Six ways to get people to pay for your content
People are willing to pay for content, says Henry Rimmer, you just have to encourage them to reach for their wallets
This article first appeared in issue 230 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.
The ‘content should be free’ mantra has represented a major barrier to the digital content industry. However, with ubiquitous connectivity fast approaching, the range of enabled devices proliferating and mainstream consumers now accustomed to sourcing entertainment via the web, we believe the market is on the brink of major change. As runaway success stories such as iTunes and Netflix demonstrate, consumers of all ages are ready, willing and already buying digital content in large numbers. The key difference that makes people happy to pay for content at these standout sites is that they understand how to encourage people to reach for their wallets.
Put simply, they provide a blend of relevancy, convenience and cost-effectiveness that dovetails with the way people live today, and for most that combination outweighs the uncertainty of pirate sites and free sharing networks. It’s that easy. To enable themselves to charge for content, all anyone has to do is meet the six key criteria that services such as iTunes have adopted to embrace 21st Century consumers.
1. Make content easy to find
Internet consumers have too much choice, and finding the videos, blogs and stories that centre on the subjects they’re interested in is becoming tougher amid a welter of white noise. In order to counteract this issue, producers must make their content as discoverable as possible, ensuring that every item is properly labelled with the right, SEO savvy, tags and descriptions.
2. Set the right price point
According to Jakob Nielsen, 15 per cent of web users have already paid for music or game content online and more than 50 per cent say they would certainly consider doing so. With analysts predicting that iTunes sales could reach $13billion in the next year, the debate about whether people will pay for online content is over. They will if the price is right.
3. Make it easy to purchase and consume
There are plenty of opportunities for web users to download music from file sharing sites for free, yet the iTunes store’s takings continue to increase exponentially. Why? Because it’s reliable, convenient and reasonably priced. On that basis, consumers will choose ease over cost nearly every time.
4. Keep it safe
There is no panacea to solve the solution of copyright theft, but to protect themselves content creators must assert their legal rights and ownership, while clearly presenting anyone viewing the content with the details of such. Additionally, they need to put in place a technical system that ensures only those with permission can consume the materials made available online.
5. Make it social
Hopes of users being introduced to a wider range of materials through networks such as Twitter are thus far proving largely unfounded. However, with users of social networking services responsible for creating 550million ‘Likes’ and Tweets every day, every content service must have the capability to plug into these growing networks.
6. Keep the quality high
People read, watch and listen to content that they regard as informative or entertaining, and as shown by iTunes, are prepared to pay for anything they deem to be of appropriate quality.
The iTunes system already works well for the top one per cent of the content market. All the sector needs now is to establish an appropriate platform for consumers to browse and purchase the other 99 per cent and we’re done. That may sound like a daunting task, but experience shows us that if you get the ingredients right, today’s web users are ready and willing to pay for the content they want.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get Weekly Tips and Inspiration
Sign up below to get the latest from Creative Bloq, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox!
The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes , Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder , Deals Editor Beren Neale , Senior News Editor Daniel Piper , Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean , and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey , as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.
Freelance Content Writer Salary
How much does a Freelance Content Writer make? The average Freelance Content Writer salary is $55,907 as of February 27, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $46,252 and $64,215 . Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education , certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
Recently searched related titles: Home Nurse
Jobs with a similar salary range to Freelance Content Writer : Chief Of Exhibitions , Toolmaker , Biomanufacturing Associate
- Adjust Freelance Content Writer Salary:
Analyze the market and your qualifications to negotiate your salary with confidence.
Search thousands of open positions to find your next opportunity.
Individualize employee pay based on unique job requirements and personal qualifications.
Get the latest market price for benchmark jobs and jobs in your industry.
Search Freelance Content Writer Job Openings
What does a freelance content writer do, freelance content writer salary in major cities, freelance content writer salary by state.
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Freelance Content Writer Salary by City
Average salary range for freelance content writer, average base salary.
Average Total Cash Compensation
Includes base and annual incentives
View Average Salary for Freelance Content Writer as table
Estimate salary for freelance content writer online for free.
- Select Relevant job experience
- Select person you report to
- Senior Management
- CEO / Board of Directors
- Select Level of education
- I have not earned a degree
- High School Diploma or Tech Certificate
- Associate's Degree
- Bachelor's Degree
- Master's Degree or MBA
- JD, MD, PhD or Equivalent
- Select number of people you manager
Similar Jobs to Freelance Content Writer
Comments about freelance content writer, freelance content writer frequently asked questions.
Learn more about: Compensation Packages , Employee Flight Risk , Gender Pay Gap , Job Openings for This Role
Last Update: February 27, 2023
Hello, what would you like to explore today?
