The Best Strategies for Pricing a Custom Essay
When you're a freelance professional academic writer, one of your biggest issues is pricing your work. Of course, the task is made much easier when working for other companies, as they tend to set the prices. Having said that, however, even when working for those companies, there is often some leeway in terms of the price you get for your work. Moreover, it's important to know some key strategies to help with this task, just in case you ever strike out on your own.
First you need to know how fast you work, realistically speaking and on average. There are always projects that take you five times as long to complete as you had anticipated, and then there are always projects that go five times faster than you thought they would. Those don't count so much here. What counts is the average number of pages you can write in an hour, including the research time. For most professional academic writers, this number starts at around three and sometimes can go as high as eight or nine.
So, if you work for a company that pays $10 per page, then this means – using the above numbers – that you will get about $30 an hour on average for the slower end, and $80 per hour for the higher end.
These are great numbers, but keep in mind that we aren't talking about the typical eight-hour workday here. Writing full-tilt, for that many hours a day, is extremely difficult. Most writers complete a paragraph, answer an email, write another page, get up and stretch, so on and so forth. Why? Not because we are lazy! Not by a long shot. But because the nature of the work demands some space between chunks of writing, both to allow the brain to process what comes next and also to give the brain some rest so that it can rejuvenate and better understand what it's doing.
So, that means that the average workday is really about five hours in terms of money made. For a writer doing three pages an hour, five hours in a day, for $10 a page that means $150 a day, or $36,000 a year assuming a regular five-day work week. What this tells the writer who works at this pace is that, assuming this annual income works, s/he needs to get at least 15 pages of work per day, or 75 pages of work per week, at $10 per page, or else bump up the per-page rate somehow. Which is which depends in large part upon the writer's professional contacts and general business sense.
And, of course, you have to have the work first to be paid for the work. Meeting that challenge is, in part, another aspect of pricing. This becomes relevant when you work for yourself. When clients want big-ticket projects, you need to know how to pace the pricing so that they are not scared off by a high price. Offer to break the cost into sections, offer a discount if they pay by Western Union (which is good for you because the money is a sure thing and you won't have to pay fees on it), and be willing to address their questions or concerns about the price.
Finally, work on your professional self-esteem! If you're in business for yourself, you also need to be unafraid ask for what you're worth. If a client wants a ten-page paper in 24 hours, ask for a higher per-page rate than you would normally ask, because you will be working harder and faster to complete that project than usual. If you've worked with a particular company for awhile, and feel you are underpaid, let them know! If you're a good and reliable writer, they will usually be happy to bump up the per-page rate of pay. Writing is hard work, good writers are hard to find, and anyone who needs a good writer should be happy to compensate them fairly.