How do You Price?

I’m new to this forum. It was recommended to me by a fellow Freelancer. I like it because of the anonymity.

I’m a writer on two of the major freelancing platforms -UW and 5er-, but I also Write outside of the platforms.

I’m really curious how other writers price their services.

On the platforms, it seems like you either price by the hour, word count or total project. I’ve seen so many different conflicting scales on how much to charge based on years of experience. It’s confusing.

I also notice on the platforms, especially UW, a lot of buyers want a lot for nothing. It makes it hard to bid. That is another topic, however.

My pricing off the platforms is much much higher. Of course, finding work off those platforms is much much harder.

So for those of you here that are writers, or have knowledge of the niche, how do you price on a platform versus off the platform?

What do you use to calculate your prices?

I am purposely leaving out my years of experience, what my level is on the different platforms and any personal information to my outside pricing. I really want to see what others have to say without knowing that info.

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Because I hire editors & proofreaders, I’m used to paying by the word on the other platforms. It took some time for me to get used to the way 5r did things. I still calculate by the word.

Unlike 5r, all the other sites I use are exclusively for writers and they have 100% anonymity. They don’t know my username, pseudonym and I feel like I can leave a honest and unbiased review. Sites like Scribendi, Firstediting, heritage, etc.

I mainly hire 5r writer for my articles, but I have to admit its “touch and go.” Some give me great work, some good, some plagiarized (this would cause great problems for me). Just because I pay more doesn’t mean I get better quality.

I find that for most 500 word articles (non technical), the seller who charge between $20 to $35 gives me the best. For technical articles that require research, I may hire more expensive writers, but only after I’ve used them on cheaper ones.

Some writers on 5r are good at specific type of articles than others. I’ve used lots of money figuring out who’s good at what and hire them for that specific area.

Are you concerned your price is too high, too low or just don’t know.

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Great feedback. Yes, Fiverr has some really highly priced writers who write crap and plagiarize. It is hit or miss with writers. You have to try out many to see who fits for what is best. I agree. It muddy’s the waters. I have had clients come to me after bad experiences with cheap sellers willing to pay. My prices are in the range you mention.

I am not just sure what the right price anymore. I noticed a trend over the past year or so with the fast growth of Fiverr and the Gig economy. Buyers have way more options and can negotiate pricing. They have the upper hand. It seems where once I could comfortably charge $35 for 500 words, now $25 is the threshold many are willing to go no higher than. I am a seasoned writer with a great track record and high level too.

I apply to buyer requests and get messages from buyers on their own. A lot of feedback has been your prices are to high. Yet, others have told me that for the quality I deliver, they worry because my prices are not high enough.

I had that sweet spot that was working and all of a sudden it is not anymore. I am trying to figure it all out as Fiverr and the Gig economy change so I can keep things rolling for me. Pricing is just one part of it. But, it is an important part.

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To be honest, I’m gun shy when it comes to hiring any article writers on 5r, regardless of level or experience. I’ve had terrible experience with a TRS and great one with a newbie (as in no review).

I really don’t care about anyone’s reviews because it’s mostly junk. I hire based on profile, and gig descriptions only. When I do, i stay away from anyone with a starting price that is too high. What if I spend $50 on an article and it ends up being just plain awful?

I am cautious and hire for say $10 on that 1st article (call it a test). If we match, I’ll hire them few more times to get a feel.

Perhaps you should have a “test” gig for buyers to hire you on their first go. Just a suggestion. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry to hear that. That hurts but I know it’s not personal. I appreciate the suggestion.

I don’t understand.

What do you mean? I don’t know who you are and do not know the quality of your work, therefore it was a generic suggestion.

Did I say something that was offensive?

You did not say anything offensive. I mean your thinking seems to echo other buyers in regards to Fiverr. They do not trust the writers, and often want to test them at very low prices, which for me is not something I entertain. It just hurts to realize that in Fiverr people have a hard time trusting writers on the platform in general even though some of us are legit. One bad apple spoils the bunch. I was expressing frustration.

Fiverr is an open market. There is no way for buyers to know who is legit and who is not.

You’d be surprised at how many plagiarized articles I have received in the past. I’m batting a 25, 25, 50.

25% Good/Great writers
25% below average
50% plagiarized, incoherent, badly written

Due to the number of bad writers, you can’t blame us for testing. How would I know it’s safe to hire you for a $100 or more series of article until I know you are indeed good.

This is nothing to do with you personally.

I know I sound harsh in this post and I hope you don’t take it that way. I hire sellers from all different areas and I get lucky 10% of the time with exceptional sellers. 15% I keep to hire whenever I need cheap, okay work.

The rest, unfortunately are not worth even $5. I actually take time to do ample research before hiring. When I find that right sellers, though, I hold on tight.

The thing I love about 5r is the ability to hire exceptional sellers at a very reasonable price and build a long term relationship with some of the BEST top quality freelancers.

The thing I hate about 5r is the lack of anonymity and the sheer number of bad sellers that overtake the good ones by 90%.

