How to Create a Freelance Writing Quote

The right quote is essential when you’re replying to an inquiry from a potential client. There’s no set formula for creating a quote because each project is different. There are, however, certain elements you can include in your quote to increase its effectiveness.

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to create a professional, effective writing quote.

One, include a header with your company name/logo and information. This is important as it shows you care about the image you present and that you are professional and know what you’re doing.

Two, use sub-headers, such as “Included Services” and “Price & Terms.” They are essential to creating a well-organized quote that is easy to follow and direct.

Three, outline everything you’ll do for your client. For example, if you’re only being hired to write several link pages on a website and you know that, by virtue of being a perfectionist, you’ll end up spending extra time proofreading their homepage, let them know. They’ll feel good knowing this extra service is provided, and you’ll get the proper acknowledgement.

Four, ask the right questions before you send a quote. Call or email the potential client to determine exactly what they want, their preferred time frame, and the scope of the project.

This information allows you to create a clearer, more effective quote by ensuring you know what the client wants. Additionally, it helps you determine what you can accomplish, the deadlines you’ll have to meet, and the amount of work you’ll be doing so you can reasonably price the quote.

Five, be succinct and straightforward. Avoid long paragraphs and overly complicated language. They don’t make you look more professional for these reasons:

  • Your client wants to know how much you’ll charge for your services and which ones you’ll include in your quote-no more and no less;
  • Your clients are busy people, and wasting their time with long-winded letters expounding on everything you’ll do for them isn’t necessary;
  • Bulleted lists are your friends, so make good use of them. Easy to scan and nice to read, they are ideal when preparing quotes.

Six, state your terms and conditions clearly. For example, if you charge half up front and half upon completion of a project, include that information with the price.

Seven, always send a quote, even if you make a verbal agreement. Put everything in writing for purposes of clarity and to avoid any misunderstandings-this ensures you and your client will know EXACTLY what services and terms are included in the quote.

Eight, clarify how many rounds of edits, if any, you’ll provide. This refers to client changes or edits to the work after it’s been completed. This is usually essential as most people will like certain elements and dislike others, so don’t be offended. If you disagree, talk it over with the client and tell them what you think. You can explain why you wrote or edited certain paragraphs the way you did, and many times they’ll understand.

Tip: for maximum effectiveness, make good use of bulleted lists, sub-headers, and a professional logo or header. Here is an example format you might use:

HEADER/LOGO

Introduction

Included Services:

  • Service 1
  • Service 2
  • Service 3

Price & Terms:
Price
Terms

Here are some ideas for elements to include in quotes for specific projects:

Website Content/Copy:

When preparing a writing quote for a website, bulleted lists are essential. In the quote, include a bulleted list of every page you’re going to work on and list the names of the pages (home, about, contact, widget makers, how to make a widget, resources for widgets-you get the idea);

  • The exact number of pages;
  • If you’ll make the content SEO friendly;
  • How many rounds of edits are included;
  • Deadlines;
  • Any other services you’ll provide.

SEO Articles:

In quotes for SEO articles, it’s essential to determine:

  • Approximate word count
  • The number of articles;
  • The keywords they’re using;
  • If you’ll be doing the research;
  • Who’ll provide the topics;
  • What topics the client wants;
  • Whether you relinquish all republishing rights;
  • Deadlines;
  • If you’ll be in charge of the article submissions.

When you’ve determined this information, include it in the quote with all the details. Let your client know if you charge additional fees for article submission and if you have different rates for specific word counts.

Ezine/ Magazine/Website Articles:

These articles, while they include many of the same elements of SEO articles, are longer, more involved, and higher quality than SEO articles. When you’re creating a quote an ezine or website article, determine:

  • Approximate word count;
  • Topic (s);
  • Whether you’ll retain republishing rights;
  • Whether it will be ghostwritten or you’ll be credited;
  • What deadlines you’ll have to meet.

Keep in mind that you’ll rarely be commissioned to write a magazine article unless you’re a known author or an expert in another field. Usually you’ll write a query letter, but that’s a whole other article.

Advertorials:

Advertorials are essentially informative marketing articles about a specific company or product. They require that you really explore a company and understand what exactly they do. Writing a quote for an advertorial involves the same requirements as a regular article (see directly above), but there are some additional elements to determine:

  • Whether you’ll research the company on your own or if the information will be provided for you in the form of PDF’s, Word documents, or any other medium;
  • How the company wants to portray themselves and what angle they’d like you to pursue.

Press Releases:

When providing a quote for a press release, you need to determine:

  • If it will require technical writing;
  • If it will require research or if the materials are provided by the company;
  • If it is a press release from scratch or a rewrite;
  • If the company has particular formatting requirements;
  • Whether it will be released online, in print, or both;
  • If they want you to submit the press release.

A professional writing quote should be clear, concise, and informative. The goal is to tell the client exactly what you’re going to do for them and how you’re going to do it. The more detailed and professional the quote, the better chance you have of nailing the job.

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