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I am Dale King, a specialist dental copywriter. I love to share my knowledge of working within the dental niche with other like-minded individuals. 

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content writer rates turning profit

From Pennies To Profits – How To Increase Your Content Writer Rates And When To Do It

Picture the scenario – You’re in contact with a potential dental client and everything’s going well until they ask the dreaded question:

“So, what are your content writer rates?”

Suddenly, the colour drains from your face, your palms become sweaty and you lose the ability to speak.

I mean, we all like the thought of earning good money from our business, right? Yet according to a global report on the state of freelancing, 48% of those surveyed don’t feel that they receive a fair price for the work they produce.

Why is that?

It turns out our brains are not naturally wired to deal with the concept of money.

The trouble is that as a dental content writer, being shy around money matters can be a disadvantage, particularly when starting out. You may be reluctant to aim high because you don’t want to scare clients off. However, you also deserve to get paid what you’re worth.

If you’re stuck in a rut and want to raise your fees then this post is for you.

I’m going to talk about when and how to raise your content writer rates and when you should do it. So let’s get started…

Six Signs You Need To Raise Your Dental Writing Rates

If you find yourself agreeing with any of the following statements, then it’s time to raise your rates.

#1 You’re charging the same rate to your newest client as your first client

As a new content writer, you’re probably grateful to anyone who will give you work. I know I was.

Except now, it’s six months or a year down the line and you’re still charging the same rate.

But hold on a minute! You’ve gained experience, you’ve certainly gained knowledge and your content has improved ten-fold giving you the ability to take on more complex projects.

So ask yourself this…

If I was in a J-O-B, wouldn’t that be grounds for a pay rise?

Additionally, the economy has changed too. Prices for everything from food and utilities to gas have all skyrocketed and now your euro, dollar or pound doesn’t stretch as far. So, while your freelancing salary stays the same, your purchasing power shrinks.

#2 You charge considerably less than your peers

While sites like Glassdoor make it easy to compare in-house salaries, direct comparisons for freelancers are harder to find.

You can, of course, visit freelancing chat groups or messaging boards and get an idea of the fees being charged but beware:

Many will tell you that they regularly earn $400 – $600 for a blog post. Yet, what they fail to disclose is

  • How long that blog post is
  • The industry they’re writing for
  • How much research has gone into producing that content, and
  • The time spent writing it.

As a result, it may not be an accurate assessment when compared to the type of content you currently write.

So look at other health writers in your field or talk to other dental writers and see what they charge. This way you’ll get a fairer and more accurate reflection.

#3 – You get a ‘yes’ 100% of the time

Getting continual “Yep, that works for us” type comments when you discuss prices isn’t always a good thing. Arguably it’s a sign that you’re charging too little.

Instead what you want is for a couple of leads to say, “That’s too much for my budget” or to even ghost you completely after discussing your content writer rates, as this means that you’re in the ballpark of charging what you believe you’re worth.

You don’t want to go the other way and outprice yourself to just about anyone but if you’re closing somewhere between 50% and 60% of your client leads, that’s a good indicator that your prices are about right.

#4 – You’re at full capacity, all of the time

Here’s the thing… while it’s great to be flat-out busy 100% of the time, it could also be a sign that you’re charging less than other pros in our industry.

Think about it this way, if you have a client needing a ton of regular dental blogs but paying peanuts, they’re going to want to keep hold of you because they’ve struck lucky. They’re getting a ton of content for not a lot of money. And to them, that’s a win/win situation.

For you, however, it’s not so good.

Being so tied up with one or two lower-paying clients means that you aren’t able to take on new clients who are willing to pay higher content writing fees. Moreover, you won’t have time to:

  • Carry out essential marketing
  • Invest in yourself and improve your writing skills and
  • Work on your business.

This happened to me some years back when I agreed on a fee with a client for between 40 and 50 dental blogs a month. At the time I was fairly new to content writing and while I thought all my Christmases had come at once, I soon realised that I had next to no time to reach out to other clients. Even, when they did contact me, I was hard-pushed to fit the work in.

The bottom line is that I ended up working with this particular client for several years and during that time I was unable to grow my business and procure the type of clients I knew I was capable of. So, in hindsight, was it a good decision? Probably not, even though I didn’t know it at the time.

Fast forward five years and now, my client-facing workload is lighter but my fees are higher so I have the time to work on other aspects of my business like teaching others how to start a dental writing business.

If you find yourself in this situation, look to retain several anchor clients – those who give you monthly work for a fair price. Then, if needs be, make extra room by dropping lower-paid projects and scheduling higher-paying projects into those slots.

#5 Your work/life balance is off-kilter

If you find yourself continually having to play catch-up at weekends or you need to clock in more hours to make things work financially, it’s a good sign that you aren’t charging enough.

