How much should freelance writers charge per word? Most beginner freelance writers have no idea. In fact, some freelance writers don’t know they should be charging per word in the first place.
This became evident when I first started hiring freelance bloggers to work with me. Quotes came in from one rupee (about $0.02) to one dollar per word. That’s when I realized it was important to help the community out by publishing industry payment standards.
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.
So, where on earth should you be in-between those numbers?
An Introduction to Freelance Writing Fees
Firstly, keep in mind that the advice in this article is targeted for freelance bloggers. Industry standard rates vary for different types of writing and editing services, such as technical writing or commercial campaigns. With that in mind, let’s have a look at how to structure your overall freelance writing fees for blogging.
You’ve decided it’s time to become a freelance writer. Now, in general, you have three options for pricing your freelance blogging services. These are:
- Recommended: Per word
- Per hour
- Per project
One major mistake many beginning freelance writers make is to think they should charge per hour or set up to handle payments per project. While this is possible to work with if a client specifically requests it, you should always estimate your overall fees by calculating rates per word first.
However, when you’re first getting started, it’s far easier to keep it simple and only charge per word. This gives you the control to determine your own hourly rate by:
- developing processes,
- writing faster, and
- improving the quality of your work.
In other words, you’ll be able to produce better work in a shorter amount of time as you become more experienced. Charging per hour or per project may end up robbing you of your hard earned money!
Average Freelance Writing Rates Per Word
In our experience, there’s a broad range: between $0.03 and $0.30 per word. To help you visualize, here is a loose estimation of how this might break down into different ranges. Keep in mind this is not a strict set of rules, but general guidelines to help you make an educated decision when setting your own prices.
Freelance Writing Rates 2017
Estimated blogging standards for freelance writer rates per word in 2017
|Level||Fee Per Word||Est. Per Hour (500 Words)|
|In Demand Expert||.21-.30||$105-$150|
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:
- I know a lot about, and
- don’t require an insane amount of research/work to write about.
With this approach, a seemingly low rate per word can actually result in excellent hourly rates.
Here is a a concrete example: As an intermediate blogger charging $.08 per word, you would get $80 for a 1,000 word article. If you outline, write, and edit it in two hours or less (which is quite reasonable!), this means you’ll earn at least $40 per hour. Not too shabby!
How To Set Your Own Freelance Writing Rates and Find Clients
By now, you’re familiar with freelance writer pricing works and appropriate per word fees.
It’s time to actually set your own rates and find clients happy to pay them! Being armed with the right knowledge and resources makes this process a lot smoother than playing a lot of guessing games.
1. Choose a Reasonable Rate for Your Experience
Aside from your own experience as a writer and how in-demand your niche is, you can reverse engineer your goal per-word rate using this formula:
- First, establish your minimum monthly income goal. For example, let’s say $2,000.
- Then, establish how many hours you’re willing to write in a week. Let’s say 5 hours per week / 20 hours per month.
- Divide the income goal number by the hours. In this case, $2,000 divided by 20 is $100.
- Find the per word fee in the table above which matches this hourly rate. In our example, this would be .20 per word.
This is your target rate! If it is close to your current experience level, that’s great. If not, you may need to set it as something to work towards. Choose the closest level possible and start from there to build your experience, client base, and create a demand for your work. If you are already an expert in a difficult field, such as medicine or science, you may have an easier time charing more early on even as a novice writer.
Remember, 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?
2. Find Clients Happy to Pay Reasonable Rates
Now that you’ve established your goal rates and what is appropriate for your current level of education and skill level, you need to find clients happy to pay in your price range. That begs the question, is this even possible?
The best clients usually come from relationship building. However, while this is the best long-term plan for sourcing great clients, it is hard to get off the ground this way when you’re just getting started. This is where job boards and forums come in. These are great resources if you are new(ish) to the world of freelance blogging.
But seriously, is it possible to earn good rates as a beginner before figuring out how to make direct pitches? 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). Of course, every job board will vary in the quality of listings it provides.
- For top dollar, pitch ideal clients directly – and eventually earn referrals from existing clients.
- If you’re just getting started, try job boards to pick up your first gigs.
With this information, you are now much more equipped to enter the world of freelance writing and find success. The road is not always easy, but it is definitely worthwhile if you want to leave your regular job behind.
