Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Setting Freelancing Rates

Recently I was asked what my rates are as a freelancer writer. I had to stop and think. I didn't know! I have always been told what the assignment paid and then I accepted or I passed on it. And since I write mostly for content sites, negotiating is not really an option. So, what did I do? I sat down and set some rates for myself.

Boy, it sure was hard though! It's difficult to know how to judge the value of my work. I surfed the Internet and looked at the rates of other writers, both new writers and more experienced writers. Then I thought about what I earn now. Too many times I find myself writing something and thinking, "If I just got paid an extra $5 I wouldn't complain as much."

All this resulted in me setting some rates I feel are reasonable. These rates are much lower than what seasoned writers charge, but they are also a little higher than what some new writers are willing to work for. Granted I am writing for content sites that pay less, but I don't want to do that forever.

These are my rates:

Original Articles
250-400 words $15
401-600 words $20
601-750 words $25
751-1000 words $30

Article Rewrites
250-400 words $6
401-600 words $10
601-750 words $15
751-1000 words $20

Editing Services
Up to 500 words $4
501-750 words $6
751-1000 words $8

I hope this post will inspire you to think about your own rates. Those of you who have set your rates, how did you decide?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Residual Income, A Wonderful Thing

I have worked very hard at every job I have ever had, but freelance writing is really in a class by itself. I have never worked harder than I do now. Don't get me wrong, the rewards are great. I am able to be home with my children and I can take off whenever I want. But, freelancers don't get paid days off so when we take a day off we have to work extra or triple the amount the next day to catch up. One of the dreams of those who work from home is to work less and have more free time. It can be tough to do when you are paid by the piece rather than by the hour. A solution? Residual income.

Residual income is income you continue to earn long after the work is complete. You can earn for years off that one article. There are several websites that offer residual income. Bright Hub offers a flat fee per article and pays revenue sharing every two months. eHow and Suite 101 both offer revenue sharing as well. I have no experience with eHow or Suite 101 personally, but I have come across several writers who make a lot from these sites.

If you look on the right side of this blog you will see information on an e-book written by WriterGig. WriterGig has earned over $1,000 a month on her eHow earnings and was generous enough to compile her technique into this wonderful resource. I have purchased the e-book myself and was impressed with the simplicity of it all. Unfortunaely I have yet to put it to work due to lack of time, which is really sad for me. If I simply took a few days a week and submitted a few articles I could reach that same goal. What's great for WriterGig is that now when she takes a day off she can actually relax because she knows she is still earning money. What a great thing! Please consider purchasing her e-book. You won't regret it!

Suite 101 seems to really be a great place for residual income. I have met some freelancers online who have brought in over $500 a month. That amount goes up each month too. Suite 101 does require sample articles and an approval process before you can write. You then must contribute at least 10 articles every 3 months. That shouldn't be a problem though because that's what freelance writers do, they write!

Associated Content also offers revenue sharing. In addition to that they also offer upfront payment for articles too.

Look on the right side of the blog to find links to these sites.

So, my plan is to apply to Suite 101 sometime this month and start submitting. I also want to start submitting to eHow. In a year's time I could be earning $1,000 a month in residual income. Then I can truly write for myself. Now that's something to be excited about.

If you are submitting to these sites, leave me a comment and let me and our readers know how you are doing with it. It will be great inspiration for us all. Happy Writing!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ready to Try Your Hand at Freelancing?

I run into a lot of people who are interested in freelance writing, as I am sure most writers do. More and more people are losing their jobs or are in danger of doing so and are turning to freelancing for any extra income they can bring in. This is how I got started in freelance writing as well so I can relate.

Most freelance writing newbies aren't sure where to start though. They know about the higher paying content sites like Demand Studios, but usually aren't being accepted due to lack of experience and good samples. When I first applied at DS I was turned down, but I know it was because I had not written long enough to have some solid samples. A few months into writing I re-applied and was accepted. The trick is to start at some lower paying sites and start composing some great samples that you can use to get higher paying work.

For new writers I generally suggest two websites for them to start out with. Textbroker and Associated Content are great places to get exposure. If you would like some more options and information, please check the right hand side of this blog for some other great writing sites and resources.

For you seasoned freelance writers, how and where did you get your start?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Here I Am!

Hi everyone!

I have been AWOL for the last few weeks and I apologize. It's been hectic lately, but its still no excuse.