Freelance content writer salaries.
- Unlock Employer Account
- Sign In to Employer Center
- Employer Branding
- Employer Blog
- Talk to Sales
How much does a Freelance Content Writer make?
- All years of Experience
- 10-14 Years
- All industries
- Aerospace & Defense
- Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
- Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology
- Management & Consulting
- Construction, Repair & Maintenance Services
- Personal Consumer Services
- Financial Services
- Government & Public Administration
- Information Technology
- Media & Communication
- Nonprofit & NGO
- Energy, Mining & Utilities
- Real Estate
- Restaurants & Food Service
- Retail & Wholesale
- Transportation & Logistics
- Hotels & Travel Accommodation
- Human Resources & Staffing
The estimated total pay for a Freelance Content Writer is $49,910 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $46,978 per year. These numbers represent the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated additional pay is $2,932 per year. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing. The "Most Likely Range" represents values that exist within the 25th and 75th percentile of all pay data available for this role.
How accurate does $49,910 look to you?
Your input helps Glassdoor refine our pay estimates over time.
For Freelance Content Writer
Download as data table
What is the total pay trajectory for Freelance Content Writer?
What are total pay estimates for a freelance content writer at different companies.
- Most Reports
- Salary: high to low
- Salary: low to high
Is this salary info helpful?
Let’s pay it forward! The Glassdoor community relies on people like you to share accurate salary info to promote fair compensation everywhere
Freelance Content Writer Salaries
Glassdoor economist pay overview.
Jobs in arts & design are growing due to increased access to remote work. These jobs often require a bachelor’s degree and technical skills such as graphic design software, web-development and research. Salaries vary, as jobs tend to be short-term and contractual, offering workers flexible schedules and the opportunity to manage multiple projects at once.
Recent Salaries Shared
For freelance content writer
Base Pay | Additional Pay
Total Years of Experience
Years at Recent Employer
Date or Time
United States of America
| 1-3 years
Submitted 3 days ago
| 7-9 years
Submitted 5 days ago
Freelance Content Writer pay FAQ
The national average salary for a Freelance Content Writer is $46,978 per year in United States. Filter by location to see a Freelance Content Writer salaries in your area. Salaries estimates are based on 74 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by a Freelance Content Writer employees.
The highest salary for a Freelance Content Writer in United States is $70,222 per year.
The lowest salary for a Freelance Content Writer in United States is $31,428 per year.
If you are thinking of becoming a Freelance Content Writer or planning the next step in your career, find details about the role, the career path and salary trajectory of a Freelance Content Writer .
freelance content writer
Average Freelance Writer Hourly Pay
The average hourly pay for a Freelance Writer is $24.79
What is the pay by experience level for freelance writers .
An entry-level Freelance Writer with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $18.68 based on 19 salaries. An early career Freelance Writer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $22.56 based on 167 salaries. A …Read more
What Do Freelance Writers Do?
Freelance writers work for a variety of clients to produce editorial, advertising, marketing, and other written materials. As independent contractors, freelancers typically work from a home office, but they may also work from libraries, coffee shops, or other spaces. Because their clients vary, freelance writers work for a variety of supervisors, most often for editors. They typically work alone, but may occasionally coordinate with photographers, art or graphic designers, and fellow writers, …Read more
How do Freelance Writers Rate Their Jobs?
Common health benefits for a freelance writer, gender breakdown for freelance writers.
FAQs About Freelance Writers
What is the highest pay for freelance writers.
Our data indicates that the highest pay for a Freelance Writer is $51.56 / hour
What is the lowest pay for Freelance Writers?
Our data indicates that the lowest pay for a Freelance Writer is $14.34 / hour
How can Freelance Writers increase their salary?
Increasing your pay as a Freelance Writer is possible in different ways. Change of employer: Consider a career move to a new employer that is willing to pay higher for your skills. Level of Education: Gaining advanced degrees may allow this role to increase their income potential and qualify for promotions. Managing Experience: If you are a Freelance Writer that oversees more junior Freelance Writers, this experience can increase the likelihood to earn more.
Freelance Writing Rates: Know Your Worth in 2023
by Jesse MacLeod
on Feb 27, 2023
Negotiating freelance writing rates is overwhelming.
You love writing but don’t want to be taken advantage of. You need to make a living, but you’re afraid to “rock the boat” when negotiating your pay rate.
When you ask writers the age-old question… “how much money can I make freelancing?” You end up being more confused than you were before.
Everybody has different answers, experiences, and feelings on the subject.
(Spoiler alert, that’s because there isn’t a straightforward answer.)
But maybe you’ve been asking the wrong question. Instead, ask yourself, “How much money am I worth?”
In this post, you’ll find out.
