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paid writing assignmentsI received an email from a writer who has accrued several pro-bono writing clips. She now wants to start earning money from her writing. What’s not included with her question is that she has already partnered with a semi-professional photographer in her area. This is a smart move because she can not only offer editors an interesting article, but high quality photographs to accompany it. She took summer classes at a community college to refine her writing and computer skills. One day she would like to earn her MFA in a writing area.

Her challenge is two-sided: Making the move from working for free to working for a fee, and believing her work is worth charging for. Sometimes us writers forget that non-writers generally don’t care for writing and will gladly pay someone else to write for them.

Email I received:

How do I start charging for my writing services?

My response:

There are a few angles to your question about charging for writing services. If you have existing clientele who are used to you volunteering your time, I would alert them that as of X date your writing fee is $X and explain your invoicing schedule. Give them ample time to decide whether or not they will continue.

For new clients, I’m sure they will ask you how much you charge so that is when you price everything out. 🙂 I typically do not talk numbers in casual conversation with prospects – I push for providing them a written proposal. That way they can see the value of everything they are paying for, the proposal is a writing sample itself, and you can include information about your experience you did not share in person. You deserve to get paid!