A Clarification on Charging Clients by the Word

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If you have never hired a writer or blogger on a per word basis before, you may be wondering why I have chosen to do so. I believe in transparency about these issues, so allow me to explain why I charge on a per word basis.

In general, the three main ways to charge a client for an article are:

  • Per Article
  • Per Hour
  • Per Word

There are pros and cons to each of these charging methods.

Charging A Flat Fee for Articles

Charging on a per article basis is one of the most common ways freelancers charge clients, but it is not always a fair way to charge for tutorials, in-depth guides and detailed reviews, as no two articles are alike.

Some articles are quick to prepare, whilst others require a significant amount of research and testing before any words are put down. Due to this, charging clients on a per article basis is impractical.

Charging On an Hourly Basis

From my own perspective, charging by the hour is the fairest method for both myself and clients, as the other methods do not always recognise the time invested into researching an article. Nor does it recognise the time spent taking screenshots, cropping images or testing products and services.

Understandably, charging clients on an hourly basis is unpopular as I rarely know what the final cost of an article will be until the end. For example, one 2,000 word article could take me 5 hours to complete, while another 2,000-word article could take me a couple of days to complete.

The total time may depend on the amount of research required and the type of article that is being written. Product reviews, for example, are frequently delayed due to problems that are discovered during testing.

Charging On a Per Word Basis

The problem with charging per hour is that it is not always clear how much research is necessary until the article has begun. This is why charging per word is preferred by most clients.

Charging per word allows both parties to see what the final price will be. As such, I believe it is the fairest way of pricing a job for both myself and the client.

Please note that my writing rate is based on the final word count that is submitted as it is the best way to calculate the time I invested in an article. This rate does not change if a client alters the article.

  • If a client adds another few hundred words to an article I have written, I obviously do not charge extra for those words.
  • Likewise, if a client decides to remove words from the article, I should not lose out. For example, if I completed an article that was 3,000 words long, a client could (in theory) decide to strip it down to 1,500 words. This would not halve my blogging rate. The original invoice of 3,000 words would have to be honoured.

Thanks for reading.


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