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.
Let’s review the takeaways on how (and how much) freelance writers charge, one more time:
- It is important to charge per word so you have more control over your effective hourly rates.
- Freelance writing rates range from .03-.30, or an estimated $15-$150 per hour.
- Once you’ve found an appropriate rate for your work, you can start pitching new clients either directly or through job boards.
Care to share your thoughts on freelance blogging rates? Let us know what you think below!
Image Credit: blondinrikard
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on May 18th, 2015 by Leaving Work Behind founder Tom Ewer, and has since been revamped and partially rewritten for comprehensiveness by the Leaving Work Behind editorial team.
Mayur Mistry says
Nice one Tom! And thanks for answering my question from one of your previous posts ;).
Tom Ewer says
To be honest, I was never a fan of charging by the word. First, I really hate math and it takes me a long time to figure out ( I know calculators are handy, but I digress). I like the idea of charging a flat rate and providing value. Hence, if I write X amount of articles and place them on your website, you will get more traffic, sales, etc, etc. Right now, I have a 1k (USD) a month client who I am charging $20 per article. While some may think that is a low rate, it’s not for me. First, each article takes less than 30 minutes to write, doesn’t require a lot of research, and are very simple. Also, I am offering a bulk rate because I am writing a couple of hundred of these over the course of a few short months. For me, offering a flat rate is much easier.
Tom Ewer says
I understand where you’re coming from, but for me, the number of words you write is a good base point to start with when determining your rate, and also sets clear expectations in the client’s mind. Definitely the route I would advocate.
Thank you so much for clearing the fog for me Tom!! I’m still a relatively new freelancer and I’ve always struggled with this. I get it now!
Peace and love
Tom Ewer says
You’re welcome Iva!
Randy Brown says
Thanks for these numbers! It’s hard to find honest numbers about freelance writing. A lot are unrealistic. I started my freelance writing biz last September. I intended to write for corporate, but a ghostwriting blogging opportunity fell in my lap, so I’ve stuck with it. I’ve gone from the bottom end of that range to the middle in just a few months. If I could get faster I could make a nice living from it. I’m a fast writer when it comes to topics I’m very familiar with, but most of the articles require a lot of research. I’m starting to get more knowledge in the field (WordPress, etc) so I’m getting faster. Thanks for the link about speed and efficiency. It’s not always about getting more per word, but writing more in less time.
Tom Ewer says
Speed is key! You’re welcome Randy 🙂
Gina Horkey says
I like charging by the article too, but it is loosely based on a per word fee. I used to quote a range of $.10-30/word and now won’t accept anything under $75 per post. Although, I started with $20 articles, just like anyone else:-) Start somewhere and then raise your rates over time. Don’t underestimate your worth!
Thank you for the feedback Gina.. I truly want to grow my own blog for both ecommerce and a mode of expression to connect and inspire globally BUT gain relevant experience on other sites that interest me to of course make income while improving my skills and network.
Thank you for the encouragement.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Just wrote about this- my lowest rate was around $25/30 for 500 words when I started. Highest is a dollar per word. http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com/freelancers-should-talkpay/
Tom Ewer says
Thanks for the link Stefanie!
Alicia Rades says
I think it’s important to realize here that there are a lot of different types of jobs you can have as a freelance writer. It sounds like you’re talking mostly blogging rates, where $1 per word would be pretty ridiculous, but I know some magazine writers and journalists get paid that much because those articles require a lot more time commitment and research, especially if you’re conducting interviews.
That being said, I personally think $0.03 per word for blogging content is really low. Other types of content, like product descriptions, perhaps not.
As far as blogging content goes, $0.10 per word is pretty reasonable assuming you have some experience and are a decent writer. I know plenty of bloggers who charge more, but personally my rates hover around $0.10 per word, and I would encourage others to shoot for that range as well.
BUT there are so many other factors that go into it. What type of work are you doing, what are your qualifications, and how much income do you need to live off of?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tom! I like having the reassurance from an expert that my rates are in a good range.
Alicia Rades says
I charge like Gina does. I base my rates off of per-word rates but charge a flat fee. So if a client orders a 1,000-word article, I might charge a $120 flat fee even if I go a little over the word count.
