Freelancers and clients both hate talking about money, and we both tend to get stressed when it comes to actually stating a budget amount or a price. But in the end pricing boils down to two things: what do you (the client) want done, and what amount of money am I (the writer) willing to take to do the work.
I do my best to help my clients stay in their budget, but at the same time my goal is to make a profit (since that’s what pays for my coffee addiction). If you can tell me what your budget is, I’ll do my best to find a way to get the work done within that budget….but let me be open and admit that I’m probably not going to be the cheapest option, since I have over 25 years of experience and three hungry cats to feed. (And did I mention my coffee addiction?) The bottom line is if you think prices ranges like those seen at the Editorial Freelancer’s Association are ridiculously high and folks quoting those ranges should be laughed at, then you may want to go elsewhere, since my ranges are much closer to those than to Fiverr.
Instruction Manuals & Online Help
Software/hardware instruction manuals and online help are typically bid at a fixed price. That price depends on the estimated sizes of the final deliverable (i.e. pages of printed manual, or number of screens and words per screen for the help screens) and the required deadline. Minimum fixed price for a manual or set of help screens is $250.
If you know exactly the amount of work you need done I can also work hourly.
Blog Posts, Articles, & White Papers
The prices I charge for web content, magazine articles, and other similar projects depend on the number of interviews/calls needed to get information, the depth of research required, how much background information will be provided by the client, the number of rounds of reviews/edits, the technical level of the subject matter, and the amount of illustrations/graphs/flowcharts I need to create to illustrate points. Once I know that information I can give you a quote. I usually bid projects:
- fixed price for a blog post. (I discount if multiple blog posts are bid on at the same time.)
- per word for magazine articles (including ghostwritten articles).
- per page or fixed price for ghostwritten ebooks.
- fixed price for a 10-15 page technical white paper.
- per hour for editing/rewriting existing website text or blog posts.
I invoice 30% (based on the estimated total) due on receipt before starting any work, and invoice the remaining 70% net 30 when the final edited files are delivered. For very large/long projects I bill in three parts (30% before starting, 30% around the half way point, and 40% at the end). Any expenses are billed on the final invoice. Projects cancelled after they are 50% complete but before the final files are delivered will be billed at 80% of the estimated total plus expenses.
I work on a Mac, and deliver my projects in Word & PDF file formats, or as Google Docs. I’ve used other software and systems over the years but that combination seems to suit a majority of clients. If you have a specific product you need the work created in (such as formatted in InDesign, or authored in Madcap Flare) then I need to know that before I bid since that may result in higher fees (to cover software costs and any extra time I have to put in).