Writer Costs

The cost of writing services provided by freelance writers

What are Writer Costs?

Writer costs refer to how much an individual must pay a freelance writer for the latter’s writing services, as well as how much the freelance writer needs to charge as compensation for his services. The writer enjoys great flexibility in terms of setting their rates but it shouldn’t be a reason to overcharge or undercharge a client.

Writer Costs

When setting professional rates, there are different variables to consider, including the length of the article requested, the length and frequency of the project, the writer’s experience, the clientele, and the genre or types of writing to be created.

Factors that Affect Writer Costs

One of the most difficult parts of starting up as a freelance writer is deciding on one’s writer costs. There is always that fear of losing a client because of very high rates or accepting too many projects but being under-compensated. Here are some of the factors that can definitely help freelance writers determine their writing rates.

1. Professional experience

One of the most powerful tools a freelance writer can use is, without a doubt, professional experience. Education, work experience as a writer, number of years as a freelance writer, published works, website, and other factors can greatly support one’s portfolio. For those who are only starting, they can charge lower than average or do pro bono projects to build a client base.

Of course, it is important for a writer to know how much he is spending on every project. Many clients think that there are no expenses but the writer must pay for electricity, internet costs, and other miscellaneous items to come up with a good article. All the related costs must be included and considered when charging the writer costs.

2. Genre of writing

Not all topics are easy, especially if it is the writer’s first time writing on a topic. If the project entails a lot of research, interviews, and going to the library, then it would mean the writer costs are higher.

3. Frequency of the project

Project turnover times vary, depending on the length of the work. A writer can charge a specific or flat fee for a one-time project that needs to be done in a month. If it is daily or weekly and the contract is for a year, then the fee is different.

4. Rates in the industry

It is easy for people to think they can charge as high or as low as they want. But doing so can cause repercussions in the writing industry. It can destroy other freelance writers’ career or it can bring down the rates altogether. It is important to check first with the ceiling rates and writer costs.

Types of Freelance Writing Rates

There are different ways by which writer costs are charged. These could be by the hour, per page, and by project, to name a few.

1. By the hour

Charging writer costs by the hour is most common, especially if the project is long term and that the turnover of articles is determined. For example, a project that asks for a turnover of six articles during an eight-hour shift can be charged by the hour.

2. Per page

The per-page type of charging is applicable to lesson plans, ebooks, and indexing.

3. By project

Project-based charging is for books and other materials that take a longer time to complete and require research and interviews. The turnover time is determined but is not usually within the next three months.

How to Compute Writer Costs

The best way to get duly compensated for one’s work without the fear of turning off clients is to properly compute writer costs. Here are a few ways to do so:

1. By annual costs and annual hours

This method is to be used when the writer needs to determine rates for the entire business. The writer needs to put together the expenses of the business for the whole year, plus his profit percentage or markup, and then divide the figure by the annual hours worked.

For example:

Annual Cost


  • Annual Cost = Salaries + Overhead + Profit Percentage

2. Easy method

The easy method is indeed the easiest way to charge writer costs. All the writer needs to determine is how much he needs to earn from the project and how many hours he wants to work.

3. Estimation method

The estimation method is also fairly easy but the writer needs to set a fixed hourly rate first to come up with an estimate. Multiply the fixed rate by the number of hours within which one believes he can finish the project, and the result is the project charge.

For example:

Estimation method

Related Readings

CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep learning and advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!

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