Reality Blog: Should You Always Quote a Project Fee? Maybe Not!


woman_thinking_with_computerLike most freelance web writers, I have struggled over what to charge for a project. I have listened to advice with good results and ignored advice, resulting in lost customers.

No one agrees on what to charge and, when you research the topic, suggested fees for web-writing projects are all over the map.

But I’ve learned … and gained wisdom for what to charge. I’ve also discovered there is a time to charge by the hour. The hourly fee is rare, but it does fit in and can be profitable, if set up properly.

In a few minutes, I’ll reveal to you the way I determined my base dollar amount to quote on projects and why it prepared me for my first hourly paid assignment … one that I landed this past month.

First, let’s see what you can do when you don’t know what to charge.

Create a Master Fee Schedule

One of the most common questions AWAI receives is, “How much should I charge?”

New writers are often confused and fearful of charging too much.

AWAI recommends to set your fees based on the individual project.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? When you charge by the project, you know exactly what you’re getting. And so does your client. Everyone is happy with the budget from the outset.

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Marianne Foscarini

Helps Christian business owners improve their online presence and increase their customer base and profits through online/website/SEO content marketing and social media presence


  • This is great advice, Marianne. And timely. I had a prospect intake call yesterday and she’ll need me to write ongoing copy for her. I was wondering how to handle it. What I will do is send her through my fee schedule and estimates for how long all the projects she needs written will take, then I’ll let her choose how much she wants to pay each month.

    • I will be very curious how that works, out Daniel. Also, Jim Wright’s Reality Blog for July 24, 2015 provides some good insights into getting your first customers. Hope everything works out 🙂

  • Hi, Marianne.
    I have a fee schedule. I came up with it when I had a client with a big project for me.
    I actually went to the local pancake house with several AWAI programs that had fee suggestions.
    I laid them all out on the table, got out a notepad, grabbed some coffee and went to work.

    I finally came up with rates I was comfortable with charging. It really is a relief! And I’ve changed them as I get more experienced.

    Thanks for the article! Very useful.

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