Writer for Hire John Lynch

How should you pay a writer for hire or freelance writer?

I took on my first Writer For Hire assignment in 1989

The years since then have allowed me to refine the negotiation and contract process to a point that suits both client and me as writer for hire/freelance writer.

The first thing to say is that I have existing regular clients who include:

  • an American marketing company;
  • a British marketing company;
  • a ghost writing company;
  • a news website; and
  • a company for whom I write whole websites.

I don’t set the terms or the payment rates for these companies – they do. For ad hoc one-off assignments from new clients coming to me through this website, the usual series of steps is as follows:

  • the client makes contact, either by email or by completing a form like this one (this is a genuine form; if you fill it in right here I’ll receive your message and get back to you)
  • we (the client and I) discuss the nature of the  assignment and whether I am the right person to take it on. This discussion may be by email or by Skype. It is likely that I will be able to quote a price for the job during those conversations
  • I complete a contract in the form I normally use, setting out the price and other costs that may be payable (these will normally be travelling expenses and the like), sign it and send it to the client. (I am VAT registered and VAT at the current UK rate (presently 20%) will be added to invoices for work done for clients within the European Union)
  • the client signs the contract and returns it to me
  • if the assignment is for a piece of work that will take a long time to complete, the contract will include provision for an advance payment. As soon as this has been received, I start work

To start the process right now, please complete and send the following form:

I undertake to carry out the writer for hire assignment in a professional manner and not to divulge to 3rd parties confidential information I may have obtained about the client’s business. The price I quote will include completion by an agreed date of the text and/or articles described in the contract and up to 2 revisions as requested by the client, provided that these are asked for in the timescale set out in the contract. When I have received full and final payment as set out in the contract, copyright of the work I have produced is assigned to the client who can then use it in any way required. Until full and final payment has been received, copyright remains my property. Unless there are very good confidentiality reasons not to do so, the client grants me the right to exhibit on my website and in proposals submitted to 3rd parties part or all of the work I have completed.

A question in most client’s minds from an early stage will be: how much is this going to cost? I can’t be precise on that before I’ve had a good look at the assignment. What I can say is, first, that my rates are based on NUJ (National Union of Journalists) freelance rates and, second, while no one has yet told me I charge too much, I will never be the cheapest. Freelance writing jobs are being taken on now by all kinds of people at all kinds of prices and you get what you pay for. I have a simple mantra:

you can have it good
you can have it cheap
but you can’t have both at the same time

I believe that the samples of my work available on this blog will make it clear that the work I do is of the highest quality.

Download your FREE copy of How to Choose a Freelance Writer now.