Determining rates: local vs. remote

Subject: Determining rates: local vs. remote
From: Dave C <davec2468 -at- aim -dot- com>
To: TechWr-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 17:42:49 -0700

I currently live in SillyCon valley, California where I was working
as a tech writer for many years (but not the immediate past). I'm
moving to a small town in the US midwest where I'll be working with
people (remotely via the 'net) I've networked with -- but have not
yet written for -- in the green power industry (solar, geothermal,

I am not sure how to set my rate. Local (midwest) rates are really
low when writing work can be found.

For remote clients, do I charge my regular (California cost of
living) rate? Or do I take advantage of my low cost of living and
undercut my old California rate?

Some clients will be direct, and others will be sub'd. The sub work
will be the most common (one company likes my combination of hands-on
experience [I've done electrical & electronic installation & repair]
and writing skills).

Regardless your geographic location (and for the multi-talented folks
here, let's limit this to your writing-only skills), if you have
different rates, how do you set your rate for remote clients vs local

Any insight and/or wisdom here would be greatly appreciated.


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