How to Raise your Freelance Rates

Once you find good clients, the goal is to keep them. This seems obvious, but sometimes by raising your rates, you may lose even your best clients. But you can’t stay at the same rate forever if you want to maintain a freelance writing career. How do you raise your rates without scaring off your clients?

When just starting out, many freelance writers set their rates too low. I know I did. It could be fear or lack of confidence or just not knowing what to charge. After a while, you realize you are just not getting ahead and most of you spend most of your day writing with little in return for your time. No matter who you are, your time is valuable. Life is short. And quality writing takes time.

You may be more comfortable sticking with your current rates than telling your clients that your prices are going up. Again, fear and lack of self-confidence can rear its head again.  If they value your writing, a small increase should not scare your clients. But take these tips into consideration when you decide to break the news.

1. Be Honest!

It is amazing how the truth is the most impressive reason for raising your rates. Tell your client that since you began your career, you have developed as a writer. Mention that you are getting more clients and it is time to focus on the jobs that provide the most effective use of your time. Maybe you are more established in the market now, or have learned additional skills you can bring to the table. Your clients will appreciate your honesty. This is a business, not personal, and there really is no need to apologize for increasing your prices.

2. Give Current Clients Plenty Of Notice

When you plan to raise your rates, give your current clients a heads up so they are not caught by surprise. Send out an email and let them know you will be raising your rates in the near future.  Give them an opportunity to place an order before the increase using a “Buy Now” offer at your lower rate.

3. Have Confidence In Your Writing Skills

As I prepare for book, Calling All Freelance Writers, I have learned that the biggest thing that holds people back from charging more is the lack of confidence in their skills. The key is to find customers that understand the value of quality writing. This is even more true with Google chasing down all the content mills and poor quality websites. If you believe you are worth more than $15 an article, than don’t be afraid to ask.

4. Be Aware that you May Lose Clients and That it’s Okay. 

The good news is that many of your clients will understand and if you have proven yourself, they will stay with you even after you raise your rates. There will probably be a few who just can’t afford it. Don’t stress! Remember, even if you’re only raising your rates by a couple of cents per word, it still means earning the same amount of money for less work. You can afford to lose a few clients if you are charging more for your writing. In the end, you want the clients who can afford to pay.

As long as you communicate with your customers, are honest with them upfront, they can afford to pay for content, and they like your work, increasing your prices should not be an issue. If you are hesitating to send over that email to your clients: don’t! Remember, most will see the value in your work and continue to work with you.

About Julie McElroy

Julie writes for Inspired to Write where she offers tips, resources, and writing inspiration for writers and bloggers. She is also a freelance writer for various websites and blogs.


  1. I am a freelance writer too and i have followed all the guidelines you have stated there. It is also good to ask some opinions from the client about your articles. It can help you improve your writing skills and learn new things. There already a lot of writers today and the prices for freelance writing has become competitive.
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  2. Julie
    I think that your points are very valid. I would also like to add that it is often very hard to find skillful writers that are able to produce work that you don’t have to carefully proofread and that you do not have to completely rewrite. I think that everyone would agree that time is very valuable to Internet marketers. To be able to have content that they can rely upon saves so much time and I think most successful clients are willing to pay for this.
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    • This is true! Everyone’s time is valuable and it is just a matter of how you want to spend your time. I don’t really have Internet marketers as clients since they typically don’t pay much.. ;) Most of my “good” clients have a business outside of IM. However, I think even IM’ers that are making a decent living are starting to see the value of good content, especially with the Google monster, and willing to pay for it! :)

  3. Carlos Edward says:

    I would also like to add that it is often very hard to find skillful writers that are able to produce work that you don’t have to carefully proofread and that you do not have to completely rewrite. I think that everyone would agree that time is very valuable to Internet marketers.
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  4. I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about. Can’t wait to read more from you! I will keep an eye on it.

  5. @Pat Yeah that’s right! I agree on that!
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  6. Yes. Keeping a good client is the best way to increase a revenue in our business. These are the great word to keep our business great. Repeating clients are must .
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  7. Also, you have to ensure that you provide a quality service so your clients will be pleased to raise your freelance rates.

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