Tom Ewer says
And thank you for sharing your thoughts Alicia 🙂
Andrew Kerr says
I am going crazy reading these rates. On upwork I am writing for $1 per hundred words. I had no idea that I was undercharging. Many thanks, much love and respect to you all
I think one of the problems is people charging too little. The job boards are full of people wanting top quality. well researched articles and wanting to pay $10- $20. The least I have worked for is $45 for a 500 word article which is .09 per word. I think the key is to pitch to clients that are willing to pay decent rates not in answering ads from those that don’t.
Tom Ewer says
I agree Bob, although I don’t think that the problem is people charging too little – the problem is people dealing with the wrong clients.
Great article, but the question is- where would I find a job that pays well.
I mean, I live in India, and most of the clients here pay nowhere near the lowest rate you mentioned in your post, i.e $3 per word.
Hello there, my name is Prianca. and I want a content writer.
could you please share your content writing rates with me its because I want someone reliable who can check my manuscript.
Please share your content writing rates.
very true…but this happens because of lack of work and clients taking you for a ride knowing the fact that you want work. I was surprised and taken aback when i read all the rates !
Thank you all for the guidance given
Fantastic post, Tom! Finally, a concrete answer to an evergreen question!
I like this short, actionable post strategy.
Tom Ewer says
Great – thanks Debashish!
Annette Brown says
Tom, thanks for this post.
As a new freelance writer it is difficult to gauge rates. The low end of the range you listed is a bit scary. I think that $0.03 per word is too close to the rates earned on sites like Text Broker. I was paid $7.70 for a 550 word article ($0.014/word) that I thoroughly researched. It was well written and accepted right away, which leads me to believe that that rate is far below what I could be potentially earning.
I understand that we have to begin somewhere but slaving away for $0.03 per word seems to be a very low starting point. My goal is to build a career, so I don’t think that charging close to $0.10 per word is unrealistic, especially if your writing is pretty decent. Any lower than that feels depressing. As Alicia stated, the final rate will vary by circumstance and type of writing, so I am flexible with my rates. And as Bob pointed out, I think I need to learn how to pitch higher-paying clients directly. I’ve had little success on job boards.
You mentioned that we should, “be realistic about the time and effort it will take to get to the ‘top’.” What is a realistic time frame to begin earning $0.10 a word and more per writing assignment?
Tom Ewer says
As someone who has earned around $0.03 per word, I really don’t see it as “slaving away”.
It’s all a function of how long it takes you to write the post. If you spend three hours on a 500 word post at $0.03 per word, you need to have a discussion with the client, because the job isn’t economical. If however you can write up an 800 word post in 40 minutes (which I used to do at around $0.03 per word), you can make the equivalent of $36 per hour, which I for one was absolutely delighted with.
From my experience, most writers won’t be able to make anywhere near a decent income for writing for less than $0.05 per word. This is taking into account the need for research, writing, organizing, proof reading and possible later edits to the document. Not to mention miscellaneous expenses like the time it takes to find new gigs, healthcare, taxes, etc.
There are, of course, exceptions to the rule – I wouldn’t encourage someone to turn down a an offer slightly below that if they have NO clips in that niche and are trying to break into that field, or if the articles can be done extremely quickly then fine. But you don’t want to set the bar too low, or else it can also affect you pretty badly!
Tom Ewer says
Thanks for sharing Daryl 🙂
Timely post Tom! I’m learning to be flexible (to an extent) with my rates for different types of projects. Especially as I try to build up a more expertise knowledge in the niches I’m interested in writing for.
What’s your approach to getting all your clients on the same rate? Or do you keep working with older clients on a lower rate, while taking on newer clients at a higher rate? Or drop the older, low paying ones in favour of the new ones?
As an aside, I find I get a bit nervous when I land a new client at a higher rate, as it feels like its too much money for some words on a blog, and I expect it to end as its too good to be true.
Not that my rates are that high or anything!
Tom Ewer says
I wouldn’t necessarily get all clients on the same rate – it depends on how intensive each job is.
My approach is to generally impose a rate increase across the board, as even if you lose a client or two, you tend to make a great of it up in total.
Cami Hostetler says
How about 1$ per 100 words ghostwriting. Just starting out? And supposedly the articles are to be 5,000-10,000 words. Is that decent?
