Earning More in the New Year


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This month’s theme at Freelance Writing Pros is earning more money in the New Year. And to kick things off, today’s post on the blog explores raising freelance writing rates.

If you’ve struggled with raising rates in the past, or worry you’ll lose clients in the process, check out the simple 3-step strategy that’s worked for me for years.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll look at ancillary products and services you can supplement your freelance writing income with. So there are more ideas on increasing your earnings yet to come.

What’s Your “Get Out of Bed” Rate?

While updating my own freelance rates this year, I also increased my “get out of bed” rate for the second year in a row — to $250 / hr.

What does this mean?

A “get out of bed” rate is simply the minimum amount you’ll accept to spend your time on someone else’s projects rather than your own.

For me, this makes a lot of sense because I have a three-prong business approach: freelance services, publishing products (books, e-books, etc.), and my various online properties.

A big goal for me this year is to focus much more on my public-facing owned media projects and less time on my usual ghostwriting work for clients. And whenever you have less time for clients, it makes sense to charge more.

Does this mean every freelance project pays the “get out of bed” rate?

No. Many freelance projects actually pay much more.

Remember, this is the minimum you’ll accept.

The reality, even when my “get out of bed” rate was $150 / hr is that projects routinely paid $300, $400, $500 and even more on an hourly basis.

One of the things I love most about this strategy (and using that hourly target when setting project rates) is that you build in natural hourly raises as you get more familiar with each client’s business.

Projects become quicker when you have a solid grasp of a client’s style guidelines, voice, audience, and goals. Your hourly rate goes up as a result, without having to ask clients for a raise — until you’re ready to raise that hourly target of course.

Even if you don’t have your own monetized projects alongside your freelance work, a “get out of bed” rate can still help you earn more overall when you keep it in mind when putting together quotes.

So ask yourself… how much are your skills and experience worth? What’s the bare minimum a project should pay to be worth your time rather thank sinking it into building something all your own (like publishing a book)? What’s your “get out of bed” rate, and is it overdue for a bump?


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Jenn Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous publications, a few including Freelance Writing Pro's sister site All Freelance Writing, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has over 20 years' experience as a professional writer and editor, 20 years' experience in marketing and PR, 18 years' professional blogging and digital publishing / web development experience, and around 16 years' experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.