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

Kayla Lords is a freelance sex writer, podcaster, blogger, all-around sex content creating human, and she really likes creating content. As a writer, she focuses on sex and kink primarily on BDSM and power exchange. She works with private clients to write their content and manage their social media, while also co-hosting two podcasts, running a YouTube channel, and managing multiple blogs. Let's just say, she stays busy and wants to keep it that way. Kayla is an international speaker and an award-winning sex blogger. She believes we are stronger together as a community than we are isolated and apart. We all deserve to get paid for the work we do, but until we understand our cumulative power, we'll all wonder if we're "the only one" doing this smutlancing thing.

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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