Take the Free Out of Freelance Writing

My brother, Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, put forward this advice recently in the May/June 2013 issue of Advanced Christian Writer (pages 3-4). He states:  “Outsiders to our profession think writing is fast and easy, that we have all the time in the world, and that seeing our names in print is enough payment to woo us in.  Lawyers, accountants, life coaches, psychiatrists, and fitness trainers charge for their advice and services.  The most frequent question I hear in response to this situation is, ‘But how much should I charge?’” This is where I would like to insert my own answer to this question.  Back in October 2012, I wrote a blog on this site titled “Writers: Stop Losing Money—Use This Fee Formula.”  Check it out.  In the blog, I outline a four-step process on how you should set your fees.  The formula can also be used to determine the absolute minimum fee (breakeven) if you are aggressively trying to break into a new market.  The formula covers the direct expenses of the specific assignment, the indirect costs of operating your business, your target profit percentage and the associated taxes that will be due on the assignment profit. Dr. Hensley further advises that you “match the market.  If you price your writing services too low, potential clients will wonder why your bid doesn’t match the bids of the other two writers he contacted.  Thus, you should check websites and ad brochures to find out what your competition is charging.  Naturally, there are such considerations as your level of education, experience, and previous client references.  But assuming most things are comparable, you should ask for what the market will sustain. “Don’t sell yourself short.  Writing is hard work, so you deserve proper compensation.  Move from freelance to moderately-priced-lance to outright-expensive-lance.”


Dr. Dennis E. Hensley is the author of more than 50 published books.  His newest book, Jesus in the 9 to 5, will be released on October 18th


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