Stop Expecting to be Paid $200+ for a Blog as a Beginner

From a writer who does charge that much.

Today on things that bother me:

Too many experienced writers are telling newbies about their rates and encouraging novice writers to charge $200, $500, or even $1000 dollars for a blog or a sales page.

And it’s just causing more problems.

They’re boasting about their amazing lives as a freelance writer while travelling in Greece or Italy. Then thousands of people follow them because they have a dream life we all want, and they tell their audience things like:

“Hey! It’s SO easy and you can defs do it too! Just copy me and you’ll pay for your rent by working just a few hours a month.”

— Every Annoying Business Influencer Ever

I usually see these people on TikTok, or Instagram, or Twitter — and I am infuriated by it. And to me, it’s obvious.

Because they’re all full of sh*t.

Here’s why.

Yes, maybe they are charging that much for a blog. I’ve charged anywhere from $200 for a 1000-word blog to $1000 for a hefty ebook. If I’m doing things hourly, then I aim to be paid no less than $50/hour.

But when a beginner asks me what to charge — they shouldn’t be comparing themselves to me to set their rates. It’s obvious and yet, a lot of people seem to be doing it.

Here are a few things I have that you probably don’t:

  • A BFA in Creative Writing & Psychology
  • 10+ years of writing academically and professionally
  • 200+ projects I’ve written or edited in the last few years
  • 8 pieces of published creative work
  • 2+ years as a freelance writer
  • 1+ year managing a team of writers at an agency

And looking back on all of this… I don’t know if I’m charging nearly enough for my expertise but I’m also happy-ish where I am. With my few clients, I can pay my rent and choose to work my own hours.

Now, I only take on new projects when they excite me which is a nice place to be.

But for those of you who like to write, are just starting out, and kinda want more money as a side hustle? Well, it’s gonna take some time to get to charging $200 for a blog.

And you shouldn’t be charging my rates because you’re not me.

But that’s okay because we all start somewhere. (Hell I charged $10 for a book review during one of my first freelance projects).

You can still get paid for your work, build up experience and create a portfolio. That’s what I did over 2 years ago and, honestly, I surprised myself with how quickly I turned it into my full-time job.

Now, if you actually do have a boatload of experience or a degree in writing as I did, then you might want to start with a higher rate. And if you’re still struggling to find work, you can lower it to land your first few clients and testimonials.

But I see a lot more writers with little to no experience idolizing these “business influencers.” Then, when they try to copy them, they get frustrated with the fact that they can’t find a client or they lose the only client they landed.

I’ve hired writers myself for a few projects now and I have yet to meet a beginner who can deliver the quality of writing that I need. In the end, I prefer to just write things myself because starting from scratch is easier than rewriting someone else’s words and sending the writer 100+ comments of feedback.

So, please, if you’re reading this and you’re starting out as a freelance writer remember that you can get there — but it’s not going to be your first client.

And even once you get here, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows… freelancing has its own downsides. Some of the people you’ll meet are truly terrible. And at times, you may find yourself wanting to quit.

But the good news is this:

I believe freelancing is still worth it if you’re keen to learn a lot of new skills, have more flexibility, and put in the hard work it takes to get there. Even if you don’t do it forever, you’ll be able to seriously level up your resume and hopefully leverage that to find a job you love in a field you love.

That’s my long-term goal, and while I’m not there yet I’m enjoying the ride freelancing gives me.

About the Author

Victoria Fraser is a freelance copywriter from Vancouver, Canada who works with clients doing all things copywriting & content marketing. You can learn more at her website to work with her or say hello on Twitter!

Published by Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance writer, podcast producer, and comic artist.

2 thoughts on “Stop Expecting to be Paid $200+ for a Blog as a Beginner

  1. I believe everyone should be able to charge as much as they want to—as long as people are paying for it. Too often I see more experienced writers saying “know your worth!” and chewing out any newer writer who wants to take on lower-paying gigs.

    On the flip side, I’m also irked by writers who don’t have a portfolio but are charging exorbitant sums for ‘editing services’. Anyway, great points here. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh totally! Both sides bother me. The inexperienced writers trying to charge for arm and leg are part of it as well. But the ones egging them on with blind encouragement also fall for a lot of the blame in my mind.

      And don’t get me started on people who tell beginners to just raise their rates willy nilly! That’s my next blog lol I feel like I charge a lot, but I know others who charge way more. And if I had a dollar for every time I was told I’m “undercharging” by them and being berated… I’d out earn them haha thanks for listening to me rant lol

      Liked by 1 person

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