Freelance writers, how much money are you leaving on the table?
When completing writing projects, you tend to charge for writing, editing and revising only. You don’t fully consider all aspects of completing a project. Unfortunately, you are leaving a lot of money on table – literally and figuratively.
Also, when you are hired for writing services, you are not just writers. You uncover and collect information through research and interviews to provide a comprehensive story.
You are artists who bring thoughts and ideas to life. You are geniuses who connect concepts to make them relatable. You are also editors who organize information to ensure that the final draft is easy to read and easy to understand.
You are consultants, business partners and experts that should be charging for your time, knowledge and expertise.
If you are not charging for all of the services you provide in a project, you are leaving money on the table. How much you’re losing is unknown, but you’ll have an idea after reading about the nine services you should be charging for.
Ways Freelance Writers Leave Money on the Table
1. Brainstorming & Conceptualizing
Brainstorming is the process of generating ideas, selecting different angles for your articles, and developing outlines. You should allocate at least an hour to this activity, even if the project seems relatively simple.
You just never know where your creativity will take you.
2. Background reading
When starting new assignments, you have to read previously published information for two reasons:
1) to learn more about the company you’re serving and 2) to determine if the data is relevant to the current project. Annual reports, website content, newsletters and other company reports are just a few documents you can read to gather information you need.
The reading time will vary depending on your reading speed; the simplicity or complexity of the documents you’re reading; and the number of pages included in the documents.
You will almost always conduct research in your projects, even if you’re just confirming dates, times and places. It is a time-consuming, but necessary aspect of writing.
In addition to charging for the actual time you use to conduct research, you should also charge for reading, organizing, and summarizing your findings.
One task writers tend to overlook and not charge for is searching for free photos, videos, and other multimedia to accompany articles. Expect to spend at least 15 minutes doing this.
Like research, conducting interviews is very time consuming. First, you have to schedule the interview which could take time due to busy schedules.
You also have to compose relevant questions to ensure that you’re capturing the essence of the message.
Then, you have to conduct the actual interview and transcribe the notes from the interview. Lastly, you have to creatively weave content from the interview into the story.
5. Additional Revisions & Edits
I have seen writers include up to two revisions in their contracts for no extra charge. However, that should cover only minor changes.
If the clients want to make major changes after the approved completion of the project or if they want to change directions mid-project, you need to charge accordingly and revise the contract to reflect the changes.
6. Related Expenses
Related expenses include charges for e-mail and internet services, paper and ink, and all other charges incurred during the completion of the project.
Internet and e-mail services are used to communicate with clients. Paper and ink are used to print the project. You may even have to use envelopes and postage.
7. Additional Meetings & Consultations
You will have one meeting with the client to determine the direction and expectations of the project. However, if multiple meetings are required, you can bill clients for your time only or for time and travel.
Be sure to document this in the contract. Lastly, conversations exceeding 10 minutes are consultations, so be sure to charge for them.
One writer charges extra for aggravation “just because”. He doesn’t wait for something to happen; he charges automatically based on previous experiences.
The aggravation could be caused by the client or unexpected glitches that occur during the course of the project.
Many times, clients may ask you to promote blogs posts, press releases and newsletters. Yes, you will do it…for an additional fee. Writing and promotion are two different services and you should charge the client for the value of each one.
For example, you may charge $300 to write press releases and $1,000 to send it to media outlets. Or, you can charge $250 for a blog post and another $150 to promote it.
Are you charging for writing, editing, and revisions only when quoting rates for your writing services? If so, you are leaving money on the table. Now is a good time to review your rates for services, sweep that money off the table, and take it to the bank.
Which of the above services are you not charging for now but can boost your boost your line? Let us know in the comment section below.
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