As a freelance writer, I’m always in a position to negotiate my rates. And even though it’s only April, I’ve already negotiated four contracts this year.

I’ll be honest: Negotiating will never be easy. However, by figuring out what works and what doesn’t, I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with the process. Check out the eight rules of negotiation—because when it comes to bargaining, knowledge is definitely power.

  1. The first rule: Don’t lie. The goal is be truthful without giving away too much negotiating power. (Harvard Business Review)

  2. The second rule: Don’t ask for the impossible. In most cases, there’s about $3,000 to $5,000 of “wiggle room.” (Fast Company)

  3. The third rule: Don’t reveal your salary history. While there are exceptions, usually it’s in your best interests to have the employer name a number first. (TheLadders)

  4. The fourth rule: Don’t be rude. Your chances of being successful will go up if you’re gracious and polite. (PayScale)

  5. The fifth rule: Don’t use a “normal” number. Researchers say that, for example, $64,750 is a better ask than $65,000. (The Daily Muse)

  6. The sixth rule: Don’t forget the other benefits. Flex time, an earlier salary review, and upgraded software are all non-salary benefits you can bargain for. (U.S. News)

  7. The seventh rule: Don’t stop negotiating. After some time on the job, you should definitely go to your employer and take another look at your contract. (LearnVest)

  8. The eighth rule: Don’t forget to pick your negotiation time wisely. There are four great times you should negotiate—and three you shouldn’t. (The Daily Muse)


Photo of person giving options courtesy of Shutterstock.