With growing digitization all over the globe, the internet has become our second home. Naturally, the need to present your brand, your business & your work online has grown exponentially, opening the doors for freelance content writers. With so much of content being required at a constant basis, freelance writing has become a good career choice. However, the major challenge that most of the new writers face is what to charge from their clients. Well, if you’re one of those writers, worry not. Today, we are going to cover all aspects affecting the freelance writing rates in India. So, let’s get started.
Introduction to Freelance Writing in India
Freelance writing is considered the act of writing web content, blogs, articles, or any other type of content for a brand / company for a fee.
With growing focus on digital media, content has become a part and parcel of life. Content marketing is one of the most important forms of marketing today and the center of it lies in “content”.
For this, there is a huge demand for talented content creators which has led to freelance writing becoming a sought after career option.
The coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated the pace at which digital media is growing, and has opened the gates for many people to earn their living via freelance writing.
Below are some other facts that point towards the impending growth in the freelance content writing industry –
- According to a report by Technavio, the content marketing industry is set to grow by a massive $269 billion between 2020-24.
- As per a study by Content Marketing Institute, ~60% of the consumers in the US prefer to read a blog before making a purchase decision.
- There were around 4000 blog posts written per minute in 2018.
- According to a SEMRush study, “content writer” is the most searched digital marketing job in India.
There are many more such trends, but we’re sure you got the point. Now, it is quite clear that being a freelance writer is not just a part-time thing. It has the potential to act as a full time job and more and more Indians are taking it.
Freelance writing rates in India vs the Western World
Now that you’re sure about the future that content writing offers, let us move to the main point – the money.
In India, the writing business is at a growing stage and much like all other industries, the wages are less when compared to the western world.
A writer in the US or any other developed economy earns a minimum $0.01 per word at the beginner level. With a little experience, the amount easily crosses $0.10 per word and can go as high as $$1 per word for experts.
The picture in India is a bit different. There are many freelance job sites & groups where clients offer as low as 10p per word. The saddest part is that there are many writers who are willing to write even at these rates.
However, the more mature and talented writers do not bid on such sites and are found in better marketplaces like Upwork, etc. These writers charge anywhere from 50p per word to excess of INR 5 per word, depending on their experience and the complexity of the work.
In one of our articles, we have tried to merge the expectations of beginners with zero experience and talented writers and come up with a pricing grid that sums it up.
The grid has been developed using –
- Pricing offered on Projects / Jobs posted on various freelancer job sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Truelancer, Rozgaar India, etc. to name a few.
- Our own experience in the world of freelance content writing which is more than 8 years.
- Base price for writing offered on job groups available on Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
Even though some of the more experienced writers might think that the price list is on the conservative side, we have done it deliberately to showcase the reality of the situation.
The silver lining for content industry in India
Even though the pay seems a bit on the lower side, it is not a matter of concern. Being one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, India offers a vast demographic characteristics for all sorts of businesses.
This will lead to more and more businesses setting shop in India and ultimately lead to increase in demand for content. The trends are already visible and many freelancers are actually making a good income and quitting their full time jobs.
Hence, if you’re able to hone your skills and develop good content, you stand to gain the most as freelance writers start becoming more and more precious in the world that is far more digital than today.
Factors deciding the freelance writing rates
While we talked about the geography factor on the charges for writing, let us now look at some of the other factors that decide how much you can charge for writing content in India –
The biggest contributing factor to cost is complexity of the content required. If the writeup requires deep research into the topic, then the writer will naturally charge more.
The amount of experience that the writer has plays a vital role in pricing. You can check out freelance writing rates by experience levels to get an idea about how much content creators make at each level of their career.
Another vital aspect deciding the rates for writing is the negotiation skills of the writer. A person who is able to properly market himself / herself can make more money than the person who cannot. If you’re good with people and have a convincing personality, you can easily try to charge higher than others.
Other factors that help shift the negotiation in your favor are –
- Create a portfolio / blog showing your writing skills.
- A well drafted resume showcasing your experience and previous work.
- The ability to bundle content marketing services like SEO, keyword research, etc. along with writing.
4. Type of client
A big factor is the client you’re dealing with. An individual blogger / business owner might not be willing to pay higher, but a startup probably would. Also, clients from the western world would generally pay a higher fee than the local clients.
Therefore, the idea would be to balance the type of clients to ensure you have long-term as well as short-term assignments from both domestic as well as international clients.
How to charge your clients to get the best freelance writing rates in India?
This section will now detail the methods that are used by freelancers to charge their clients.
All of the methods have their own pros and cons and we are going to list them for you in order to help you make the best choice.
A. Price Per Word –
This is the most widely accepted way to charge for your services. There is an agreement between the writer and the client in terms of the price offer per word and the payments are made accordingly.
This is the easiest to implement since the client can simply check the number of words in your article and pay accordingly.
You can also bunch extra services like keyword research, image editing, SEO analysis and wordpress posting for extra charges and bundle the entire service under a flat per word rate. This will give you a better chance to make more money for every word that you write.
A con of using this method is that it is difficult to price your adhoc services. A client might not be comfortable in you clubbing charges for keyword research, image editing, etc. on a per word basis. Hence, the negotiations might end up in you providing extra services for a lesser cost.
B. Per Project / Task
There are many freelancers who negotiate a per project price for their services. This is more often seen with the startups that deal with freelancers for their work. They offer a flat fee for the entire project which may or may not include extra services.
However, by including extra services, you can increase the total price of the project.
A major con of this method is that it does not take into account the number of words that the writer delivers. Hence, if your initial negotiation is not good, then you might end up getting paid less for the work that you do.
C. Per Hour Costing
This type of pricing is not seen much in India. The major reason is the lack of an infrastructure that allows for proper monitoring of number of hours worked.
Another issue with this method is that the clients feel that the writers might deliberately take more time in preparing the content in order to make more money.
Hence, our suggestion is to avoid this type of pricing unless there is a robust system of tracking in place.
D. Hybrid Costing – Highly Recommended
This takes the pros from both per project and per word costing models and helps both parties get the best value.
The core writing service is priced on a flat per word rate while any extra service is priced at a fixed rate.
Example – You can charge your client 35p for each word you write plus an additional INR 50 for each edited image and a flat rate of INR 100 for keyword research. Such a costing method is more transparent and preferred by the clients as well.
Tips to improve your earnings
As you have already seen that the freelancing rates for people can vary a lot depending on a lot of factors. So, how do you ensure that you’re able to increase your earnings over time? It is simple – Upskill.
By upskilling yourself, you are in a better position to offer a bundle of services to your clients. Consequently, your charges for the content will go up with each extra service that you add.
Further, the quality of your work will also improve, leading to even more earnings.
We believe that the information shared above will give you all the details you need to get started. You can start working on the tips one at a time in order to hone your skills and make your services more marketable.
Additionally, now that you know the price range of content that is prevalent in the Indian market, you are positioned better to negotiate.
Our parting tip would be to ensure that you develop mastery in one of the most sought after niches. This will help in demanding a much better price for your writing services than others.
If you need help in getting started with a freelance writing career, you can ask us any questions you have in the comments below.
You can also email us at email@example.com with any queries / suggestions that you have.
Now that you know the freelance writing rates in India, here is what you should do next –
- Get awesome freelancer opportunities by checking out these 5 offbeat websites.
- Get a detailed guidance on how to write kickass content with our 3 step approach.
- Learn content analysis by using these 5 amazing tools.
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