Freelance Copywriting: Don't Get Caught In The "Hourly Rate" Trap

Angela Booth

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Freelance copywriting is one of the most easy and lucrative ways to make money as a freelance writer.

Unfortunately there are some traps and pitfalls for the unwary. For example, many freelance copywriters get caught in the Hourly Rate Trap.

The Hourly Rate Trap is easily avoided, if you know the trap exists. Let's see the trap in operation.

You're hired to write a brochure. Easy peasy, right? The client asks your hourly rate, and you tell him that it's $75, and that it should take you five hours to complete. That's $375, and it's not bad. Not great, but not totally bad.

That deep clunking sound you hear behind you is the Hourly Rate Trap slamming shut.

You're now on the hook for $375.

Two weeks later, you realize that you've already spent fifteen hours on the project, and there's no end in sight. How did it happen?

Here's how:

* A visit to the client – one hour, plus two hours driving time, equals three hours;

* Calls to the client for information, and time spent searching for the information yourself, equals two hours;

* Writing time equals five hours;

* Discussions with the designer, who wants a minimalist theme. So you try to condense 600 words into 200 – two hours;

* Calls from the client, the client's office manager, the designer, the printer – two hours;

* Trip to the printer to check on client's new logo – one hour.

Grand total, a drum-roll please, is - FIFTEEN HOURS.

That's the Hourly Rate Trap in operation.

How to avoid the Hourly Rate Trap

Since you now know it exists, it's easy to avoid. Just add a rider to your writing agreement that your quote is an estimate only. All the time you spend working for the client on the project will be itemized, and will be payable on invoice. Then make sure you invoice at least once a week, no matter how long the project takes - keep adding up those hours!

You can avoid getting caught in freelance copywriting traps - Fab Freelance Writing at shows you how. Read the free weekly ezine, and Angela Booth's new ebook Seven Days To Easy Money: Copywriting Success at to develop a lucrative freelance copywriting career.


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