The Easiest Way Imaginable to Set Your Writing Fees

Today’s the final installment on the top five steps to launch your writing career in hyperdrive. Those earlier steps include:

  1. Commitment to improving your craft
  2. Choosing a writing opportunity
  3. Buying a domain name
  4. Writing your homepage

But, before I tell you the final step and close out the week, I want to acknowledge that, yeah — a TON of other stuff goes into putting together a successful freelance writing career beyond the five things I’ve shared. My goal this week was to give you what you need to build a skeleton business. In other words, you’ve now built just enough of a skeleton writing business to get out and walk the streets where paying clients roam.

Eventually, you’ll put meat on those bones. You’ll further refine your craft and sharpen your business skills and hone strategies that keep you motivated day in and day out. (If you want a leg up on any of these, subscribe to Barefoot Writer — we cover each of those things monthly.)

As for that final step in getting your skeleton business started, you’ve got to set your fees. Because, if you’ve followed along with the action steps this week, you could very well connect with a potential client tomorrow who saw your homepage or wants to hear more about your writing goals.

The inevitable question once you start connecting with clients is going to be about fees. As in, what are yours?

Here’s the easiest way imaginable to set your writing fees: Copy someone else.

Successful copywriter Monica Day did this when she first started out. She bought a book by veteran copywriter Bob Bly, and in that book Bob included his fee chart. Monica copied it, cut all the fees in half since she was just starting her career, and went from there. (If you’re a member of the Professional Writers' Alliance, you can access Bob’s fee schedule in the Resource Center.)

Also, here’s a useful guide to setting your web-writing fees written by AWAI President, Rebecca Matter.

And, if you’re a member of the Barefoot Writer’s Club, we include fee ranges for every writing opportunity we feature. Two recent opportunities where we’ve listed fees include becoming a lead-generation specialist and writing for the Web.

After you’ve done your research, put together a simple, one-page document that lists your fee ranges. I don’t recommend setting hard fees for projects, because project complexity will vary from client to client. I also recommend you steer clear of hourly fees. In the long run, your writing will get faster, and you’ll earn more overall, if you charge per project.

If any of this week’s tasks felt like climbing a mountain, I hear you. I’ve been there, and I know how daunting it can be to put yourself out there for the first time or branch out beyond your current comfort zone with clients.

But, just imagine the view once you scale the top of that mountain — the view that includes endless freedom and control over how you spend each day of your life.

It’s worth it. Worth every step.

If you’d like a little extra moral support in getting there, join us at the Barefoot Writer’s Club. One of the best parts of membership, besides getting the monthly magazine, is the private Facebook group you can access, where other writers cheer you on and offer valuable moral support.

Now’s a great time to get in — our September issue just went live today. And it includes an eye-opening interview with Gordon Graham on the ins and outs of excelling as a freelancer.

Have any questions for me? Please ask here.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: September 4, 2015

6 Responses to “The Easiest Way Imaginable to Set Your Writing Fees”

  1. Great series this week Mindy! I just re-vamped my blog so I got some good suggestions from you. I am also working on my fee schedule and I copied from Ed Gandia and will definitely need to cut my rates since he is an expert and I am just starting out.

    Guest (Sandra K)September 4, 2015 at 2:58 pm

  2. What is web writing?

    Guest (mohammed)September 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm

  3. Hi Mindy - just want to say that I really appreciated your series of getting someone started. I haven't followed all the steps yet, but I am starting next week.

    Also just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to look into freelance writing. I watched a marketing video earlier this year and you were so engaging and made it look like so much fun. Thank you.

    I look forward to more insight from you.

    Highest regard, Joan

    Guest (Joan)September 5, 2015 at 8:53 am

  4. Mindy, you've given me some valuable information (for a starter). I've printed your articles from the entire week so that I can refer to them as I set my business in motion. Thank you so much! :-D

    RockyBalladSeptember 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

  5. I love writing, [even at 62] so continue to motivate me...and thanx......

    Guest (Timothy McKinneytimothy)September 7, 2015 at 11:18 am

  6. The Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator will help you determine what you need in order to support the lifestyle that you desire. Here at https://www.approveme dot me/freelancing/how-to-calculate-hourly-rate/, we believe that your preferred lifestyle should be the number one factor in selecting your rate, and settling on your annual salary as a freelancer.

    Guest (ApprovemeDigitalsignature)September 14, 2015 at 12:47 am


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