Furthermore, you’ll learn the different ways of being a freelance writer, how much money you can expect to earn, and how your previous experience fits into that equation.
You’ll have confidence in your worth.
Show Me The Money
Let’s jump right in and check how much you can make as a freelance writer :
- On average, freelance writers earn $24.22/hour.
- At a regular full-time job (40hrs/week), that would earn you close to $50k per year.
Not bad, right?
Let’s break it down and look at a study done by Peak Freelance :
- 91% of writers in their first year make less than $30k.
- 50% of writers have worked 6-10 years to get into the $100k club.
When we look even closer, they found:
- 50% (or more) of freelance writers earn less than $30k per year.
- 18% of freelance writers reported income levels of $31k – $50k.
- 5% reported making between $100k – $125k.
- 4% earned over $125k.
It tells you at least 70% of freelance writers make less than $50k per year, and less than 10% make over $100k.
(To put that into perspective, 50% of freelance writers only work 10hrs/per week.)
That means 20% of writers are making $50k-$100k per year — the sweet spot.
Writers in this income range have figured out a few important things to get them there.
They’ve learned their worth.
How To Set Your Rates For Freelance Writing
So, let’s get to the bottom of this. We’ll look at some rates to help you decide how best to charge clients and help you find that income sweet spot that works for you.
Generally, a freelancer starting out will charge a per-word rate. It’s a wise choice, as it helps you and the client be on the same page.
Let’s say this client is on top of their game and has outlined their desired word count with a reasonable deadline.
There should be no question about how much you’re getting paid and how long it will take.
So, let’s make sure that you’re aware of what the going per-word rate is.
How Much Can You Charge?
These rates are flexible. There are many factors you will want to take into consideration when setting your rates (more on that later).
Here we have a basic breakdown from We Are Indy :
- Entry Level — $.03 to $.06 per word
- Intermediate — $.07 to $.12 per word
- Experienced — $.13 to $.20 per word
- Expert Level — $.21 to $.30 per word
💡 Fun facts about per-word rates 💡
- $250 – $399 is the most popular rate for a 1500-word blog post.
- 21% of freelancers charge per word.
- 34% of freelancers charge less than $.20 per word.
- 85% of freelancers charge less than $.30 per word.
- 97% of writers that charge per word write blog posts, but not exclusively.
Pricing an hourly rate can be tricky for a writer.
Let’s say you’re freelance rates are $20 per hour. That sounds reasonable, but you might not find it sustainable.
As your skills sharpen and your speed increases, you will want to raise your rates.
Yet, it’s hard to justify jumping from $20 per hour to $75 per hour if you’re used to working with a regular client who might not be inclined to pay more.
Many experienced freelancers have learned this lesson the hard way. But luckily, you can learn from their mistakes.
Here’s a breakdown to help you gauge your per-hour rate based on your experience level:
- Entry Level — $15 to $30 per hour
- Intermediate — $35 to $60 per hour
- Experienced — $65 to $100 per hour
- Expert Level — $105 to $150 per hour
💡 Fun facts about hourly rates 💡
- 53% of freelancers with a bachelor’s degree charge $50 – $100+ per hour.
- 3% of freelancers with only a high school diploma charge by the hour.
The data suggests that a writer who specializes in a specific area or has a lot of experience feels more comfortable setting an hourly rate for their skills.
(Check out this handy calculator that converts a yearly salary to an hourly rate.)
Per Project Rates (Flat rate)
Charging a flat rate per project is most popular for writers . It does help if you already have some experience, though, because there are a few things to consider. For example:
- How many hours will it take to complete the project?
- What is the total word count?
- How much research is required?
- What is the scope of the project?
- How complicated is the project?
So, if the majority of writers (97%) content writing for blogs charge per word, you might be wondering:
“What are freelancers writing that isn’t blog content?”
There are many other ways to make money freelancing. Here are a few of the more popular methods.
This study from Ashley Cummings provides some great insights into the average costs per project:
- Guides and ebooks — $5500
- Website copy — $3200
- Landing pages — $2175
- Sales letters — $1750
- Ads — $1050
- Case studies — $870
- Blog posts — $550
💡 Fun facts about per-project rates 💡
- 65% of freelancers choose to charge per project.
- 27% of writers charge between $250-$400 per 1500 word post, and also that:
- Most writers who earn more than $100k per year charge a min. of $1000 per post.
Most freelancers oscillate between writing different types of content using a variety of writing rates specific to each one.
Let’s look closely at some of the more popular niches for which freelancers create content.
Identify Your Niche and Go For It
There’s a ton of work for freelance writers. Most writers start out blogging, but the opportunities are endless.
There’s a niche for every writer. Check out a few popular ones here, and see if any get you excited!
