You’ll recall I previously wrote an article titled How to Land High-Paying Freelance Writing Jobs Online, Fast. In it, I showed you how I landed a blog writing gig for $250 for 1200 word articles. For me, it was the highest paying blog writing gig yet.
At the time of landing the gig, I had several existing clients and my freelance writing rates were lower. With one client I was earning $60 per 1000 word article (I’d recently increased my writing rate from $50).
I remember the day I landed that client, It was a few months after the start of my freelance writing career in July 2016. I was happy, ecstatic in fact, and because they were a startup offering me regular work – I agreed that $60 was okay. You need to start somewhere, right?
So, given my new-found success, I would need to write four articles for the old client to earn the $250 I was getting for one. I had a decision to make: Should I continue writing at the lower rate or email them informing them of a rate increase?
After careful consideration, I decided to inform them I was increasing my freelance writing rates. I based my decision on the following:
- With the lower paying client, I would have to put in a lot more work for the same amount of money.
- I had a buffer of one extra client – a high paying client at that – so I felt comfortable risking it.
- Since starting my freelance writing journey my writing has improved ten-fold. I knew I was worth a lot more than my current rate. If I wanted to break into higher-paying gigs, I needed to start charging more – even with existing clients.
So, after meticulously crafting an email – I mean meticulously, as I spent several hours writing it and getting feedback from a Facebook writing group – I was ready to hit send.
Here’s the email:
I am someone who believes in honesty. Breaking the email down, I:
- Told them I enjoyed working with them (which I did).
- Highlighted what the current freelance writing rate is – $0.06/word.
- Told them what my new rates were ($0.20/word) and that at the current rate it didn’t make business sense to continue writing. Remember, as a freelance writer you’re a business owner. You should adopt that mindset for freelance writing success.
- Offered them a discount to $0.15/word. If they didn’t agree I offered to provide my services for another month at the old rate as an act of good faith.
- Reiterated that I understood they’re a startup – but as a business owner myself – it was purely a business decision.
I waited…I wasn’t expecting a favourable response, and I was right.
The next day I received a reply:
He wasn’t a “happy chappy”. And I empathised. I did. Yes, I had increased my rates only a few months earlier. Yes, the new increase was a lot higher.
But I wasn’t backing down.
With his email ending with, “Not sure how to take this from here. You tell me…”, I responded re-affirming that it was a business decision, that whilst it may be a shock for him, it was something I’d given much thought to, and that I’d be happy to continue writing for a month and help him find a new writer.
My response to his reply:
Not expecting much, he sent me this:
So, I was now guaranteed $800/month for 8 posts.
Sure, It wasn’t the $0.15 I wanted but it was a considerable increase to $0.10 per word, and I’d receive more money for two posts than writing three.
So I agreed in the final email:
And that’s how I increased my freelance writing rates with an existing client.
Now, you may be thinking, “Well this is a unique situation and not applicable to me”.
Yes, that’s true, but there are points in these email exchanges that you can use to raise rates with your own clients. I’ll highlight those. I’ll also provide an email template you can use to send to clients when you want to raise your rates.
Tips on Crafting an Email to Raise Freelance Writing Rates
Here are my pointers for writing emails to raise your rates:
- Be honest; clients will appreciate it.
- Lead with something positive like, “I really enjoy working with you”.
- Explain the reason for increasing your rates – again be honest. In my case, I told him that I was doing more work for less money. So, it was a business decision.
- If you’re the only writer offer them some value e.g. write at the old rate for a few weeks.
- Conclude by reiterating that you enjoy working with them.
Email Template For Raising Rates
Hi [insert name],
I really enjoy working with you and helping [insert company name]. It’s exciting. It’s fun. I’ve learned a lot.
When I started writing for [insert company name], we agreed on a freelance writing rate of [insert rate].
Since then, I’ve increased my rates for all new clients to [insert rate], whilst keeping yours low. I currently have several new clients.
I’m in a position where I’m writing [insert x number of articles] for [insert price] when I could write [insert lower number of articles] for the same price.
As the workload increases, I cannot afford to write at the current rate. It doesn’t make business sense.
So, I propose [this will vary depending on your unique circumstances – in my examples I proposed an increase to below my new rate to at least show some value].
I’m also happy to [include another value-add like writing for a few weeks as a sign of good faith]
I understand your position as a [small business/startup/business owner etc], but I’m sure you understand mine as someone also growing their business.
Please let me know how you wish to proceed. I’m always happy to help.
[insert your name]
I can’t provide you with templates on how to respond to individual replies, as circumstances are unique. But if you need help, join a Facebook writing group or contact the WriteWorldwide team. We’re always here to help.
P.S. Speaking of templates, why not grab our Pitching Template Cheat Sheet to bag better clients?