If you have a great profile page and gig page, there is nothing wrong with selling yourself. I don’t know where you live but in the USA, big contractor’s are used to bidding and competing with other for projects.

Once you get a reputation for doing good work, it will spread. I have an old post here where I am recommending some really great writers and editors. It cost me a lot of money, time and patience to find them.

I still stand by each of them. They were then and they are now still top notch writers. I’m always in search of great writers and editors. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would love to see that post where you recommend! Can you share it with me? I love to see what others are doing a buyer like you approves. No hard feelings. I share the same frustrations as a seller on that platform. The crap scares people away and many are not willing to sift to find the good.

Sure, here it is

Thanks! I know a couple of them. Nice choices.

I price my work based on the amount of time it takes me to complete and the amount of money I want to make per hour of work.

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I don’t really have a pricing method, even at this advanced stage in my career. I’m charging approximately .20 - .25 a word at the moment, which can and should definitely be increased on some gigs (e.g. copywriting).

However, Fiverr’s package deal makes it a little hard to talk with leads before buying sometimes where you can suggest higher prices by showcasing value. So, for example, I have a $150 basic for 500 words for a sales letter. Now, that’s what most people order, but if I can talk in my inbox, then I can take their product, and show them how my copy can help them to sell X faster and deliver a ROI after just 2 sales, it’s not hard for me to boost my pricing based on more intangible factors.

Ultimately, UW, FIverr, and all these platforms don’t really make it easy to do that (UW is easier, but let’s face it, all the platforms are thriving bottom-feeder marketplaces), but if you can get into interviews/inboxes then you can do this.

You can also set up a questionnaire document to send to client that asks questions that help you to price a project (this will require you to know your approximate ballpark rates for your various services, though). Ultimately, these platforms are just business tools, so it makes sense to bring your own processes with you onto them and fit them into the framework.

Finally: steer clear of lowball buyers! They represent worlds of pain!

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Great feedback. You have a questionnaire you use you can share?

It’s not really sharable as it’s branded to the hilt, but it basically covers stuff like:

  • What’s your USP?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What problems does your product solve?

A lot of people don’t know the answers to these questions, or have a very broad/bad answer. For example, many people’s USP is not unique at all - it’s what they think is the best thing about their product.

The biggest offender is usually target market, with people putting something like M/F 18 - 65. This shows that they’ve not done their market research at all - a 65yo grandma isn’t going to be interested in the same things as a 21yo male student, and this affects everything from what websites they visit (granny goes to FB, reads the local newspaper, and gets recipe ideas, the student might use TikTok, Tinder, and Reddit). Everything else stems from that, and the copy needs to reflect what that specific audience segment typically responds to.

The easiest way to add value is to find out if your client has a clue about their target market, then showcase your value. With that said, if you’ve got someone clueless, you’re going to be doing a lot of educational work that won’t necessarily be repaid (or even compensated well if they don’t connect that value with future profits). With companies and people who do have a clue, it’s an efficient way to show that you know what you’re talking about and not a clueless newb yourself. Remember, 90% of your competition barely knows what they’re doing - it’s not difficult to stand out on platforms if you’re good at what you do and know how to approach clients.

The other questions aren’t really that special and really just designed to get the info I need out of a terrible initial brief, although you might find this a good resource from Copyblogger - I used it when creating mine.

PS beware the free consultation vampires. Quickest way to get rid of them (they just don’t want to pay, but they do want your time and expertise) is to say that you’ve got a consultation gig and you’d love to continue in a blah blah blah. Sort the men from the boys and get paid for your time :slight_smile:

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Or “superb customer service”. I used to get that one a lot for a while.

That one is not much of a problem for video scripts, the visuals just need to show a few people from different age groups using the product and how it helps them.

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On top of “we actually really care about our customers and will go the extra mile” (upon investigation, they have a CS dept, an easy refund policy, and a winsome message about “corporate values” from an obvious solo mompreneur).

IDK, you’d also need to know what kind of language works best with the target market. Female hygeine products (blue liquid and energetic spots) for example, generally have a very different approach to their ads than the male counterparts (macho, macho man)

Then again, some things are universal and icky, so you can really push boundaries with creativity and sell loads. The target market for the ad below? Well, anyone with bowel issues, I suppose, and that really is a M/F 21 - 65 demo. But I think this speaks to most people at a joyful personal level while succinctly getting all the problems and benefits across. The product isn’t even unique!

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This is fantastic! Thanks so much!

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Definitely. But if they’re not completely clueless about who would need their product, we end up with

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Yeah, it is all very dependent on the product or service. Perhaps I should have clarified that a bit more above. I was thinking of people who have a product that could clearly be narrowed down to an appropriate target market but instead presenting you with the old ‘everybody’ demographic.

The worst offenders are probably new internet marketers. I also want to say life coaches, but they usually have a specific target market based on the easiest people to fleece. Oddly enough, there are plenty of life coaches operating in the women’s biz are which are basically fronts for helping MLM honies, which is pretty much online marketing! Not to say they’re all bad, but there’s a lot of people in both industries who shouldn’t be…

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