The Writers Market remains an excellent resource for writers, particularly those just entering the field. In her article How Much Should I Charge, written for the Writers Market, Lynn Wasnak notes the following about freelance writers who sustain themselves on a freelance income:
“Periodically, they sit down and think about the earning potential of their work, and how they can make freelancing more profitable and fun. They know their numbers: what it costs to run their business; what hourly rate they require; how long a job will take. Unless there’s a real bonus (a special clip, or a chance to try something new) these writers turn down work that doesn’t meet the mark and replace it with a better-paying project.”
You can read the rest of Lynn’s article here:
After reaching a certain level of writing experience and expertise, you need to be able to say no to low-paying jobs and actively go after higher-paying ones. That’s the trick to moving up the ladder in writing.
In How Much Should I Charge, you’ll find a table listing what other writers, including ghostwriters, charge for their services. The rates for ghostwriting a book run from $5,000 to $100,000 per project. Why such disparity? It has to do with the many different factors involved, from the experience of the writer to the length of the project, from how much a client is willing to pay to how good the writer is at negotiating.
The table indicates that the going rate for ghostwriting for business (such as business columns or trade magazines) is $25 to $135 per hour. And for ghostwriting articles, the rate stated is between $50 and $200 per hour.
If you’re charging significantly less than the low end of these rates, it’s time to increase your rates. The start of a year is a good time to raise your rates. You may lose some clients who can’t afford to pay your higher fees; don’t be discouraged. Keep marketing your services (there are ways to do so for free) and keep going after higher-paying jobs and clients who can afford to pay you a better wage.
This way, your fees will begin to approximate what other more experienced ghostwriters are charging (and getting), and you will be able to make a living wage as a freelancer.
Happy and productive writing,
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