Content Marketing & SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Writing
Content marketing is the planning, creating, and sharing of valuable content. The goal is to attract and convert readers into customers and customers into repeat buyers.
In a nutshell, a content marketer educates the reader and builds trust with them so they will purchase products and services from the business.
Content marketing reaches far into many areas of content creation for freelancers, including:
- Case studies
- Social media
- And so much more.
SEO benefits online searchers using relevant terms or phrases to help them find products, services, information, or a business. These benefits help drive sales, increase traffic, and improve brand awareness.
You can charge:
- $.07 – $.12 per to start with at an intermediate level and then notch your rates up to $.20 — $.30 per word as you sharpen your skills.
- A fair rate for writing a 1500-word blog post is $250 – £399 .
These are primarily short pieces of content you write to help with strategic marketing for online businesses.
Freelance writing capitalizes on assisting online businesses by writing email content for promotions, announcements, onboarding, newsletters, and more.
- $100+ per email.
- $200 – $300 for 4-5 day email sequences.
Businesses that pay big bucks for email marketing are:
- Ecommerce businesses
- Luxury brands
- Wedding Industry
A landing page is a specific single page that a person will click through via email, advertisement, digital service, etc.
The primary purpose of creating a landing page is to promote marketing and advertising that will attract customers to the next step toward making a purchase.
- $300 — $800 per page, depending on your experience level and the clients budget.
- $5,000 for experienced freelance writers working for a larger business.
Simply put, white papers are informational documents .
(Like this one below ⬇️)
The main types of white papers are:
- Backgrounders (An official briefing or handout giving background information.)
- Numbered lists
- Problem/Solution document
White papers are highly sought after by startup companies, large corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
They are usually approximately 2,500 words long and have a straightforward yet compelling narrative.
You can charge:
- $500 — $1000 for a single white paper.
- $5,000 for larger ones that require more research or interviews.
White papers are very lucrative; some people make over $250k yearly .
Sometimes confused with content marketing, website copywriting is for websites to showcase their branding and turn browsers into customers.
Website copywriting includes:
- Home pages
- Services pages
- Contact pages
- About pages
- $1 — $3 per word.
- $60 — $100 per hour.
- $400+ per page at a flat rate.
That was just a snapshot. There are plenty of popular areas in which freelance writers can thrive.
This simple chart from Elna Cain will give you some insight into how to progress your career ⬇️:
Here are some other areas that you can also pursue :
- Press releases.
- Technical writing.
- Sales letters.
The list goes on.
But this is an excellent start to help you understand all the opportunities and their freelance writing rate.
You just need to dive in and build up your experience level one step at a time.
Why Your Experience Is An Asset
It helps you build trust with prospective clients and gives you confidence in your skills to understand their goals, deadlines, and budget.
The more experience you have freelancing, the better you become at producing quality content.
That means less work on the backend for your client spent editing and formatting your work.
It helps to justify your freelance writing rates.
Assess Your Experience Level:
If you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, here are a few questions to consider when setting your rates…
Do You Have Experience in a Particular Niche?
Expertise in a specific niche isn’t necessary for being a content writer but can be helpful when approaching a potential client. As your experience grows, so will your writing skills and the diversity of your niches.
If you’re new and need to find your niche, consider what you’re interested in thinking, writing, talking about, and learning. Or pull from your work experience and current interests.
Here are a few examples:
- If you’ve worked as a baker at a local bakery, you’ll have valuable knowledge applicable to content writing for a food blog.
- Let’s say you love being up to date on what the best headphones are and why. You’ll probably have luck writing an electronics blog post.
Explore two or three niches as your content type, and start writing.
How Many Years Have You Been Writing?
Every writer has their own unique life experiences and natural aptitudes. If you’ve been writing professionally for 6+ years, you’ll have gained a stronger relationship with your writing, and charging higher rates will be acceptable to clients.
If you’re a newbie writer, you might be overwhelmed just trying to figure out how to find a prospective client.
Yet, if you’re insecure about your level of writing experience, it might interest you to know how your previous education is an asset.
What Is Your Highest Level of Education?
Education can make a difference in your rates as a writer for a few reasons:
If you have a degree in, let’s say, business and you’re interested in freelance writing for financial blogs, your education will come in handy.
People with a post-secondary degree generally have a higher aptitude for research, writing papers, and meeting deadlines.
Moreover, a whopping majority of freelance writers (76%) have a bachelor’s degree or higher . People with only a high school education are less likely to pursue a freelancing career.
But don’t let these stats dissuade you.
A client wants to work with curious people who continue learning, are great to work with, and deliver quality content.
Plan Today, Thrive Tomorrow
I’m sure you’re worth a million bucks, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.
