Setting an Hourly Rate: What Are The Pros and Cons?

Written By: Rajan Arora

The swiftly changing times have fashioned a vicious circle of infinite evolution in the market dynamics of any industry in the world economies today. Freelance writing is no exception to this phenomenon and in this era of fierce competition, you will come across many writers who are just as talented as you are. The basic rule of ‘demand & supply’ plays an imperative role here because a steep upsurge in the demand of freelance writers over the past few years has been complemented with an equal rise in the supply of the same. This demand has grown more due to the vast spreading trend of online writing assignments.

You will be compelled to compete against the writers who work for peanuts in order to cover up for their deprived writing skills. This should not tempt you to lower your standards in the race of snatching a project. You, as a professional writer must respect the worth of your talent, time, and energy that goes into shaping a project. Freelance writers need to know that they are not regulated by a defined set of protocols as far as the pricing is concerned. There is no “one size fits all” approach and you will find a wide diversity in the quoted price ranges by different writers for a single project. So, there is no definite logic as to how the quoted price has been arrived at. It all depends upon what you as a writer feel about the worth of your project. You can quote any price as per your desire but the trick is to design the same in a logically convincing manner so that the client should agree to the same. The thumb rule is to be consistent with your rates and retention of clients. This however leads to a dilemma wherein many writers will quote much more than the worth of the assignment while others will quote way too little.
Some writers prefer to charge on an hourly basis instead of charging per project or per article. It all depends upon the nature of assignment. Quoting a rate on hourly basis is like a double edged sword which can prove fruitful and harmful at the same time. Please find below 5 Pros and 5 Cons of hourly charges which will help you in taking wise decisions:-

Advantages of Setting an Hourly Rate:

  1. Hourly charges will ensure that you get paid for every single minute spent on the project.
  2. Being a start up writer you should always quote by the hour because in the initial days you will definitely not have any clue about the time that you are going to spend in completing a project.
  3. Even after having good experience, if the amount of time and the scope of project cannot be determined in advance then it is always better to charge by the hour rather than spending too much time for a pre-set flat rate which in the end will result in you earning less than the deserved amount.  
  4. Hourly rates suit more to the professionals like lawyers and accountants because of the nature of their work which requires a particular set of expertise and customization for every single client apart from the standard skills of a writer.
  5. If the project seems to be a onetime activity like website content or product information then it will be better to charge by the hour.

Disadvantages of Setting an Hourly Rate:

  1. The client may be resistant to agree on the hourly rates, for the only fear that the writer will waste time in order to increase the cost.
  2. The client is more interested in the final output irrespective of the number of hours put into by the writer. So a typical client would always expect you to quote for the complete project within a stipulated time rather than making him count the hours.
  3. If you think that you are an efficient writer and can complete the given task quickly then you may end up earning less than the fair share actually deserved by you. So charging a flat rate per project or article may sound wiser in such circumstances.
  4. If you can have a rough estimate about the amount of time you are going to consume in a specific project then you can surely quote a flat rate without explaining the intricate calculations and who knows, you might end up earning more per hour than you would have by quoting hourly rates.
  5. If the project is vast like a regular article in some weekly magazine or an e-book then the probability of charging by the hour will be very less.

In the end whether you quote hourly rates or project wise rates, the bottom line will remain that you must earn your fair share to keep yourself rocking in this creative profession.

Rajan is working as a mid level manager in an automobile giant. His work profile includes frequent travelling. Apart from travelling, transforming thoughts & imaginations into black & white i.e. writing fascinates him. He can be reached at

1 comment:

  1. Having hourly rates allows flexibility and restriction at the same time. Flexibility in terms that once your hours are up, you're done. Restriction, in terms of, you're pressured to finish everything in an allotted period. - Layce of assignment help online.


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