San Diego Freelance Writers

Common Payment Practices When Hiring a Freelance Writer

Every project is unique, a fact reflected in the variety of ways to pay freelance writers. Variables include strategic value, copy length, turnaround time, usage rights, and research requirements. That said, here are four of the most-common fee structures for freelancers.

By the project
With project billing, the writer provides an estimate for a flat fee based on your project description. The more details you provide, the tighter the estimate. You know up front what'll be delivered and how much it'll cost. That makes it easy to manage budgets.

Typical payment terms are half in advance as a deposit, and the balance upon delivery. Larger projects may be divided into three payments.

By the hour
Writer's hourly rates are similar to those charged by other business professionals. And, what might take you or your staff many hours to write or edit could be finished in less time, with less stress on you, by a professional freelance writer.

With small, quick projects, half the estimated total cost is usually paid up front, with the balance paid upon delivery. Large, ongoing projects may be "progress billed" weekly or monthly.

By the word
Paying per-word is better suited for text than ideas, and for longer pieces than shorter. It works best when you know how much space you need to fill with copy. Professional writers make every word pull its weight, and easily write to fit word counts.

Payment typically takes place at the end of the project. With large projects, an advance may be required which is deducted from the total amount due at the end.

By the month
Paying a retainer is best suited for long-term relationships with ongoing work. Your writer is always on-call, for which you pay a monthly fee whether or not you use the writer's services that month. Work and fees balance out over time.

Monthly retainers are usually based on an annual contract, with each month paid in advance.

Freelance writers offer you the convenience of copy that meets your needs, when you need it. You get your money's worth when you hire a professional freelance writer!

By the way
Freelance advertising copywriter John Kuraoka has worked with ad agencies, design firms, and clients worldwide. He typically works on a project basis, but isn't averse to selling an hour or two when that's all that's needed. Give him a call at (619) 465-6100.