So, how much do you charge per blog post?
As with most things in life…it depends.
That said, there are a few key things that help you determine initial pricing (if you’re starting out as a freelancer). These things also help you determine whether you can raise your rates. (Notice I said “should,” because you likely should raise your rates if you’re providing a good product.
What are the things?
All three of these data points help you determine prices, but I almost guarantee you the definitions you’re giving each in your mind aren’t how you use them.
Here’s what I mean.
Time, for instance, means three separate things. One (the one you’re likely thinking of) is the time it takes to write an article.
“I can pump out 1000 words in 2 hours and want to make $50/hour for my writing, so $100. Done!”
Calculating Time for Pricing (all the ways)
First, track all of your time
Honestly, just tracking how fast you write and putting a $ amount to it isn’t a good strategy. A better indicator of how much it costs you are embedding the other time spent to do things like:
- Finding said clients: Emailing, posting content on LinkedIn, etc.. Whatever it takes time to get these clients should calculate into price.
- Interacting with them: Zoom meetings, emails, figuring out their tone/voice all take time that’s not writing. Factor that into your price.
- Revisions for content: Some clients have a slow-moving and multi-step content process that includes multiple revision stages. It’s hard to calculate this for all clients, but it’s something to keep in mind, since these clients end up making you less profit at the end of the day.
Note: You’ll also want to factor in costs, which I do cover in just a moment (further down).
Second, figure out how long you can wait
This kind of time is also very important. And best explained by an example.
Let’s say person one has a job they can’t stand (like I did way back until 2011). They need out, like yesterday.
Person two has a great job, bankers hours, and feels like they’re making a difference. BUT it’d be nice to work for themselves, make a bit of extra money, and be able to have some flexibility.
Person one has less time to bake into their price than person two.
Person one is going to charge less than person two, when starting out.
When I started, I took anything. “$10 for 500 words? Done. I’ll have it to you in a few days.”
Had I been in person two’s shoes, I’d do a few low-paying jobs for my very best effort (to build up a portfolio). Start a blog in the niche or industry I’d like to target for my clients. After getting some top-notch posts on there, I’d send leads who want to check my work to it.
Then, I’d set a fair price (not at the top of the market, but something that’s above the bargain basement).
So, if I’m targeting the finance niche, maybe $800-$1000/mo for a blog per week.
The key difference between person one and two? The ability to wait.
If your ability to wait is higher, the price is often higher. But the need for clients ASAP often means starting lower and working your way toward a higher rate.
Calculating Cost Per Article
There are many other factors in cost, in addition to the different types of time.
- Tools you use (Grammarly, keyword research tools, etc.)
- Marketing costs (how are you get leads including things like email finding tools, CRMs, etc.)
- If you want to put the time it takes you to write 1000 words, here’s the place to do it — as part of your cost equation.
As an example, let’s say a freelancer uses:
- Grammarly premium: $12 per year, but totally worth it. Like having an editor to help keep you from frivolous mistakes.
- SEMrush, Ahrefs, and other keyword tools: I have a lot of niche sites and part of my services is to help clients find good keywords to target, so I’ve used Ahrefs for years.
- Outsourced labor: If you outsource work to other freelancers, this is likely your biggest cost. Even if it’s not writing, some freelance writers work with designers to create custom images. Others use Fiverr to come up with topics. Whatever you pay someone else for needs to factor into the price.
Further reading: Interested in calculating the exact price for each article you write? Head on over to this post where I lay it all out :).
Calculating Effort in Your Price
I see you there. “Isn’t effort similar to time?”
Consider this post-writing effort. Do you format and optimize the content on a client’s website — even scheduling it for publication?
There are dozens of little value ads that make your service stand out, but they also include time, cost, and effort all on their own.
In Short, Consider All Factors When Pricing Each Post
Think of a supply chain. A company that sells a product, let’s say, pencils. They don’t just charge based on how much time it takes to stick an eraser in the metal.
No, they consider the price of wood, paint, metal, graphite, shipping, marketing, seasonality, labor, competition, on and on.
So don’t just go pricing your services based on your words per minute, ok?