Thank you! It has been more of a process of trial and error than anything. I market myself and my services directly to companies as opposed to through content mills, which made a big initial difference, as I set the pricing, and then the client can say yes or no or negotiate, as opposed to places like Upwork, where the client sets a price and other people apply to it.
I raised my prices over time. For the first-ever blog I wrote for a client, I only charged 5 cents per word, which I quickly realized was too low. So, the next time someone asked, I said 10 cents per word. These days, I don’t do as much individual blogging as I used to, but I charge15 cents per word when I do. Most of the time, a potential client will either say that’s fine (after reading my writing) or they say no. If they say no, I let them know that I appreciate their time but that my only 2 options are either 15 cents per word or a monthly retainer price for a certain number of blogs/hours per month, so then they don’t need to pay per word. I do weekly blogging for retainer clients, including research, writing, editing, photo, and posting (if wanted) starting at $1000/month.
I say no to potential clients regularly. I have to because they don’t want to pay my prices. And I totally understand that, it’s their prerogative. But it’s mine to not work for lower prices. I can spend the time I’d have worked on their stuff looking for other clients.
When it comes to editing, the same thing happened; I started with lower prices and raised them over time, especially as I gained more book editing experience.
I definitely now rely quite a bit on word of mouth and referrals, as those are always the best clients. Remember to ask every single client if they know anyone who needs writing or editing and to please connect you with them. About once every 6 months or so, I go through and individually email old clients and check in to ask if they need anything or know anyone who does.
When looking for new clients on my own, I check job boards like ProBlogger, WritingAxis, Flexjobs, and craigslist — which usually have prices listed — and I look through Instagram. On IG, I like to direct message people and tailor a message to them about how I can help with their blog and why having a regularly-updated blog will be valuable to them.
Hope this helps!