In the beginning, freelance writing can be a grind. It’s a balancing act between finding work, making a great income, and trying not to burn out while doing it.
You don’t want to make the mistake of undercharging and overworking yourself.
Remember, you’re running a freelance writing business.
Here’s a freelancer checklist of things you can circle back to as you move forward and plan your future freelance writer rates.
What Are Your Overhead Costs?
What Are Your Income Goals?
- Plan your income goals
- Preferred Pricing Model
- Unique skills you offer a client
- Speed to quality content ratio
- Project scope you’re comfortable with
How Can You Level Up Your Freelance Writing Rates?
- Expand your content writing experience .
- Clients’ testimonials help take beginner writers to expert writers.
- Write for respected companies.
- Showcase your portfolio on your website.
- Incorporate higher-paying clients.
- Set profit goals
- Step away from beginner gigs and into projects that will level up your income .
- Avoid burnout .
Make Friends With Your Freelance Writing Rates
You and your freelance writing rates are becoming fast friends already. You’ve learned to apply them to profitable niches and incorporate them into your business plan.
Everybody’s path is different, and it sure helps to know where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how to get there.
You’re well on your way.
Negotiating a higher rate with a client is liberating. If your reasoning is sound, you’re not taking advantage of them, and they’re not taking advantage of you.
When you know your worth, everybody wins!
GET PAID TO WRITE
Make 2-5k per month, even if you're a beginner . we're seeking writers of any skill level ..
Written by Jesse MacLeod
Leave a comment cancel reply, latest from the blog.
Landing Page: A Rookies Guide to Amplifying Your Leads in 2023
A Beginner’s Guide to CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) in 2023
ClickBank: The Brutally Honest, Must-Read Guide for 2023
With over 300k subscribers and 4 million readers, Smart Blogger is one of the world's largest websites dedicated to writing and blogging.
Best of the Blog
© 2012-2023 Smart Blogger — Boost Blog Traffic, Inc.
How Much Do Freelance Writers Make Per Article?
Talking about money, especially how much a person gets paid, has long been a cultural taboo. In the employment world and freelance world alike, this has led to chronic underpayment because, at one point, so many people don't realize they're undercharging. Freelance writers are no exception, but it turns out that being hush-hush on how much writers make ends up hurting the industry and those who benefit from it. Let's put an end to that today by digging into freelance rates for writing work and how much writers should charge per article.
First things first: Charge per project, not per hour
Before we dig into some numbers, let's talk about how freelance writers should charge for their work. The biggest question freelance writers have when coming into the business is whether they should be paid per word, per project, or per hour. With few exceptions, always charge clients based on per-project or per-word rates, not per hour. Use this as a general guideline for your freelance writing business:
- Let's say a client asks you to do two articles, and you provide an hourly rate for the task. Let's say your hourly rate is $25, and each article is about 750 words. Your pay will be $25. Now, let's say you charge per word for this writing task. If your rate is $0.05 per word, you can earn $75 for the two articles.
- Proofreading is a time-consuming task, and we recommend charging clients per page or per hour for these types of projects. Per page rates work well for business writing like white papers and proofreading academic work, while per hour rates work well for magazine articles and blog posts. The average hourly wage for these services will depend on your experience and how much a client is willing to pay, and can range from $10 per hour all the way up to $100 per hour.
- Writing an 'easy' article, on the other hand, can take as little as two hours if you jump right into it, or a few days, depending on the job. If you spend more than half of that time doing research, a client may feel like you're trying to cheat him/her on a job and payment terms may break down. Charging per word in these instances works best for everyone.
Charging per word benefits both you and the client. For one, clients care about their completed project, not how long it takes you to do research and write an article. Sometimes, it's difficult to tell how many hours it will take to write an article. Charging per project makes it easier for them to know what they'll get and for what price from day one, and there won't be any surprises when an invoice for hourly rates comes in.
Per-project rates benefit writers too. As freelance writers gain writing experience, most writers learn how to complete projects faster. Your writing work shouldn't cost less as you learn to do it more efficiently.
How much should freelance writers charge per article?
So, the nitty-gritty: how much should you earn for your work? First of all, don't compare freelance income to an employed writer's salary. Freelancers aren't just writing, we're running a freelance writing business, so it makes sense to value that added responsibility.
Remember that freelance writers also have more expenses, including paying about twice as much in taxes. All this means a freelance writer's income should be significantly higher than a writer with traditional employment, although it can take time to build up to it.
The fact is that there's a massive range of prices freelance writers charge. You'll regularly see freelance writing rates ranging anywhere from $.05 to $1 per word or more. A good rule of thumb for a new writer is to start around that lower end, perhaps $.06-$.08 per word, and gradually move up from there as you improve your freelance writing skills.