In my experience, that is an extremely low rate. That means you’ll be making $10 per 1,000 words. Personally, I never accept jobs that pay less than $30 per 1,000 words, and even that’s very low–but I write fast when there’s little to no research involved. Even if you’re new, you still have something valuable to offer or someone wouldn’t be offering to pay you 🙂
lisa Byrne says
great stuff Tom- thanks for the share!
Tom Ewer says
You’re welcome Lisa 🙂
Todd Prepsky says
I would suggest checking the latest version of Writer’s Market before you quote a job. There’s a chart where you can see highs, lows, and averages for various types of writing. It’s pretty specific, and you can see per-word rates as well as hourly and per-page rates. From what I’ve read here, I think many of you are charging far, far below what you’re worth. And I mean shockingly far. I’d underline “shockingly” if I could.
Don’t be lulled into accepting cheap work. Potential employers are going to test you by offering a pittance. If you accept it, you’re telling them that’s all you’re worth. You wouldn’t accept the first salary offered for a full-time job, would you? Of course not. What if you were a plumber and you had a specific rate, and someone said to you, “I’ll only pay you this much to re-pipe my house.”? You’d say, “No, this is what I charge for re-piping a house.”
Don’t be afraid to negotiate or even turn work down if you have to. There’s plenty of it elsewhere. You have a skill that not many can do well, and people will always need you somewhere. Have confidence and exploit that!
Tom Ewer says
While I appreciate the spirit of your message, I think people have to be realistic. I started off at what a lot of people seem to consider an uneconomically low rate (although it wasn’t), and grew from there. I started with no experience, qualifications or samples, so I had to work from the ground up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing this, and I would hate anyone to be turned off or intimidated by the notion of quoting high rates from the get go.
To a great extent, the freelance writing market is sat in the past, thinking that the only way to make a living is to charge a dollar a word. Most freelance writers still haven’t woken up to the reality that you can make a very good living at an absolute fraction of that rate by creating blog posts on topics you are familiar with (and thus can write quickly).
Also, I don’t take the cynical view that all clients will ‘test’ you by offering a pittance. In my experience, most clients (above content mill standard) will ask you what your rate is, rather than make you an offer. We shouldn’t hate clients for wanting to pay less than you quote; that’s just a sign that you need to move onto other prospects.
Elna Cain says
Great post! It’s hard to find freelance writers lay it all out there!
For me, I lucked out and scored a great blogging gig at over $.10/word.
But, I have other clients I charge only $.5/word because the topic is easy and it takes me 30 minutes or less to write.
I feel you have to look at each writing gig before you set a rate. Will it be ghostwritten? Technical? Short? Long? Will it require images? screen shots?
I try, though, to always increase my rate with every new client I land until I find my sweet spot.
That’s $.05/word not $.50/word for easy topics.
Sorry for the confusion.
Tom Ewer says
Would be nice though 😉
Tom Ewer says
As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got it spot on Elna 🙂
Salman Nasir says
Hello mate. Great to view this as someone who is about to kick start his writing career. I am thrilled to know writing career offers such a brilliant pathway. Just a shame i didn’t know about it till now. Anyway, better late than never.
Just needed your opinion on a few things. Would be of great help. What should my starting rate be as I am beginner? Secondly, where can i get free lance work? I really need to know. Would be lucky if someone in the comments section would hire me 😉 Haha.
Tom Ewer says
Keep reading the archives here Salman 😉
Alright, now I realize that I was being underpaid most of the time, (and it’s embracing).. Thanks for the advice and now we have better ideas about how much to charge!
Shane Sorensen says
Thanks for this wonderful post! I am starting to do more freelance blogging gigs, and as I break into it I am always unsure what to post as a realistic answer when they ask you what you charge. I do not want to undervalue my time, but at the same time- like you- a 30$+ per hour is more than acceptable to me at the moment. While I would love to make 50-75 or more, if I can find the time to work a few hours per day and bring in 50-60$ extra dollars cash, then that works for me. Thanks again for this awesome article!
Tom Ewer says
You’re welcome Shane!
