How Much Should Freelance Writers Charge Per Word?
Most beginner freelance writers have no idea what they should charge per word.
I know this because I put the word out that I was looking for freelance bloggers to work with me, and I received quotes (per word) from one rupee (that’s about $0.02) to one dollar.
I’ll start by ruling out the extremes for freelance bloggers: you shouldn’t be working for any less than $0.02 per word, but nor can you reasonably hope to work for anything close to a dollar per word.
But where on earth should you be in-between those numbers?
In my experience, there’s a broad range: between $0.03 and $0.30 per word.
When I started as a freelance blogger in 2011 (writing for what is now the WPMU DEV blog), I was paid $20 per hour. Based on the speed at which I worked (which seems to be pretty fast by most people’s standards), I was earning about $0.03 per word at best. But that was fine, because I was just getting established, my skills weren’t top notch, and I had a lot to learn.
The most I have ever charged a client is $0.30, although that’s far higher than my average (which I’m afraid I will not reveal!).
Could you charge more than that? I reckon you could, for more technical, in-depth topics. But the way I have succeeded as a freelance writing is in blogging on topics that (a) I know a lot about, and (b) don’t require an insane amount of research/work to write about. With that approach, a relatively low rate per word can actually result in excellent hourly rates.
Speaking of hourly rates, that range of $0.03 to $0.30 should pocket you something between $15 and $150 per hour. Not too shabby by most people’s standards. If you’re earning less than $15 for a client (you are tracking your effective hourly rate, no?), you should probably raise your rate.
You may be wondering about job opportunities – do they match the range I prescribe? If we take the listings we feature on Paid to Blog Jobs, although I don’t have the averages to hand, opportunities are generally available between $0.03 and $0.10 per word. You’ll have none lower than $0.03 as a general rule, but you will get some over $0.10 (although they tend to be outliers). As a general rule, if you want to earn top dollar, you need to pitch clients directly (or have them find you) rather than rely on jobs boards. That said, job boards are a great way to get started if you’re new(ish) to world of freelance blogging.
I’ll finish with one final piece of advice: don’t get too misty-eyed at the thought of earning $0.10, $0.15, or even more per word. Is it possible to earn that much? Absolutely. Is it a challenging journey? Yep. Do I encourage you to go for it? Absolutely – but be realistic about the time and effort it will take to get to the ‘top’.
That aside, the good news is that $0.05 to $0.10 per word equates to very a healthy hourly rate, on which one can live very comfortably – especially if you work on your speed and efficiency.
Care to share your thoughts on freelance blogging rates? Let us know what you think below!
Image Credit: blondinrikard