Keep in mind that some writers translate their per-word rate into a per-article rate. For instance, you might want to make $.10 per word, so you price a 1000-word article at $100, even if the exact word count ends up anywhere between 950 to 1050 words. (Always try to stay within the agreed word count for each article. Some clients may not be willing to pay extra if you write more words) Regardless of how you price projects, always be clear about the per-project rate and payment terms from day one. Life is easier for freelancers and clients alike when everyone's on the same page rather than waiting and bickering about prices when the invoice arrives.
Factors That Affect Your Freelance Writing Rates
Within that huge range of prices above, how do you know where you should land? Take these many factors into account when setting your freelance writing rates :
Type of Work
Most types of freelancing allow writers to set or negotiate their rates, but not all do. There are also content mills: businesses that hire freelancers to write high volumes of content. Usually, it's a white label situation: the company has many clients, and they farm out the content creation to freelance writers. These are almost always ghostwriting jobs, and most times, there's no room for writers to grow.
Content mills and other high-volume arrangements often have set prices they'll pay. Usually, content mills pay freelancers less, and the rates tend to be low: as low as $.02-$.03 per word. Writing for content mills means you have no control over how much you get paid per article, and the amount of words you write per day determines your pay.
Many writers advise against working for content mills altogether, but truth be told, there are pros and cons. Sure, they're not high-paying clients, but when you're working for that low pay, you train yourself to work quickly so the pay isn't so low for your time. These gigs also offer steady work and can help you kick off your freelance writing business. All told, I wouldn't keep them around long-term, but they can help while starting your career .
Indy Invoices makes it easier than ever to send invoices that look great and help you get paid fast. Accept major payment methods like PayPal and Stripe.
Send better invoices with Indy
Clients expect to get what they pay for, so more experienced writers can charge more per project because they generally produce higher-quality work. For this reason, most freelance writers start at the low end of the pricing spectrum, and as their years of experience increase, they raise their prices.
This isn't a factor for ghostwriting, but for freelance writing jobs that have your name attached, sometimes that name carries clout. If you were running a site, would you prefer an article from someone without name recognition or someone with an established brand that readers will seek out, recognize, and respect? For work with a byline, raise your price per article as your personal brand grows.
Pay rates vary by industry and niche because some niches require more specialized background knowledge. You'll find higher-paying clients when writing for tech , healthcare, and the financial sector. These clients are paying more because they aren't just hiring any writer; they're hiring a freelance writer who can speak knowledgeably about the topic. Marketing-related content, such as copywriting, press releases, pay-per-click ads, and email writing generally pays more than SEO articles and blog writing.
Type of content
This blog is focused mostly on articles or blog posts, but most writers offer many types of content. Your prices should change based on that content. For instance, blog posts and articles come together quickly, so those per-word rates I mentioned above are appropriate. Social media captions, though, require fewer words but are more carefully worded, so the per-word rate should be higher. Anything technical should pay more because you'll have to do more research.
Research and other work needed
Writing work doesn't just involve writing. Most articles require some amount of research, while some also require meetings, collaborations with other freelancers, and more. You deserve to be paid for all that time. Consider all the time and work involved along with the word count while pricing a project.
With freelancing, steady work is like gold. Spending time finding new clients costs you time and money. That's why some writers offer packages that include savings for larger volumes of work–for example, batch rates, which mean less per word, but a steady paying job.
In doing this, though, be careful not to short-change yourself. Having consistent work is great for a writer, but not if you've offered such a discount that the time you're investing in a project isn't worth it. You are running a freelance business, not a charity.
How to increase earnings as a freelance writer
- Raise your rates- You are in charge of how much your clients pay you. Raising your writing rates is the most obvious way to get more money when freelance writing, but there is a right and a wrong way to go about seeking higher pay. The worst thing you can do as a writer is suddenly demand more money from your clients. It will come off as distasteful, and some clients might stop working with you altogether. Instead, give your client enough notice and raise your per article or hourly rate by a percentage. If you're charging $50 for a 1000-word article, don't expect to get $150 on your first release. Instead, raise your rates in 10%-20% intervals. If you do great work, it should be no big deal for your clients to pay you more.
- Think bigger- Thanks to the internet, a freelance writer can be based on one side of the world and write for a company in a country he/she has never been to. Your writing business is not limited based on geography, and you can find an online writing job fairly easily. This can mean higher pay and ongoing work without ever having to set foot in a client's office.
- Learn a new skill- The more value writers can add to a client's business, the more writers make. Learn in-demand skills like SEO Optimization, social media marketing, WordPress optimization, topic pitching, etc., that pay bank! This way, you'll be a one-stop-shop, and a client can hire you for ongoing work outside of content writing.
