One of the biggest hurdles for new freelancing web writers is establishing rates. Where do you start? Should you charge clients a flat rate or charge hourly? Do you post your rates on your website, or avoid doing so to throw off the competition and give you more flexibility to charge projects on a case by case basis? Many web writers are settling for much lower rates than they deserve because they don't know what to what to do.
Posting a rate card on your site
See, to me the best part about freelancing is that you do what works for you; and if it stops working you can always switch things up. Except for a few constants that should remain consistent at all times: professionalism and meeting all deadlines with no excuses, proof reading/editing copy before submitting it to a client, marketing your services and having a website with portfolio are a given. Should you post your rates on your website? I post some rates on my site because it lets clients searching for $5 article writers know to keep searching somewhere else. It's a big waste of my time to send emails back and forth about a potential project with someone not prepared to pay my rates.
Reasons not to reveal your rates upfront
On the other hand, another well established and respected writer recently revealed that she never lists rates on her site because it allows her establish rates both she and individual clients can live with more easily. I can see how that works to her advantage. I guess this is one of those situations where you just have to pick your poison and do what works best for you. You can always change it if it doesn't seem to be working out.
Figuring out how much to charge
So what do you charge your clients? This had to be the single most annoying thing for me to figure out when I was first started freelancing. I underpriced myself on quite a few projects considering the work that was involved. Most freelancers won't willingly give up their rates, and you shouldn't blindly charge what someone else is charging. Consider the fact that exerience, where you live and the cost of living has a lot to do with setting rates. Here is a pricing guideline that might help both new and established freelance writers earn rates that make all of the effort put into this business worthwhile.