Prices for Technical Writing Services
Some freelance technical writers (and other freelancers) don't publish their prices. There are many different reasons for choosing that approach, and I can see how they make sense from a business-perspective. But it just doesn't sit right with me. I feel that you need some idea of the costs involved.
Here are my current prices for technical writing:
- 100% Remote Work: £300 per day (£37.50 per hour)
- On Site Work: £350 per day (£43.75 per hour)
- Fixed Price: Available, but varies depending on the job (see below).
My prices are around the average price point for experienced freelance technical writers outside of the South East. If you're in London, you can expect to pay a whole lot more - I know technical writers that charge £600+ per day (there's a good reason to consider hiring a remote technical author!).
If you're interested in average freelance/contractor rates, IT Jobs Watch is a good resource.
Fixed Prices for Technical Writing
Like other freelancers, I need to account for an element of risk when quoting a fixed price. I use a buffer of 25% on top of my usual rate, and plan the rate against an average of 4-8 topics per day, depending on complexity. So a fixed rate will usually cost you more, but it does give you a price that you can budget for.
To figure out the price for your project, we'll need to work together and agree an overall plan for the content that needs to be covered. I'll need to ask you about the complexity of certain parts, so that I can estimate how long it will take me to learn about your product or service. We'll also need to discuss the availability of your subject matter experts, as I will need to ask questions. Another important factor is the stability of your product/service - it is close to being a finished and stable version or is it in a state of continual development?
Why don't you get in touch, let me know what you need?
By hiring me directly, you will save money, and you also get added value as there are extra things that I can do for you that often fall outside the role of technical writer (see below).
You Get Much More than Just Technical Writing
Now we've got the prices out of the way, let's look at what you get for your money. You might think it is pretty obvious - you're getting a high quality freelance technical writer to produce your content. That's true, but I also bring additional value that you may not have considered:
- User testing and bug reporting.
I'm going to experience your product and service in a very similar way to your customers. So I'm going to have a different perspective, and as I'm using your product, I may come across things that don't work correctly. So the first added bonus is that you get an element of user testing complete with bug reporting. It's better that I discover any issues before your customers do.
- Suggestions for Improvements.
I've worked in software and hardware development teams and have had contact with lots of different user interfaces designers. This experience can help you, as I am able to suggest improvements to user interfaces and processes, based on my past experience from other companies and industries.
- Training Material.
I don't deliver training, but I can help create training material. I can create impressive slides in Powerpoint and am also trained to use Adobe Captivate, so can create e-learning too.
- Marketing Content.
Over the years, I've worked as a copywriter as well as a technical author. I am a graduate of Heather Martin's Success Works SEO copywriting programme, and have worked on many different web sites, so can help you to deliver benefit-focused content that works well for customers and Google.
Now you know what technical writing costs, and what extra skills I have. Now the ball is in your court - I'd love to hear about your project, so please get in touch and let me know your plans.
Avoid Agency Fees when You Hire Me Directly
The big advantage when you hire a technical writer directly is that you have no agency fees to pay. You hire me directly, and so it is a one-to-one B2B relationship with no middle-man involved. That's not to say I don't work with agencies - I have in the past, and I will again in the future, I expect. But the problem I have with agencies is that it often looks and feels more like employment, and I have to be careful with HMRC and IR35.
Hiring me as a freelance technical writer is also cost-effective when compared to the price of hiring a permanent member of staff. I use my own equipment, have my own software, and have my own insurance, so you avoid all those costs. Plus you don't have to pay for holidays, sickness, pensions, or the many cups of tea I get through!