Love the honesty in this Tom! I read so many freelancing blogs and hear so many people in FB forums say that anyone who accepts less than $0.50 per word is ruining the industry. Everyone has to start somewhere though, and it’s down to us as individuals to ascertain a rate that works for us, not anybody else!
Tom Ewer says
Absolutely. Ingore the naysayers; if you’re happy and making enough for you (or feel that you’re heading in the right direction), you’re golden.
My questions is about a huge essay – say 50,000 words. Isn’t that somehow harder than doing a few pages here-and-there? I feel like I need to charge substantially more.
Tom Ewer says
That’s a very difficult question to answer James. One could argue that having to come up with new ideas every 1,000 words and restart the writing process is more difficult than writing a 50,000 word essay on one topic, but you could certainly put a good argument together to the contrary.
It all comes down to what you’re willing to work for and what you negotiate with the client. There is no “right” amount ultimately.
Thanks Tom for this post. I’m a newbie and I think this is what I needed to hear!
Deepak Maurya says
Thank you for the sharing the informative and important information honestly I like your job, have a good luck.
I am obviously late joining this discussion, but I would like to say that I found your article very helpful, mainly because someone just approached me about writing for a particular site and asked how much I would charge for a 1,000-word article and I was unsure how to answer. Now I know not to ask a ridiculous amount but also not to underestimate the value of my time and effort. Thank you.
Darcy Cardinal says
Thanks for the VERY helpful information Tom!
I have just started my freelance writing career and have been wondering what to charge in my early months. As of right now, i am on job boards like upwork, mainly to find experience for writing, and what it’s like working with deadlines and such.
I already have done one “gig” and have others in the bag waiting for me to do. It’s rather exciting and challenging at the same time, which gets me motivated to get to work each day now. It’s quite a change for me, less than 2 weeks ago i was flipping burgers, now i am writing from home!
Back to the topic of charging. Right now, i am starting at the lower end, like others are doing. And using the job boards to find work to do. However, I have known in advance that creating your own “marketplace”, ie your website, is the long term way to go.
Look forward to the rest of 2016 to grow!
illon Dawkins says
I have just started as a freelance writer and have so many thing from the postings. thanks much Tom. I really appreciate your help.
Is there a contact for you Mercy. Perhaps you can help me to get organized.
Thank you so much for such a clear insight! I have been asked how much I charge per x number of words and I’m never sure how to answer, but this has helped a lot. 🙂
Do you know of any good companies who might be looking for content writers in Canada?
Great article! Thank you.
Tom Ewer says
I’m afraid not Claudine, sorry!
dud are you silly im still gonna send it
I must thank you for this write-up. I was looking for some source to understand what’s a reasonable number. Glad I got here. Thanks.
Tom Ewer says
You’re welcome Abhishek 🙂
Dannielle Szuba says
Thank-you so much for the clarification as it will help me in my estimates. If you would mind maybe you can speak with me about freelancing? As I am hoping to make this a successful living, and what better way then to learn then from someone who is already successful with it. Thank you for the information either way.
Thank you so much for the article. I am a top-rated freelancer in Upwork and have good writing skills. I focus mainly on technical articles as I am an engineer. Till now, I used to work at the rate of 1$ for 100 words, but I just realized that it is too low rate. Could you please suggest me some good companies who could pay better ( 2$ for 100 words is enough for me) ?
My Upwork Profile : https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~01388b1b0f3ab03f15
Tom Ewer says
I’m afraid I couldn’t give you any specific suggestions Merin. Best of luck though!
stephen druce says
Hello – an online major newspaper is interested in my
spoof stories I`ve recently submitted. They have asked me what I charge and I`m stumped as to the figure I should request. I am new to this as I have only wrote
humour books within a fixed contract context. My articles are quite short – I want to charge a consistent fee
rather than per word. Don`t want to work for nothing but don`t want to take the p..s…is £20 an article reasonable?….just looking to gauge an average…please help.
Tom Ewer says
I’m afraid that I have no experience in what newspapers pay for the kind of content you’re offering. The only thing I can say is that there is no “correct” amount to charge – all you can do is make your best estimate and negotiate accordingly!
I have a website about saving money on household bills. An owner of a similar website has approached me to write blogs for him on a weekly basis. The pay is $0.5 per word. Since my website doesn’t generate a lot of money, and I don’t have any prior writing experience, I might take on his offer and see how it goes.
