Often writing clients want to know my rate–what do I charge for a specific type of project?
My usual answer is that I don’t have a rate, but that I would be happy to provide a customized proposal. I’ve learned over the years that the amount of effort that goes into writing projects varies greatly.
Many clients don’t understand the factors that cause a writing project to cost more money, so I’ve listed eight of those factors in this post.
Every project really is different. Even if two writing projects seem similar, they usually require a different amount of effort (and therefore have a different price).
8 Reasons Your Writing Project Costs More Money
In most cases, the longer it takes to work on a project, the more expensive the project is.
Here are eight factors that will cause a writer to spend more time on your project. If you include these factors in your writing project, it will cost you more money.
- Meetings. While I include an initial meeting in my project estimates, additional meetings generally add to the project cost. I do understand that sometimes it’s desirable to have a regular meeting on long-term projects, but project meetings can also take a lot of time. To save money, make sure that the information presented in the meeting is really relevant to the writing task. A meeting where lots of contractors give their status on unrelated projects can be a waste of time.
- Extensive Research. If the topic of the writing project is common knowledge, then the piece can be produced much more quickly. However, if the topic requires research then the writing piece will take more time. In general the more obscure the topic is and the harder it is to find information about it, the more time the project will take to complete and the more money it will cost.
- Revisions. Like any writer, I’m happy to correct mistakes if they occur. However, I limit the number of revisions that are included with each project. Of course, additional revisions are available at an extra charge. To keep revision costs under control, be as specific as you can about what you want up front. Too many clients take a trial and error approach to writing–they don’t know what they want, but they’ll know it when they see it. This approach can be very costly to the client.
- Levels of Approval. In general, the more levels of approval a project requires, the more the project costs. For example, a project that requires me to write a weekly column on a money-saving tip of my choice would be less expensive than a project that requires me to write a weekly column on a money-saving tip when the topic must first be approved by the client and an outline must be submitted in advance.
- Interviews. Interviews can be a great way to spice up an article or blog post. But getting an interview takes additional time, even if the project only needs a few quotes. Not only does the writer need to schedule a time to get with the interview subject, they also need to learn about the interview subject so that they can ask relevant questions. Then, after all of that is completed, they can write the piece.
- Images. I highly recommend that all writing that will be published online include an image. However, finding an appropriate image takes time or costs money (or both). As a writer, I either need to purchase an appropriate image from a stock photo site or I need to find an image with a license (such as Creative Commons) that allows it to be shared. If you publish a lot of pieces online, you may be able purchase stock images for less than an individual writer could.
- Non-writing Tasks. In most cases, I am happy to include non-writing services along with my writing services. Such services typically include managing other writers, managing a writing project, checking the work of other writers, or promoting the publication online. However, such tasks take time and typically involve an additional charge.
- Rush Work. Work that requires an extremely fast turnaround typically costs more. Not only does doing such work mean that I will be working on the project during what would normally be my leisure time, rush projects typically require extra care to avoid miscommunication. My preference is to avoid rush work whenever possible, but I do understand that sometimes it is necessary.
Naturally, I’m happy to provide any or all of these factors when a client needs them. However, many clients don’t realize that these factors add to the cost of a writing project.
Of course these are just eight factors that can cause a writing project to cost more. Can you think of others?