All that happens then is that you’ll start resenting the work as you slave away at your laptop on a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon when everyone else is out and about – and that’s not good for anyone.

If you can relate to this then it’s time to break the cycle and raise your content writing rates.

#6 You know you should be charging more

Sometimes you just get a gut feeling that you should be charging more, and that’s okay! As a freelancer and master of your own business, you don’t need an excuse to raise your rates. You’re the boss and you call the shots!

The trouble is that we tend to second-guess what a client will accept, rather than going with our gut. As a result, the quote is often lower than what we’d naturally be happy with. Then, when the client accepts, we’re pleased that we ‘got it right’ even when the quote falls short of what we’d like to be charging.

In an ideal world, the content writing rate you charge should leave you feeling slightly uncomfortable. When you have a chargeable figure in mind, add 20% on top. This will likely

#7 You’ve transitioned from a generalist content writer into a more specialised industry

You should also raise your rates if you’ve transitioned from a generalist writer into a more specialised industry. Specialised industries like dentistry, for example, have strict advertising guidelines that must be adhered to. These differ from country to country and require specialist knowledge otherwise practices could be fined.

Also, specialist writers tend to be up to speed with the latest technologies and services in their industry and as such, can write about these new subjects from an angle of authority.

So, while I could write a passable article on the ‘10 best payment apps for your iPhone’ it probably wouldn’t be as good as a content writer who has an in-depth understanding of the subject. As a result, it’s only right that the industry specialist writer gets compensated properly for their insights.

How To Raise Your Rates?

content writer rates - how to raise them

If you can resonate with any of the above examples, you know it’s probably time to raise your content writing rates. The question is…

How do you do this without sabotaging your current business?

#1 Start with any new business leads

This is perhaps the best place to start when you’re considering a fee increase. Because they’re potentially a new client, they won’t be aware that you’re initiating a fee update. Essentially, that’s the quote because that’s what you charge!

Another point to consider is that potential clients are also a good way to gauge whether you’re charging enough. If you aren’t getting any objections to your new rate, you know you still have room for growth.

So how much more should you charge?

Naturally, it depends on your starting point, but on average anywhere between 20% and 50% is reasonable.

By landing higher paid projects you don’t have to worry about an existing client walking away when you hit them with a fee increase. You can delay that news until later when your business can sustain a client loss.

#2 – Restructuring packages for your existing clients

The other way you can raise your content writing rates is to increase them for your current clients. However, it isn’t advisable to simply raise your rates. Instead, try to add value by restructuring existing packages. Here’s an example: Included in the current fee:
      • 1000-word blog post
      • 1 round of revisions
      • Plagiarism check
Included in the updated fee:
    • 1000-word blog post
    • On-site SEO
    • Onsite back-linking
    • Image sourcing
    • Off-site linking to connecting authority content
    • Plagiarism check
    • 2 rounds of revisions

    When you do this, you make it clear to existing clients that along with the price increase you’re adding value. This is important because you’re giving them more bang for their buck which will make it an easier pill to swallow. Naturally, some clients are going to say no. That’s just the way it goes. But even then, you can either keep them at the new cheaper package (their pre-price increase rate) so now you’re doing less work, or they will say thanks but no thanks and you’ll lose them anyway.
    Let’s talk about timing!
    You can’t just hit an existing client with a price increase as this is a surefire way to turn them against you. Instead, it’s always best to give them several months’ notice. Even better, start with the increase on the next available quarterly tax period. This gives them time to accept the changes before they go live. Doing so shows that you respect them and won’t destroy any of the client trust you’ve worked so hard to establish.

#3 Diversify your client pool

Let’s face it, not everyone is going to afford your rates so if you’re looking to increase yours, it’s worth trying to find clients who can. For example, a single dental practice may not be able to afford your new prices but a multi-clinic dental group might. By fishing in different pools, you’ll stand a better chance of securing the fees you need.

Sure, landing a larger company as part of your client base may take more legwork but it’s often worth it in the long run. You’ll have a steady stream of work that you will be better compensated for and as a freelancer, that’s all we can hope for.

How to raise your content writing rates – The bottom line

Increasing your fees isn’t easy, but it’s an essential part of growing your business. You don’t have to uniformly raise your rates for every client. Instead, you can start with new clients and when you’ve raised some extra cash, look to bring everyone else up to the same level.

At the same time focus on improving your client experience, honing your skills, and making yourself indispensable. Do this and you will succeed.

Here’s to your success!

Ps. If you’re yet to start your freelancing career, I can help. Head on over to my site where I have a ton of free information including a downloadable guide to help you launch your business. I’ll see you there.