Thanks again for the good info and all who’ve shared their experience as freelance writers.
Tom Ewer says
Thanks, Andy! I always feel writing is better than not writing 🙂
Great article, Thank You!
Tom Ewer says
Hanuman chalisa says
Thank you so much for posting this! I’m only new to the world of freelance writing and it’s a whole new ballgame for me. I appreciate all the free advice wonderful minds such as yourself put out.
Volodymyr (from Ukraine) says
Thanks a lot, Tom!
Your article is very useful for Freelance writing newbies as a source of information and pleasant by its style and way of explanation.
All the best!
Hello Tom, I want to ask a simple question I am currently in the forex trading business which I desperately want to quit and come towards article rewriting I am not a freelancer yet I do not have a profile but have wrote some articles for some friends can you guide me if I start it today can I build it up in some time,I will be working full time on it and can I make a living out of it.I have good command of english language and have some writing skills which I can improve
Vipul Sharma says
Hii Tom, I would like to ask how much I shall charge for content writing. I shall go for per words or per articles. & what are the charges I shall take as its my beginning per words and per articles??
Lori Reese says
The average going rate is $3.00 per 100 words globally for excellent, SEO tooled content. Researched or authority content can go for $4.00 per 100 words and up.
The only people who make more than that, are those that have significantly invested in a website, and have massive social media following, for placed “thought leader” or authority content in their specialty niche.
And you are competing against global writers in lower paying countries, who are happy to write (albeit you can tell it’s non-native North American) content for $2 per 500 words.
The quality, originality, the speed with which your write and years of building a solid reputation allowed me to segue from my day job to consulting, but having both College and University education in Marketing made that happen too.
Steve Calvert says
I’m sorry Lori Reese, but I do not agree with all your comments. I sometimes write articles for Constant Content. I use a pen name and charge 7-10c per word. Sooner or later most of the articles sell. The customers are buying from a supplier who has no website or social network following because he does not exist.
Hey Tom….I’m from India and I was wondering if you’d be able to help shed some light on how much one should charge for writing creative Facebook posts? As opposed to regular blogs/articles, these are taglines, captions etc creative ones, with less words. Charging by the word in such cases doesn’t make it worth the while for a writer.
S. Patterson says
You are devaluing your talent – and all writers’ talents – when you charge by the word. It’s a terrible practice made common by an even more devastating practice – crowdsourcing. If you’re just typing random words with no thought or research involved, then definitely charge by the word. But if pride yourself on developing concepts, crafting paragraphs, and researching your content – charge by the hour.
Deborah Watson says
Thanks for clearing that up. I was so confused. Now i know.
Sean Carey says
Thanks for an extremely helpful article, Tom. I just found your blog, here, while searching for beginning rates for us Freelance Writers.
I was also debating whether I should post rates or not – as a beginner, and I think I’ve now made my mind up. This is good info!
Tom, what would you charge for editing technical documents? Full level 3 edits such as product user guides, web sites, FAQs?
This article helped me negotiate my very fist paid writing gig – Great info to share with the community and the comment section was helpful too. I need to improve my speed and negotiating skills, but I’m in the arena. Thank-you!!!
Vivian So says
$120 a blog post, about 750 words per post, so about 0.16 per word, but then i also include a custom made feature image in the cost.
How I come up with the $120 is that it take about 4 hours for me to write a blog post with a custom made image that is well planned, proof read, and revised.
I charge the same for a 4 page double space report. Of 4 pages, one page is cover art. 3 pages double space is about 750 words.
J. Allen Adams says
I want to thank everyone who participates in this post for your insightful input. I am a published author in the genres of science fiction, fiction, fantasy and children’s. Although I have no intent on discontinuing my work as an independent author, I have recently decided to become a freelance writer with my ultimate goal of becoming a ghost writer. I’m still a little uncertain as to what to charge for my services based upon my writing experience, at least I have a ball park idea and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for your input. I wish the best of opportunities and prosperity to all.
Sujish Kandampully says
First of all, thanks a lot for sharing this article, Tom. Well, I was actually looking for, on how much should I charge for subtitling work? I have to watch a video and translate it into another language. So how would I charge it?