As for the goals from last time. I still have not made my $250 a week goal. However, I did almost make it to $200. I am getting there, but I need to stick to my set schedules better so I can meet these goals.

There are a lot of life changes I am looking to make soon. Right now I live in Orlando, FL with my 2 boys and a houseful of roommates. We all get along well and it seems to work for us, but lately I have really been yearning for a place for just me and my boys. Orlando is super expensive and I just can't afford my own place here. Plus I have no family here to help.

My mom is in Ohio and her fiance has offered me the use of one of his houses, rent free. It's a small 2 story house and I would just have to pay utilites. Basically the same I pay now. But, I would have more privacy and a better environment for my kids. It's in the country hills of Ohio, so it would require a big move and a major adjustment to country life.

I have been thinking about it for about 4 months and I think that it is the best option. My mom and other family members will be there to help with the kids. We will have our own space and the kids will have a huge yard to play in. And with my mom helping me with the kids, I just might reach more financial goals than I do now. School is out in a month and I am looking at moving this summer.

So, it's a new month and I want to list my monthly goals here....

  • Make at least $250 a week in writing and editing
  • Stick to my work schedule; M-F 9:30 am -12:30 pm and 8 pm - 12 am
  • Update this blog with more useful information on a weekly basis
  • Start walking everyday
  • Use the 10 minute trainer I bought at least once a day

That's about it. I spent all last week car shopping and I finally bought one at the end of the week, so there is nothing holding me back.

What are your new goals and how are you doing so far?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Update

True to my word, here I am to post my weekly goals so far....

  • Monday - $40
  • Tuesday - $25
  • Wednesday, as of 12 pm - $15

Still not quite where I need to be. Tuesday I had a parent teacher conference that took a lot of time, so I didn't get started until late. Today I have an online chat with my online geology class to discuss a group project, so I will be spending a lot of time on homework today. After the chat I plan to work some more. I need to make $62 today, Thursday and Friday to make my weekly goal. I know I can do it, so here I go again!

How is everyone else doing with their goals?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Night Goal Update

Well, I'm posting a little late here, but I guess it will have to do... :)

I did not meet my weekly goal of $250 this week. I am a little bummed about that, but I did make $136. I know its still not where I need to be, but it is by far the most I have made in a week as a freelance writer. And I am only $114 short. So I am still showing progress.

A few things slowed me down this week. First, my brother-in-law is in the hospital with a severely infected foot. It looked like he was going to lose the foot, but he is finally stable. Thank God. He is in construction and stepped on a nail on Sunday. He didn't go to the doctor until 2 days later and by then the bone was infected. He has been in bad shape and my sister has been under a lot of stress. So I have been trying to help by making the needed update phone calls to other family members and such. (The lesson here is to always get checked out by a doctor. This could have been avoided.)

Another thing that has slowed me down is the fact that I have been writig for a site that pays pretty low. I enjoyed working for the site, so I kept doing it. But the articles take way too long for the pay. So I resigned from that site this week. Starting next week I won't be writing articles unless the pay is at least $.02 per word. Still very low, I know, but goals have to start some where.

This last week was my first week writing for Demand Studios. If you haven't checked them out yet, please do. They pay $15 per article. I wrote 7 articles so far and so far 4 have been accepted. I had to do a few rewrites and this took some time. The rewrites actually are helping me understand more about what DS wants from its writers and are helping me become a better writer.

So, this week....I am setting the same goal monetarily. I am focusing on the higher paying sites so this should be better. My goals are:

  • Make $250 this week
  • Take Saturday and Sunday off

I have been working 2 weeks straight without a day off. I know, it's sad especially since I have not been able to make more than $100 a week. This was before I started writing for DS and when I focused entirely on the low pay site.

I enjoy the fact that I can set my own schedule as a freelance writer, but I am used to having weekends off so taking the weekend off will be great. Usually my kids are with their dad on weekends so I am able to get things done then, but they will be home next weekend and I would like not to be working.

Alright, that's it. I'll post more in a few days. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday Goal Update

Today is Thursday, just four days after I set my writing goals for the week. This is my progress so far....

Monday some things came up and I ended up not writing at all that day, so I made $0. Tuesday I made $40. Yesterday, Wednesday, I made $60.

Today I have $65 worth of articles I plan to write. As of now I have made $100, which is awesome to me considering I've been making that each week. Since I didn't work Monday I plan on working Saturday to make up for it.

So far I am pleased with my earnings. I will post another update in a few days.