- Market yourself- Spend time marketing yourself to clients and big publications that may need a freelance writer to pick up some of the slack. Send pitches to new companies and start-ups that will need a writer to handle everything from press releases to web content writing.
- Use freelancer platforms- A great way to find a constant stream of freelance writing work is to join popular freelancing platforms like Upwork, Indeed, Guru, Who Pays Writers, etc. Here you can sift through different online writing gigs and find paid writing jobs to help grow your business.
- Push for credited work- Most freelance writers work on ghostwriting projects, meaning they never get credit. The problem with this is that your name doesn't get out there, and you don't get a chance to build a brand as a credible freelance writer. Where possible, ask your client for a chance to be credited on the blog. The next time you apply for a writing job, you'll have a better chance of landing it because of this. You can also negotiate more pay.
- Start your own blog- If your client won't give you credit, write your own blog outside of work hours. Choose an in-demand niche, or something you are knowledgeable about, and just start writing. Send the latest posts from your personal blog to your clients to show how well you write, and your ability to optimize your content on whichever hosting platform you use.
Choosing your freelance earnings
Choosing our own income is both the best and worst part of freelancing. It offers great freedom and income potential, but most of us don't start out knowing the going rate clients pay freelance writers. Ultimately, it's a matter of reading up on the variables and price ranges, and above all, knowing your worth. And if those clients aren't paying, we have advice on how to handle that too. Now make that money!
COACHING + PUBLISHING
FORMATTING + DESIGN
- The Truth About How Much Freelance Writers Make
Resources on how much freelance writers make
1. how bad do you want this, 2. what is your earning goal, previous post, related posts, a brand new opportunity for writers has finally arrived, best accounting software for freelancers: freshbooks vs quickbooks vs wave (& more), wordgigs review — is it worth it (2023).
Data on how much freelance writers make can be tough to pin down. But it’s something every writer wants to know. I tackled this topic three years ago when I published this post. And it’s a topic that never gets old. Check out the updated resources. And be sure to ask yourself the two questions at the end to determine your earning potential. -Carol
It’s one of the most-asked questions I get: “Can you tell me how much freelance writers make?”
Let’s face it — we’ve all got mouths to feed, and writing for money is critical to putting food on the table. So it’s important to get a sense of whether freelance writing can yield you a real, bill-paying level of income. It’s a good question to ask.
There are two steps to figuring out the answer to this question.
The first is to find survey data on what freelancers make. That gives you a sense of what’s possible, and what’s typical.
The second step is a bit harder, so let’s start with data.
There isn’t a ton of information out there on what freelance writers earn, but there is some.
New and updated resources
- The State of Freelancing in 2015 , compiled from survey data Contently collected from 643 freelancers (82 percent were freelance writers). The report shows income data and trends for freelancers (24 percent earn $50K or more annually). But even more interesting, the report also shows the connection to income and marketing efforts. That’s right. How much freelance writers make has a lot to do with consistent marketing.
- Pay Rates for Freelance Writers is another recent trend report on freelance writing income published by ClearVoice. To find out how much freelance writers make, they checked in with both freelance writers and companies that hire freelancers. Spoiler alert: You just might wallow in missed income opportunities after reading this, then raise your rates.
- The Writer’s Market surveys writers and publishes a What to Charge guide in the front of each annual edition of their voluminous guide to writing markets. They offer rates for a wide variety of writing assignments.
- Freelance Writing Rates: 5 Resources for Figuring Out How Much to Charge . No survey data here, but The Write Life guest post by Heather van der Hoop serves up a couple more smart strategies to find out how much freelance writers make. And how much you should be charging.
- Ed Gandia’s 2012 Freelance Industry Report (no, this report hasn’t been updated since 2012) covers more types of freelancing than just writing, but about 40 percent of responders were writers and editors. Three-quarters of respondents have been freelancing more than three years. The results will be eye-opening for many writers. To call out just one stat: About one-third of respondents reported they earned $70 an hour or more, and another 23 percent earned $50-$70 an hour. (NOTE: Ed has since removed this resource, but he did allow us to keep available to members of the Freelance Writers Den , my online community for freelancers.)
- It doesn’t have statistics, but a good book for helping you think about how to price your writing services is What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants , by Laurie Lewis. Great info, even though it was last published in 2011.
I recommend writers give those a browse and get a sense of market rates and of good strategies for pricing (hint: by the project, not by the hour).
Now, back to our question — how much can you earn?
You now have a sense of what writers typically earn, and what top earners bring in. But like the car companies say about gas consumption, your mileage may vary.
