Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What is the Lowest You Would Charge for Your Work?

There is nothing worse than reading a job offer that contains the following question:

"What is the lowest you're willing to charge for your work?"

While I understand there are writers out there willing to stoop to less than a penny a word, I have over 10 years experience; therefore, I deserve my dues. I research, I'm thorough and I'm a darn good writer. No I'm not tooting my own horn, I'm stating the facts.

After the release of Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird the message is clear from Google: quality, quality, quality. So why are there still companies looking for the lowest possible bid to get high-quality?

Let's face it; you're not going to get high-quality copy from the lowest bidder. Nope, no way. You get what you pay for in copywriting and if you're not willing to pay a writer what the work is worth, you cannot expect something big in return.

Yes, in a previous post I stated there are times I'm willing to take on low paying jobs, but these are steady jobs with companies who are paying regularly. I don't take one-time contracts for the lowest possible price. It's all about weighing time and money.

How I Calculate Job Worth
How long will the project take you?

 If you divided the contract price by how many hours, what's the hourly rate?

This job that was offered to me, for example, was for $3 per 500 word sales copy/landing page. Landing pages aren't like your average article or blog. They require time and a lot of creativity. You have to compel a person to read a single page and buy something, sign up for something, etc. The purpose of a landing page is to sell, sell, sell -- all without being obnoxious.

So I would easily spend an hour writing 1-500 word sales page. That means I just made $3 per hour. Yeah, right. Say I did 10 per day, I worked 10 hours and only earned $30. That doesn't even cover the bill for my Internet.

No thanks.

My minimum, and I mean my absolute minimum, is $10 per hour -- and that's only in a pinch. I really don't allow less than $15, with an ideal goal of $40 per hour. I'm realistic, I have two kids at home so I have a lot of distractions. But, if I can't make over $15 per hour on a project I won't take it. Sorry. Once my kids are in school that number will jump up too.

Whether you're a freelance writer reading this or an employer, I suggest you consider time and value above all else. LearnVest has an awesome article about determining what your time is worth and I suggest all freelancers read it -- after all, you can't price your service if you don't decide what you're worth. If you deduce yourself to $3 per hour when you have $10 per hour skills, you're only hurting yourself. To those who only pay people $3 per hour, you get what you shell out for. If you pay poor, you receive poor.

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