Why we hate hourly pricing as freelance writers

freelance writing tips Feb 28, 2022

When setting rates, you’ll have to figure out how you should charge: hourly, per-article, or per-word.

Whenever possible, as a writer, we prefer avoiding hourly rates. Like the plague. One of the advantages of freelance writing is that as you get better and faster, you can make more money in a shorter amount of time. When you work for an hourly rate, you can’t make more money. Instead, you’re limited by the hours in the day.

It’s one thing to accept an hourly fee for editing, research, or other similar projects. But as a writer, it often makes more sense to focus on per-article vs. per-word pricing.

The advantage of per-article pricing is that you don’t have to worry about an editor cutting your word count (and paying you less). However, it’s important to limit your articles to a range, such as quoting a price for articles of between 900 and 1,200 words. The idea is that you get paid regardless of word count.

On the other hand, with per-word pricing, you don’t get stuck potentially leaving money on the table when it comes to longer articles. Sure, you might want to keep your articles closer to 900 words when you have that range, but sometimes you’re pushing 1,200 — and you don’t get extra money for a longer article.

In the end, though, it’s up to you to decide what’s going to work best for you. You can figure out how much you want to earn per word and quote a per-article rate that corresponds to the upper end of your range, just to be more efficient.

Carefully think about what’s likely to work best for you and cause the least amount of stress.

Don’t forget, if you want help as a freelancer, every step of the way, enroll in the Freelance Writer Academy. Each member gets access to a free coaching session, office hours, and ongoing webinars.