Getting Paid as a Smutlancer: Setting Your Rates

Back in episode 37 I said that the topic about getting paid as a smutlancer is a long and complicated one. That episode wasn’t short, and neither is this one. Let’s talk about setting your rates. There’s a lot that goes into it, and a lot to think about. In this episode, I don’t get into every detail, but I have a ton of links below to help you think about what to charge for your work.

In this episode:

  • This week’s episode is sponsored by QuickBooks Self Employed. Make 2019 the year you grow and track your income!
  • Episode 37 is when we talked about how to actually get paid — invoicing, policies, etc. Now let’s talk about how to figure out what to charge.
  • I have written several posts about this including a two part series on calculating your rates.
  • Saw a recent tweet from a newer sex blogger frustrated that experienced bloggers don’t share their rates. That got me thinking about why we don’t. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know my reasons (good or not): afraid I’m undercharging or overcharging and/or afraid brands and companies will use other bloggers rates to lowball me.
  • There is no standard for how much to charge for what you do.
    • How much you want to get paid
    • How much you think the other party will pay you
    • The value you add
    • Experience and skill
  • When I share my rates, they tend to be on a scale because I want the wiggle room to charge what the work is worth, not always a set amount.
  • Not all content is worth the same amount. A blog post that takes no time might not be as expensive as content that will be used to directly sell a product.
  • No company has an unlimited budget. I don’t want a one-off job. I want to be hired over and over again.
  • To help writers figure out your rates, two recommendations (linked in the show notes):
    • Writer’s Market for the current year, by Writer’s Digest
    • Freelancer by Contently has a rates database for publications. This helps you see the range, know who’s paying, and get a feel for what different publications are willing to pay.
  • Rule of thumb, if the person says yes too fast, you may have underpriced yourself. You can fix that on the next job or when you renegotiate your pay later.
  • The price you charge should scare you a little. Not be laughable, but high enough that you wonder if someone would actually pay you for it.
  • If you’re going to ask for astronomical fees, be able to back it up with on point work and massive amounts of service. Someone might pay a high fee once, but they won’t be back if your work can’t justify the cost.

Links from the show:

QuickBooks Self Employed — save 50% off for a year with my affiliate link

How to Calculate Your Rates Part 1 (blog post)

How to Calculate Your Rates Part 2 (blog post)

How Do I Get Paid to Write About Sex? (blog post)

7 Questions to Ask Before You Quote a Price (blog post)

When Can I Charge More Money for My Work? (blog post)

Getting Paid as a Smutlancer (episode 37)

Freelancers’s Database (Contently)

Writer’s Market Book (Writer’s Digest)

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Kayla Lords

I am an erotic author, sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, an opinionated marketer, and a speaker with a focus on BDSM and D/s. Here at The Smutlancer, I help people who want to create content or products about sex get paid to do it. I'm sharing what I've learned as a freelancer and a sex blogger to build a career. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences and helping kinksters have healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for this discussion, Kayla. It’s been really helpful and informative, as I have felt very unsure about what are “reasonable” rates, and this episode has made me feel more confident.

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