Lisa Fourman says
Thank you for a great post, Tom! Elna Cain brought me to this post from her website so I’m glad I clicked on over. These are awesome tips and they’ll help me gain more clarity about my rates.
A few minutes ago, I got a client that was asking me to write for 0.7$ per 1,000 article (English, French & Spanish). He was from “yachika web solutions” kof kof India, and I must say I found it insulting for freelancers. Thus, I told him to be careful because he would certainly get poor articles (I mean even Google Translate would be ashamed to work at that rate), but he was certain that his expectations were for top quality writing. What can you do against that, really?
Sadia Zaman says
I’m 18 from Bangladesh and still a college student. I’m totally new to the whole Freelancing thing and I don’t know a thing about what to charge for translating or how my resume should be like. I’m not even a professional translator, just that my native language is Bengali and I’m fluent in English. I can easily translate Bengali – English and vice versa. I don’t have a clue on what to do, but I really need the money. If anyone could give me some insight on this, I’d really appreciate it. What do I even do?
Anne Dorko says
We have a great post about getting started here.
As for finding clients, you can start with our post about locating your first client.
We also have our own job boards at jobs.paidtoblog.co!
Best of luck, thank you for joining us here today!
E. Torres says
This is very helpful
Hey man what doing
‘Lots of great comments here, but everyone seems to be far too fixated on this “per word” metric.
Measuring per word commoditizes writing into a bulk product. Dont’ do it. Put fixed costs on your work.
The price all depends on the topic, the amount of research required, and the amount of finish required in the final piece.
There’s a big difference between posts that require 20 minutes of research and posts that require interviews, multiple hours of research, careful fact checking and a high level of polish.
People here are comparing apples and oranges and are pretending they’re the same thing.
I somewhat agree but I’m torn between the per word and time. Where does quality come in? I work very hard to say more with less and that just doesn’t get factored into a per word fee structure. As a consumer, I’m suspicious of being charged by the word and also by time. I like your observation about factoring the complexity of the subject and that some writers may produce better results if they have familiarity with the topic and can produce something in a shorter period of time. I’m sure writers agree if they had more time they could have shortened the writing or been more concise, but why put in the effort to do this if you get paid by the word and the work is good enough?
Reji Stephenson says
Excellent article and really helpful for all freelance writers especially newbie writers. For beginners Charging can be based on their experience and how much knowledge they have about the topic. You have provided a in-depth details on how and how much to charge for your writing.
Ralph Quito says
This is great! It is such a lovely article. It’s just amazing how you put all these together on “How Much Should Freelance Writers Charge Per Word” with such great tips! Looking forward to more of these.
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Dipanita Bhowmick says
Hi, which websites should I check to find high paying writing jobs?
Bruce Foster says
That’s really great article for beginner writers.
When i started as a freelance writer, i just worked for my authority for free.
That’s great strategy, people could see your skill, then hire you to write their essay or any different type of papers. After that, you can start earn your first money in freelance writing.
Thank you for sharing this interesting article.
This post is reflective of the low end of the industry only. It’s not good information. I have never written for less than $.50 a word in my life. The “blogging” industry is obviously a pretty sad place to be!
Hi Tom, thank you for this great article. As someone on the hiring end, I’m wondering where to find strong blogging talent for hire. I wish it was as simple as your table, where we can just match an intermediate level blogger and pay the appropriate rate!
We try to pay fairly on Upwork because we maintain long-term relationships, but it seems every bid we get just reflects our budget (some go lower or higher) regardless of the quality or experience of the blogger. It just all seems like a blur and every applicant is just looking to accept whatever is available and hoping to strike lucky with a few good businesses.
We target $0.04/word for product descriptions and $0.10/word for bloggers (higher since they have to research their own topics for SEO, find pictures, formatting, etc.). We also cover whatever fee the freelancer gets charged by Upwork so they get the “true” per word rate.
The blog is focused on interior design so there should be a pretty broad selection of candidates. We’ve had to let go every blogger we’ve hired because they lacked in some of the most basic writing ability (grammatical mistakes, for example).
