As most of my regular readers know, I have a goal to make $10K per month within one year, or by October 2016. However, I don’t plan on getting there by working all day every day. Instead, I plan on being strategic about how I’m earning my income. If you’re a freelance writer and want to make more money, but don’t necessarily want to add more work to your plate, it’s time to start negotiating raises.
I started out making $25 per post. Now, I get anywhere from $50 to $275, depending on the word length and the topic. If you want to make more money as a freelancer, you have to start earning more per post.
How Freelance Writers Can Negotiate a Raise
I’ll admit that it can be hard to negotiate a raise with a client you’ve been working for for awhile. Sometimes it’s easier to simply find new, higher paying work first and then negotiate a raise with your existing clients. That way, if they aren’t able to meet your new rate, you can walk away if you choose to do so. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can start earning more as a freelance writer:
With new clients, always negotiate
As a freelancer, you have to get over the fear of rejection and fear of hearing the word “no.” If you ask for a higher rate, there is always the chance that your client is going to say no. And if so? No big deal. You can either find work elsewhere or accept the lower payment, it’s up to you. I’m an editor for a large site and writers email me often asking for raises. No harm no foul – I’m either able to give it to them, I negotiate a lower rate with them, or I tell them we cannot change their current rate. I don’t hold it against them and in fact admire them for asking for what they deserve!
When you land a new client, aim high. I don’t put my rates on my “Hire Me” page because it varies from client to client. I always recommend that writers start out high. If you normally make $75 per post and land a new client, ask for $150. The might negotiate down to $100, or they might accept the $150 rate you asked for.
Prove yourself worthy
If you’ve been writing for a blog or a publication for a few months (you no longer have to wait a year to ask for a raise!) and have successfully turned in all of your work on time, had minimal edits or returns for revisions, and have always gone above and beyond what the client expects of you, ask for a raise! Just send an email stating that you love to work for the company and have done X, Y and Z to help the company grow, and that you’d now like to earn $XX per post. Again, the worst that will happen is they will write back saying that they cannot afford to give you a raise at this time. No biggie!
I’m an editor, and my favorite writers are the ones that require very little (if any) edits, the formatting is done correctly (meaning all the headings are right, the capitalization of the title is right, etc.) and the assignments are always completed on time. You would be surprised at how many freelancers ask for deadline extensions, will misspell words and forget commas and even periods! Yes, this happens. Proofread your articles before submitting a few times through!! It will make your editor happy, and it will prove you worthy of a raise.
Here are my tips for brand new freelancers >>
Track your time
Want to know another secret for getting a raise? Work faster. Even if you make $25 per post, if you can complete that post in 30 minutes instead of an hour, you’ve just doubled your hourly rate without even having to ask for a raise. This is one of the ways in which I’m able to consistently bring in more than $1,000 per month freelancing without having to work more than 5-8 hours per week. I always try to make at least $50 an hour. Sometimes I make more, but rarely do I make less. I encourage you to log your hours next month and track your hourly rate. Then, see if you there are any tasks you can do faster.
I have a post on how to increase your productivity and write faster that I recommend reading!
Another trick for getting a raise, especially when negotiating rates in the beginning stages of landing a new client, is to add more value than just writing. You can do this by saying you will promote all of your posts on your social media pages or your blog, you can let them know you can work on tight deadlines, or you can say that you’re able to take on additional work with them when needed. And then, make sure you follow through. If you said you’re going to promote posts on social media, make sure you do that.
When it comes down to it, negotiating a raise as a freelancer is actually easier than trying to get a raise at your FT job. Don’t be nervous – all you have to do is send an email and ask! If you’re a good writer and have proven yourself, the editor most likely will not want to lose you and will be willing to meet your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask! All of us freelancers are in this together – the more money you make, the better it is for all of us because it sets the bar high!
Have you ever asked for a raise as a freelancer? Did you get it?!
Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless saysat
Hey Sarah, thanks for these tips! I really want to start looking into freelance writing soon, and it’s helpful to have some good information about the money side of things. 🙂
Sarah Brooks saysat
Awesome! I highly recommend it! I really don’t spend that much time freelancing or blogging as I’ve gotten in the habit of working really fast. It’s nice to have that extra money each month!
Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels saysat
Great tips and it think these are relevant to consulting as well. I don’t offer writing services as I am not native English speaker, however, in some point I definitely want to raise my consulting rates. Once you gain more experience, you can charge what you are worth 🙂