternoon! I was hoping that I might get some advice about pricing for original content and revisions. I have a Ph.D. in English and I teach writing for a living at a few different schools, which is a tough way to make a buck. It would be great to get involved with this forum to get some extra work. I have worked on a variety of writing, editing, ghostwriting, web content, and other projects. However, my web content work has always been through direct contact rather than a forum. I have noticed a huge range in pricing and I want to be fair to my clients. Any suggestions?


      Think I for one would do this if I were in a similar situation:
     
    Day 1 to 3
     
    •set up a "learn to write" website (domain = keyword optimized -- site [for search engines] = SEOd title/description/meta tags/robots/sitemap/autoping if new content or RSS feed is posted -- site [for viewers] = easy to navigate, clean, visually appealing yet "simple" and professional looking, visible email subscription box, etc.);
     
    Day 4 to 6
     
    •post SEOd and useful "how to write" content pages (won't give "everything" away for free like stuff which could help them = my unique techniques and methods, etc. because I can create "unique writing techniques and methods" version 1-X ebooks to sell on my site) --- my content pages = trailers to great movies and great movies = my ebooks;
     
    Day 7 to 9
     
    •create SEOd and useful article content which, when read by target viewers, will act like a useful and informative trailer to a great movie (trailer = article content; movie = my site content pages);
     
    Day 10
     
    •post article content on "Articles" section of my site;
     
    •submit article content to top article directories under my name (of course with my target keywords used as anchors of backlinks pointing to my content pages);
     
    Day 11 to 14
     
    •go to relevant dofollow forums, blogs, Web 2.0 and community sites where target market hangs out and contribute useful info/advice while building backlinks for people and search engines to see;
     
    •social bookmark my article content on directories and posts on sites mentioned above;
     
    Day 15
     
    •submit sitemap to search engines
     
    •send newsletter with updates and reports to email subscribers;
     
    Day 16 to 18
     
    •create 7-day "how to write content, how to write copy, effective online and offline content marketing strategies and unique techniques and strategies" video course;
     
    Day 19
     
    •send special email to subscribers informing them about video course with free webcam coaching via Skype or similar software (3-day signup waiting period);
     
    Day 20 to 22
     
    •market content writing services in places where target clientele hangs out (launch date = after 10 days);
     
    Day 22 to 28
     
    •do video course coaching;
     
    •organize projects for clients;
     
    Day 29
     
    •require video course participants to do client projects as paid post assessment tests (I'll make sure they fully understand and agree re: those are paid projects from clients and full exclusive rights will belong to clients once paid plus all approval and payment terms);
     
    Day 30
     
    •check and grade completed paid post assessment tests then send to video course participants;
     
    •send edited projects to clients then make payments to video course participants;
     
    Day 31 to 44

    •hire and train proficient editor/writer/content QA specialist to check and grade work of new video course participants (may or may not be from previous or current pool of video course participants);

    •hire and train proficient editor/writer/content QA specialist to create new ebooks and video course materials (may or may not be from previous or current pools of video course participants);

    •hire proficient editors/writers/content QA specialists to write onsite content and article marketing content (may or may not be from previous or current pool of video course participants);

    •hire experienced data entry people to submit article marketing content to directories, do social bookmarking tasks, pinging tasks, etc.;

    •hire proficient editors/writers/content QA specialists to do forum/blog/Web 2.0/community site/Y!A marketing and search engine marketing via dofollow backlink building (may or may not be from previous or current pools of video course participants);

    •hire a proficient project manager and head marketer to train employees and implement marketing campaigns plus do online coaching;

    Day 45 to X

    •receive daily reports from project manager;

    •do campaigns-results-sales comparative analysis;

    •formulate new strategies when necessary;

    •talk, train then require project manager to implement new strategies;

    •with proper training, project manager can be allowed to suggest new strategies included in campaigns-results-sales analysis report; and

    •review, further improve or change (if necessary) and approve or reject new strategies for implementation.

    By doing constant work, I'll have income streams from different campaigns --- all while my site gets more valuable and my tasks minimized by the day.
     
    I'll earn from my ebooks, video course with free online coaching, new ebooks, new video course with free online coaching and editing work (price = $20 per 500-word article or $50 per 1000-word special report or $100 per 400-word press release or $350 for sales copy or or, and I keep 30% for my editing and marketing work while video course participants earn 70% --- this also means I actually show and not only tell video course participants that they can earn from writing content and/or copy).
     
    Idea for succeeding video course with free coaching: more and more slanted towards content marketing to earn from sites owned by video course participants (useful ebooks I write and affiliate products supporting video course can also be marketed in special email).
     
    This is just what I'd do though and may or may not provide others with the same projected results. 70% = based on my test results and experience while 30% = logical projections.
     
     
    Regards,
     
    Marx
     
     
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  • Profile picture of the author Mi
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Sean -

      With your background ignore writing article fodder. There are people who write articles for $3 and that's fine.

      But writers don't have to do that let alone offer work for free. You can write 100 articles for $3 and earn $300. You can write 10 articles at $30 and earn $300. I spent today writing articles for $40 each.

      There is a lot of writing work available but the cheapest prices are in the IM niche so thinking outside that box is a good idea, too.

      Know your strengths, deliver good work on time. Put a value on your time and others will, too.

      Good luck.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author BiancaRaven
        Bianca, I agree that you should start with how much you need to earn and work back from there, but I take exception to your implication that your writing output will be determined by your typing speed. IMO, that perpetuates the idea that articles can just be cranked out at the speed of your typing fingers.

        I type about 80wpm, so that should mean I can write a 300 word article in 4 minutes, right? Good writing requires thought and at least some research in most cases. Of course some of us do the thinking and researching more quickly than others, and some of us do it better than others. That's where the differences lie, not in typing speed. Unless your typing speed is under 20wpm or so, I don't think it should affect your productivity much. I'm sure you didn't quite mean it like that; I just wanted to emphasize the point that writers are not typists.
        You're right - writers are not typists and it's not about cranking out any old junk as quickly as possible. I guess what I meant to say was that most of my clients order in batches of 10 or 20. This means once the initial research is done, the information is very quick to put into article form around various keywords/phrases if you can type at high typing speeds.

        Otherwise, working backwards from the amount you need to earn to survive, plus a little spending money on top is a great way to determine your base prices.
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