Your Freelance Writing Rates: 3 Reasons the New Year Is the Perfect Time to Raise Them

One of the quickest, easiest ways to give yourself a raise as a freelance writer is to raise your rates. Many freelancers don’t think of it this way, because many of us are stuck in employee mode, where we wait for an “annual review” to come around and we go in, say all the right things, then get that 1 percent, 2 percent or OMG, 4 percent raise.

As I explain in this post about how I stopped taking on low-paying jobs, the New Year is the perfect time to raise your freelance writing rates because …

Clients are primed for rate increases around this time, so it may go over easier and make it seem more like an across-the-board company policy [which is what my rate increase was] than an increase on them . . .

Freelance Writers: 3 Reasons the Beginning of a Year is a Good Time to Charge

More Once you make the mental switch from “freelancer/independent contractor” to “small business owner,” the thought of raising rates should come easier (if it’s something you struggle with – as so many freelancers do).

1. Client Mindset

So this is perhaps the first reason it’s a good time to raise your rates. Clients are used to things going up at this time. Take advantage of their already-primed mindset.

2. End of Year Sales

Another reason now’s a good time to increase your freelance writing rates is that if you’ve done an assessment of your previous year’s sales in preparation for taxes, then you will be able to see a lot of things about your business in black and white, eg:

What service have you sold the most of? (Maybe raise rates on these)

Which ones have you sold the least of? (Maybe get rid of this one/these)

Are bundled services selling more? Less? (Adjust as needed/bundle more)

At what times of year are the most sales occurring / are the least sales occurring? (FYI, remember, editorial is cyclical)

Freelance Writers: Do You Know What Earns You the Most Money?

Where are your true profit centers? Is it writing web articles; managing social media for clients, writing ebooklets, your own info products (eg, ebooks/eclasses). For example, these days, almost 90 percent of my income comes from my own info products. Breaking it down further …

So although my overall major profit center is my own products and services, I dig deep into the numbers to find out which of these are performing the best. This way, I can develop other ones to complement them, and ostensibly increase my income.

For example, the ebook on how to make money writing romance is a good little seller. Sometime this year, I’m going to write an ebook on “How to Actually Write Romance.” The current ebook talks how to sell a romance ebook once you’ve written it – eg, cover art, where to upload it, how to format it, etc. It clearly states that it doesn’t tell you how to write romance.

The new one will; it will detail some writing lessons/tricks I’ve learned in the process of writing over 40 romance novellas. a list of things I’ve learned about

When I was doing a lot of SEO writing, I wrote more web content (blog posts/SEO articles) than ebooklets. HOWEVER, those ebooklets/short reports, which could earn anywhere from 500 to $1,500+ per pop, so I couldn’t overlook them. They were a profit center of their own within the overall mix of the various types of writing I was doing.

Going Through Your Freelance Earning Numbers is Fun! Here’s Why

I abhor numbers. They’re just not my thing. But I actually look forward to going through mine particularly at the end of the year because you can see the big picture of your freelance writing career.

Also, it makes me worry less because I can see that all things are cyclical. I know that January through March are three of my biggest earning months. So when things start to wane in April, May and die in June and July, I know that the school year is right around the corner in August, which ushers in the other big earning months – September through mid-December.

3. New Year Projections

Another reason you might want to consider raising your rates at the beginning of a New Year is because of annual financial projections. Do you do them? If not, you should. As the link to the Entrepreneur definition explains:

Planning out and working on your company’s financial projections each year could be one of the most important things you do for your business. The results—the formal projections–are often less important than the process itself. If nothing else, strategic planning allows you to … take stock of where your company is, and establish a clear course to follow.

If you don’t raise your rates, you’ll have to work longer and harder to earn more. Even a $5 or $10 bump per article/post can mean the difference between putting in a 45 hour week as opposed to a 35-hour week.

How much do those 5 hours mean to you? Can you work on that novel you’ve been meaning to finish to start that other stream of income? Will you be able to volunteer more at your kids’ school? Can you finally get – and stay – on that “lose weight by my high school reunion date” workout plan?

Time is simply … life. Charging more as a freelance writer will allow you to get more out of it. And isn’t that why you started freelancing in the first place?

5 Factors to Assess When Considering Whether or Not to Raise Your Freelance Writing Rates

(i) Have you been charging too little? If you’re bringing in clients relatively easy, this might be the case.

(ii) What are others in your niche charging?

(iii) Are there any complementary services you can add to increase an order (if you’re squeamish about an outright increase of one particular service)?

(iv) Type of clients you’re targeting: do they tend to be lowballers; ask for lots of rewrites edits (which cuts down your earnings per hour)?

(v) Type of writing you’re doing: Is it in a low-paying niche? You might want to consider another niche.

FYI, here’s a post on when you may NOT want to charge more.

When Was the Last Time You Raised Your Freelance Writing Rates?

Let me know in the comments section below. If it’s been more than 12 to 18 months, you definitely want to take a hard look at doing so now because oftentimes, it’s an aspect of business freelancers don’t pay attention to often enough. Proof? One freelancer responded in the following manner to the post I linked to above about how I stopped taking on low-paying jobs:

Thank you Yuwanda for another great post. I’d been so busy, I’d forgotten about the annual price increase. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

As freelancers, we do this to ourselves too often – put ourselves last. Does Walmart forget to raise its prices? Does Macy’s? Does Starbucks? No. And neither should you.

I hope this year is going fabulously for you so far. Mine has started off with a bang – workwise and professionally.

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    1. Tilden L Fichera says:

      Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has
      pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

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