Why I Don’t Charge Per Hour

If you’re charging per hour, you’re undercharging.


Because in this madcap world of freelancing there are all manner of tasks beyond sitting down and writing copy.

Try this for a week: Track everything you do on a spreadsheet. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just write down what you do in hourly segments.

I think you’ll be surprised to see how much time you spend answering emails, keeping track of receipts, dipping into Facebook groups, reading the news, staring out of windows etc.

You may find that only two thirds of your time is actually spent on client work. And with all the distractions, writing a press release or advertorial can take you half a day, rather than the two hours you billed the client for.

Do this instead: Charge project fees instead of hourly. Recognize that writing an advertorial or email sequence is actually a half or full day’s work. Then bill accordingly. Remember to include all the deliverables in your proposal so they appreciate all the stages that writing copy entails (more tips on writing proposals).

Most copywriters undercharge (and then grumble about it in social media). Don’t be one of them. Charge what you’re worth.

If you’re writing for a player, with, say, an email list of 100k or an ad budget of $5k per day, consider how what you’re writing is tied to revenue.

And if you believe you can do a better job than someone they could pick up from Upwork for a pittance, charge accordingly. You’re worth it.

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