Medical & Scientific Writing

Freelance Writing Pay Rates! How Much to Charge?

When you decide to hire yourself out as a freelance writer or a freelance medical writer you will want to know about how you will be paid. This is usually the first question on anyone’s mind when applying for a job, these days. Both the employer and employee want a fair exchange of work for money. Occasionally the employer will try to get more work than is fair for a set pay. This is why it is important to educate yourself on the way freelance writers are paid and what a fair wage is. Unlike an hourly or salaried job where the rates are set ahead of time and are the same for everybody, a freelancer often has to bargain with the employer. The person doing the hiring may want to pay per page, but have unreal expectations on how many words there are. The freelancer may want to be paid per word or per hundred words, which is a common measure in freelance circles.

Depending on the type of job, the client may pay a flat rate for a specific task. A one-off assignment may best be paid by flat rate. Negotiate with the employer about how many words or pages are expected and how long the turn-around time is and come to an agreeable amount. For example: a job of one hundred pages with a turn-around time of one week may pay two to three hundred dollars. It is best to define how many words are expected per sheet, so you are both on the same page, so to speak.

If you are hired as a contract writer who is kept on retainer then you will negotiate what you feel is a fair price for your time. In this situation you may be guaranteed so many hours per week and then paid a retainer to make sure you are available to that client for those hours.

The pay may also depend on the difficulty of the job. Where one client may offer one cent a word for a more difficult article, another may offer two dollars per 500 word article. Although two dollars sound like more, it really pays less than the one cent per word article. Pay attention to the units of measure. The two dollar article may be fairly easy to write and therefore you may be able to do more work in the same time as it takes you to complete the one cent per word article.

Unfortunately there isn’t one set rule to go by when deciding how much to charge for freelance work. You may think your words are golden and worth way more than the going rate. Take some time and look around at freelance forums to see what other people are charging and getting. It’s one thing to charge a specific rate, but it is totally another to actually get paid.

Resource: Medical Writing Training

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