Thomas Lowery says
The major reason you are having to let every blogger go is because the prices you are willing to pay cannot hold good, EXPERIENCED writers. As someone who is, while I think .10 per word is fine for beginners, considering that articles of 1000 words which require research take at least 2 hours to write, edit and refine, $50 per hour is a bit on the low side. Experienced writers who know how to present an acceptable article the first time around are worth at least $65 per hour. I suggest you consider paying slightly more for your blog posts (at least .13 per word) OR you consider hiring better writers on a monthly basis. If I were approached to write a dozen articles per month for a flat rate, I might be inclined to jump at it more than I would if the rate were .10 per word. No experienced writer wants to count words or track time if they can get around it. And as it happens, the better platforms offer around $500 per article at about 1200-1500 words each. Notice the disparity on a per word basis?
This article is a good one, but the writer has very baseline knowledge of what EXPERIENCED writers should be paid and, more to the point, has a “no experience necessary” mentality which I find appalling. There are many such bloggers out there – but then again, there are many badly written blog posts – largely because of this mindset.
I stand firm that good writing requires time, practice, experience and the ability to hone one’s craft. Those who are able to do so should be suitably compensated and not be expected to forever work at “starter” rates.
Arjun Mainali says
Dear Tom Ewer,
I am looking for a writer to write a small book in English. My book is about my life’s work as a worldwide blood donor. Enclosed is my website (www.arjunmainali.com) detailing my travels donating blood, motivating people to donate blood and sponsoring blood drives. If you have time could you please read my website. I look forward to hearing form you.
Arjun Prasad Mainali
Hicksville, New York
Azfar A Khan says
Could anyone let me know as to which are the blogs which make payment to their writers? Any link?
I find your post helpful. Thanks for sharing.
The rate you’re talking about is for natives, is that right? And is that for writing a new article (ie. completely new content) or rewrite?
Hey there, someone please tell me where I can try my entry skills as writer. Thanks!
fti bony says
what about the pricing for academic writing? do you thibk 0.03$ per word is sufficient for entry level academic writing job?
Wow, ik surprised to learn about these low rates. Reason for me to check these rates is an inquiry of a potential new offer I received for Content writing.
Until now I have mainly have combined work in which I both translate and create new text. These are quite technical and I charge per project. In general the average project will cost me 1-1,5 hours of work for which I charge €150. Total word count is on average well under a 1000. I knew that I’m charging great rates for me, but I a compare to these rates I really wonder what this potential client will offer.
Moises Gonzalez says
I am basically new as a Freelancer , this information has been worthy for me , thank you for sharing .
El Salvador,Central America
Hi, i have a ques. what is best payment choice for newcomer essay writer? per hour? per project or per word?
These freelance writing rates seem to be based on the premise that there’s not a lot of research involved. Even Tom admits he blogs on topics:
– he knows a lot about, and
– don’t require an insane amount of research/work to write about.
And yet top-quality content requires just that: a lot of research, which can account for 80% of more of the freelance writer’s time.
Consider that investigative journalists (yes, they’re writers too) can spend weeks, sometimes months, doing research for one magazine feature.
I use this extreme example to emphasise my point.
For this reason, the per-word and hourly rates cited in Tom’s blog do the freelance writing profession a disservice: Raising expectations among clients that they can get great copy for next to nothing.
That said, Tom’s lowball rates at least help to explain why there is so much bad content out there!
Great article! Copywriting is a fairly broad field, and the salary range is pretty wide too.
Ok, here’s a fun one. I have a Master’s degree in one field (political science/public policy), ten years’ experience in another (finance, mostly in management), and ZERO clips, unless you count a couple of articles I put on LinkedIn. What should I charge to get started? I feel like those data points indicate wildly different rates.
Amit Nair says
This article gives you a framework to decide your writing rate! Awesome!
How much should writers charge project wise ?
Also, if you’re writing for an NGO (Non Government Organisation)/Social Service Organisation, how to charge when writing Project Proposals, Project Completion Reports etc. for them ?
Tara Purswani says
I am being asked by a friend that is adding me to his team what I charge for three different articles:
1) Articles on familiar topics (that I can easily write about)
2) Articles where research is involved.
3) Articles based upon interviews.
Does anyone have experience with this if charging per word? Let’s say I wanted to charge 0.08 per word for a familiar topic, what I would I quite for the other two?
I wanna ask if you could recommend some sites that pays maybe 80 dollars per hour