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"How much will it cost to...."

This is a mini moan. Not a biggie. I’ve had a few potential clients in recent weeks ask me “how much will it cost to proofread” their article / book / blog / training manual, etc.

You might suggest that is a very fair question. After all, buyers need to know how much a service will cost. However, the title of my gig is “I will proofread 1,000 words in British English for $10.”

When I politely message back - for example saying your article has 12,000 words, I will therefore ask $120 - I hear nothing! I’ve had a few of these in recent weeks.

Trust me. I’m not losing any sleep over it, I still have plenty of other orders, but it just mildly irritates me that some people ask such a daft question.

It’s also more than slightly irritating when some people up front ask for a discount because they are putting a lot of work my way. Err, no. No discount. It will take me 12x longer to read 12,000 words than it will 1,000 words. This is my time. Not sweets.

Mini moan concluded.


This drives me nuts. I get, "how much to write content for my website?"

People can send links, but they can’t tell me straight how many pages or what pages they want content for. Trying to squeeze this basic information out of them is impossible. They want me to go to their website, count how many pages they have and give them a quote. However, as soon as I do that, they miraculously re-acquire the ability to count themselves.

Either they don’t need x or x page, or they have tallied up the total word count on their site and figured that in total, they only need 2,000, not 3,000 words. So how much now?

The most infuriating cases are where I finally send a quote and the buyer responds with something like "and this includes the terms and conditions and privacy policy, right?"

Now, I just pass on most messages like this, especially since in every case, buyers expect a discount after they have just had what amounts to a long back and forth consultation.


Same here - probably the same people asking.
It bothers me more when they ask the price for 1000 words when the price is clearly stated at a rate per 1000 words.


It might take 12x the amount of time to check 12,000 words compared to 1,000 words though they probably do expect some discount as you go to higher word counts.

There’s probably some overhead involved in working on multiple orders and multiple documents of 1000 words for different clients on different subjects compared to working on 1 document for 1 client on 1 subject though. I think working on 1 12,000 word document could end up being quicker to do even if it’s not all that much quicker, for those reasons.

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Yeah, it’s definitely better to do X for 1 client than to do X/12 for 12 different clients, in terms of total time spent.

However, doing it for 12 different clients means 12 reviews, 12 possibilities for a tip… It may pay off. It depends.


Maybe they think this is like a market, and this is just your suggestion and open to negotiations.

If I make a couple of circles around your tent maybe I will get 10000 for 10$ and you misspelled your own selling sign??


It really depends on the niche and the service being offered. For Voice Over, I have to agree with @english_voice - 12 times the word count just means 12 times the work, and the only real advantage to getting a 15,000 word project vs a 1,500 word project (for example) is that you’ve got the guarantee of more income.

We usually offer some ‘value-adds’ for big orders like that at no additional cost. Free file separation, maybe a slightly faster turnaround etc. But, each to their own.

We received this gem yesterday;

Them - “Hi”
Us - “Hi, how can we help?”
Them - “Need your services.”
Us - “Great - could you share a bit of information about the project with us? What is it specifically that you need?”
Them - “Voice Over”
Us - “Yes, that’s something we offer. Could you give us a bit of information about the project? We’d need a script, word-count etc. Would be great to understand more about what you’re trying to achieve.”
Them - “We’re making a video.”

At this point, I gave up, and it would appear they did as well, as we’ve received no further messages. My gut has taught me that if a potential customer can’t even realise they need to string together one or two coherent sentences when explaining to us what they need, that they’re probably going to be a nightmare.


It doesn’t, though. 12 different orders means talking to 12 different people, or at the very least downloading and opening 12 different documents, doing 12 separate recordings, uploading 12 different files on 12 different order pages. Some of them will want a different reading style, etc. You can’t just read them all back to back. There’s a possibility of 12 revisions as well for little details, versus a single revision, no matter how big.

There’s always overhead. It always takes longer to do X for 12 different clients than X*12 for a single client.


It doesn’t matter. People try and get me to lower my rate because they don’t need 500-words, they need 300. Or they want a discount because they are ordering in bulk.

In either case, the solution is simple. If you want to pay less, hire another writer.

Unlike the buyer, I have ordered from other writers charging above and below my price point on Fiverr, to checkout my competition. I know, that I offer by far the best quality and value as a result. As a buyer, you are paying for that, not x word count or x amount of time.

Playing price gymnastics with me in my inbox also wastes my time. If my gig says I charge $20 for up to 500-words of content, that is what you should expect me to quote you.


In your opinion, it doesn’t.

In my experience, it’s not as black and white as that.

Like I said in my original post, each to their own.


It’s not a matter of opinion. I explained why it doesn’t - overhead. Even if it’s a one click job, you’ll have to deal with 12 different people, and they all want different things. Just the act of delivering an order takes time. You’ll be doing that 12 times versus 1. Even if the “work” itself takes the same time, 12 orders will take longer to do on that alone. If it takes you 5 minutes to upload an order, that’s an extra hour right there. If any of them ask for revisions, that’s extra time.

You can say the difference is negligible in your opinion, but it is there.

Of course there are also advantages. You can get more reviews, if one of the orders has problems (cancelation, bad review) it won’t impact you as much, etc.

I’m not saying you should be cheaper for larger orders, or even prefer them. What I’m saying is that objectively they’ll take less time all things considered.

I will moan right along with everyone else in this thread, which sounds rather weird. Ha! Sorry.

One of my favorites is, “I need about 1200-1500 words.” Well, which is it? They cost different amounts. I understand saying that the first time around, but some stick to estimations even when I point out that different word counts have different total costs, and I need an exact number to give them a custom offer.


This is how my average inbox discussion usually goes. It always troubles me how there are people like this out there in the world. How do they get by? You can sense that there is something missing where most of their brain should be. Yet somehow, they manage to get this far.


“I need video, can you help”?



@visualstudios I need video of me eating a lobster, can you help?


Sure! Send me the video of you eating a lobster, I’ll edit the crap out of it!

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@visualstudios No I was thinking more in the line you provide me with lobster… Never mind. I will look for another seller.


Thank you for your interest, best of luck!


My best one of these went something along the lines of:

We need copywriting
It’s for a fashion website.
We just need 2 words.
How much will this cost?

(All this was given after several back and forth messages.)

Stumped, I asked if they meant 200-words. They said no, as they already had most of the content they need.

After a lot of more going back and forth, they then revealed that they wanted me to Copyright the words ‘casual trousers.’ - So that no one else can ever use this phrase, just them.

Their budget was $5


You could have re-asked about the script and word count. That might have increased the chance of them replying further/creating one. It’s still possible they might not have been the best buyer after that though.

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