Where you will fall on that freelance earning scale is going to depend a lot on you. Here are a couple of important questions to ask yourself:
Many writers dream about having the freedom to be their own boss, set their own schedule, and make a living doing what they love.
But when it comes to getting off their cans and marketing the heck out of their services to find clients…many can’t seem to bring themselves to do it.
If it requires learning new skills — like, say, how to use WordPress — they balk.
When an editor tells them they need to improve their article, they’re resentful.
That’s when it begins to dawn: Freelance writing is a hard life.
You need tremendous self-discipline. And you have to hustle for gigs all the time, deal with rejection, and rewrite things to suit other people.
There are many factors that play into how much you will earn , and how long it will take you to reach the income level you want.
For instance, are you willing to write about difficult topics that tend to pay better, or do you only want to write from your own muse? Writing tough stuff is a great route to higher pay.
How much work are you willing to put into marketing? For instance, if you don’t put up a writer website , it’s pretty hard to impress prospects these days.
One other factor: Many writers prefer to kick back and enjoy life more now that they’re out of the cubicle, rather than working super-hard at building a top-earning business. Spend more time mountain-climbing or home-schooling the kids.
Go at it fewer hours, and that will reduce your income. Which brings us to…
I discovered in my own freelancing that you rarely earn more than you imagine you can make.
When I started freelancing in 2005, my dream was to replace my $60,000-a-year staff writing job. Within a couple years, I did.
Then I had a big light bulb explode in my head.
I suddenly had this flash of insight that as a freelance writer, my earning potential wasn’t limited to what I used to make in a day job.
My earning potential wasn’t limited to $100,000.
My earning potential was unlimited.
After realizing I could earn much more, I upped my marketing and aimed higher. I stopped looking at Craigslist ads and proactively went after bigger clients — major corporations and national magazines. I wrote more on big projects and ongoing contracts, rather than having to prospect constantly for smaller gigs.
In 2011, I cracked six figures as a freelance writer . And since then, I’ve continued to grow my income from writing , every year.
Expand your vision for your freelance writing business, and it will change how you pursue this career. And that’s how you change how much you make as a freelance writer.
How much do you aim to earn as a freelance writer? Leave a comment — share your goals and what you’re doing to get there.
Find more resources on how to make money writing .
Hunting for Writing Jobs? 8 New Sites That Pay Writers - Plus Important Updates
Can Revenue Share Writing Still Pay? We Investigate
It's a true blessing that these days there are so many ways to make a living through our writing work. From freelance writing through to editing and building a blog, you can make great money doing what you love. Sadly, some of the most rewarding ways of making money...
Let's be honest -- not every part of running a freelancing business is fun. There are some tedious, headache-inducing tasks that come with running a business that are simply unavoidable...like bookkeeping. Keeping track of all business-related income and...
When it comes to finding writing gigs, there are a million places to choose from. You might be looking for a WordGigs review and trying to figure out whether you should go through the application process to become a freelance writer for their site. This WordGigs...
“Pay rate DOE” means that the wage for a position depends on experience. Companies will typically include this disclaimer in a position announcement without a salary; however, sometimes they post a range.
This article first appeared in issue 230 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers. Creative Bloq is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a...
Pay Rate for a Counselor. Graduate study in psychology or counseling is essential for a career as a counselor, but the exact requirements depend on the particular specialty. School counselors typically need at least a master's or educationa...
The base salary for Freelance Content Writer ranges from $46,252 to $64,215 with the average base salary of $55,907. The total cash compensation, which includes
The average salary for a Freelance Content Writer is $46981 per year in US. Click here to see the total pay, recent salaries shared and more!
How much do Freelance Writer jobs pay an hour? The average hourly pay for a Freelance Writer Job in the US is $33.02 an hour.
As of Feb 24, 2023, the average annual pay for a Freelance Content Writer in the United States is $58,333 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary
The median hourly rate for Content Writers is $25. Hourly rates for Content Writers on Upwork typically range between $15 and $40.
The average hourly pay for a Freelance Writer is $24.79. Visit PayScale to research freelance writer hourly pay by city, experience, skill
The average salary for a Freelance Writer is $21.14 per hour in United States. Learn about salaries, benefits, salary satisfaction and where you could earn
85% of freelancers charge less than $.30 per word. 97% of writers that charge per word write blog posts, but not exclusively. Hourly Rates.
First of all, don't compare freelance income to an employed writer's salary. Freelancers aren't just writing, we're running a freelance writing
Your income as a writer also depends on what kind of content you're producing. White papers tend to pay the highest rates at $100 to $200 per hour. Next in line
Three-quarters of respondents have been freelancing more than three years. The results will be eye-opening for many writers. To call out just one stat: About