1. How desperate am I for some cash?
2. How much research do I have to do?
3. Is the client coming from an online venue or the real world?
Quite honestly, #1 plays a big factor. If my project board is empty, I may be more than willing to take on your project for the low end of the payscale. Especially if it is a project I can get excited about.
#2 is another biggy for me. If I am clueless about the subject you propose, I am going to charge way more for my research time. I shy away from these though because generally it is just not fun to write about topics that I cannot generate some passion about. In regards to editing, I am going to take into account how familiar I am with the subject. Again, if your project is in an area that I’ve never heard of, I may charge more to edit it….I may not (depends on #1). I have worked on many mss. where I was unfamiliar with the content and had no problems.
#3 is reality check time. Clients from online venues like Elance, Guru, etc. are looking for cheap outsourcing, not writers. Now, I don’t want to tick off my clients at Elance, but surely they will admit that the providers at Elance charge far far less than a real world writer. I get business from the real world, and I charge a much higher rate. And I must be doing okay with that because they keep coming back for more.
All of that said, here is what the Editorial Freelancers Association suggests freelancers charge for their services (as of January 2012):
What services do I offer? Check it out here: www.karenzomedia.com
Still have questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org