If you’re just getting into freelance writing, figuring out your rates can seem impossible. Since you will most likely start out writing articles, you might be wondering how much should you charge for a 1,000 word article. Well, that’s going to depend on a couple of things.
How To Determine Your Rates for a 1,000 Word Article
I know when you’re new it can be nerve-racking trying to decide what your freelance writing rates should be.
You worry that if you charge too much you won’t get any clients. You worry if you charge too little, you will leave money on the table and have to work too hard to make a living.
I get it. I was there once myself as well.
Then, I came up with a way to determine my rates that was simple and made a lot of sense. Sure, there might be other ways, but this was my business, and it worked for me.
It might work for you as well.
1. Decide What You Want to Make Per Hour
Now, you are never going to want to give a prospective client an hourly rate. You will end up losing money in the end because the better you get at freelance writing, the faster you will research and write.
That means over time, you will make less money.
So, you always want to give your clients a flat rate for a project.
Even so, you do need to know at what hourly rate you will be happy and what will be enough to cover all your monthly expenses and more.
That number is going to be different for everyone. For you, making $20 or $30 dollars per hour might be great and you would be happy with that.
For others, it might be $45 or $60 per hour or even more.
I know for myself, when I started out, I wanted to make at least $45 dollars per hour for my writing.
After a few years, I raised that to $100 dollars per hour.
Knowing what this number is for you, is the first step to understanding what your freelance writing rates need to be.
If you have a full-time job right now, you should know what you’re making per hour. You are going to want your writing hourly rate to be at least that and most likely double or triple that.
You need to keep in mind that when you’re a freelance writer you only get paid for the time you are actually writing.
As a business owner, you will also need to spend a great deal of time marketing and a small amount of time answering emails, keeping track of your expenses, and other miscellaneous things.
You don’t get paid for any of those.
You also need to know how long it takes you to write.
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2. How Fast You Write and Research
Now that you have an idea of how much you want to make per hour, you need to figure out how long it takes you to write an article.
When I first started writing, most clients wanted articles that were around 500 words. That has changed over the years and now a lot of them want 1,000-word articles.
Either way, the process of determining your rates is the same.
I didn’t have any writing samples when I started freelancing, so I picked a couple of topics and wrote on them. Through that process, I figured out that it took me about 45 minutes to research and write a 500-word article.
Since I wanted to make at least $45 dollars per hour, that means I had to charge, at a minimum, $34 dollars for a 500-word article, but I didn’t actually do that.
The fact is, some articles are going to take you longer to write and some will take you less time. It all depends on how much research you need to do and how well you know the topic.
With that in mind, I went with $45 dollars for a 500-word article. It gave me some wiggle room in case an article took me a bit longer to finish.
So, for a 1,000-word article, I would charge $90 dollars.
As I got more experienced and found more clients, those rates went up, but for me, it was a good place to start.
There is one last thing you need to think about before you decide on your writing rates.
3. How Much You Need to Write to Cover Your Monthly Expenses
It is also important to understand how much you will need to write each month and each week to cover all of your expenses and have money left over for other needs and wants.
You don’t want to write for an hourly wage that is too low as you will have to work much longer and harder to cover your bills.
If we go back to the example of having monthly expenses of $2,500 and you are charging $90 for a 1,000-word article, it breaks down like this.
$2,500 dollars in bills / $90 dollars for one article = 28 articles per month or 7 per week.
That’s not bad.
When I started out, I was only freelance writing part-time as I was teaching college part-time as well.
My goal was to make $100 per day five days per week, or $500 dollars per week, and $2,000 per month.
I had that goal because I could write two 500 to 600-word articles per day and reach it, or one 1,000 plus word article a day.
I also knew that I could write that one or two articles in about an hour and a half to two hours. I really liked the idea of only working two hours per day and making really good money.
If you’re just starting out, you might be thinking no one would pay you this much to write, but you would be wrong.
My second client, which I got in just a couple of days, paid me $45 per 500 words without even blinking an eye. And he wasn’t the only one.
You know, there is nothing wrong with taking less money for your first few articles just to get your feet wet, but after that, don’t devalue your abilities and your time.
My first client paid me $20 to rewrite two articles. The pay was horrible, but having that first client got me on my way and gave me a lot of confidence.
Not to mention, they remained a client for seven years, and the pay went up quite a bit after that first assignment.
How Much to Charge for a 500 Word Article?
When it comes to what you should charge for a 500-word article, it is the same principle as what you want to charge for a 1,000-word article.
If you decided you want to make $50 per hour and it takes you an hour and a half to write a 1,000-word article, then you would be charging $75 dollars for that 1,000-word article.
You can assume that writing a 500-word article would take you half the time, so you would charge half the amount or $38 dollars.
Of course, if you want to make more than $50 per hour, the prices would go up.
It is really up to you to decide how much you want to make. That’s the great thing about freelancing. It’s your business and you get to determine what your time is worth instead of some boss deciding for you.
Once you have determined your rates, you just need to go out and find clients that are happy to pay them.
Trust me, they are out there.
How Long Does It take to Write 1,000 Words?
This is difficult to say because everyone is different. For example, on a subject I am familiar with, I can research and write 1,000 words in about an hour and a half, maybe less.
Some people write faster than me and some will write slower. The best way for you to know how long it takes you to write 1,000 words is to write a couple of test pieces.
That’s the only way you will figure it out.
To Sum it All Up:
When you want to determine how much to charge for a 1,000-word article decide how much money you would like to make per hour. Then figure out how long it takes you to write that article. That will show you what you need to charge. Of course, you also want to know how much income you need to cover all of your monthly expenses as this can play into what you should charge as well.