When I’m pricing online writing jobs, following are just some factors I keep in mind to arrive at freelance writing rates that ensure I’m being paid enough for my time, while being fair to clients.
Subject Matter: There are some topics that are easy to write about because there’s tons of info on the web about it. For others, it can be downright impossible to write on because you can’t find a lot of info about it and have to do extensive research.
The longer it takes to write a piece, the more it’s “costing” you and the higher your freelance writing rates should be. At my SEO writing company, I split content into two categories: “Technical” and “Nontechnical”. Technical includes niches like medical, legal, finance, etc. This type of content is priced higher because it’s more specialized.
Word Count: Blog posts and SEO articles/web articles are two very popular forms of online content. I point this out because they are most often (although not always) differentiated only by word count.
Blog posts tend to run anywhere from 50 words to about 300. Anything longer than 250-300 words is considered an article. And, anything longer than 500-600 words is considered a longer article/web content piece that should be priced about content that is in the 350-500 word range.
BUT, just because a piece of content is short (eg, 250-300 words) does not automatically mean that is should be priced lower. This depends on a number of factors, eg, the subject matter, what it’s used for, who owns the rights, etc.
Type of Content: Blog posts are different from SEO articles, which are different from SEO press releases, which is different from social media posting, etc.
Each type of content serves different purposes and is measured by different metrics; hence, the freelance writing rates for them would be different.
Turnaround/Lead Time: Do you have a week, two days, three weeks, a month? If it’s a rush job that you have to interrupt your normal workflow for, then make sure your freelance writing rates reflect this. If it’s content that’s to be delivered monthly and you can do it at your leisure, then you might go a little lower.
Rights Ownership: This really affects the freelance writing rates you should charge because if you “own” a piece, you can sell it again and again. In online writing though, most of the time the client you’re writing for will own the work (eg, it will be “work for hire”). And, I don’t charge more for this. Some freelancers do though, just so you know.