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We all work for money.
As a freelance writer, knowing your freelance writing pay rate and all the factors affecting it is crucial. Heaven forbid you charge for a writing job, only to realize that the client is coming back to you incessantly for tweaks and edits. Or even worse, additional sections. Yikes!
Hence – let’s talk about not only your freelance writing pay rate, but the ways to charge a potential client, factors to take into account so you always stay protected and make a profit, and how you can increase your pay rates as your level of expertise goes up.
Freelance Writing Pay Rate: An Overview
According to a recent study by PayScale, the average hourly pay for a freelance writer in 2023 is $25.07. However, this rate can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, location, and niche. For example, writers with more experience or specialized skills may be able to charge higher rates than those who are just starting. Additionally, writers located in areas with a higher cost of living may need to charge more to cover their expenses.
Another factor to consider when determining pay rates is the type of project. Some writers charge per word, while others charge per project or hourly. A popular method is to charge a flat rate and then top up based on additional requests, ala Fiverr style.
Understanding the scope of the project and how much time it will take to complete can help you determine the best pricing model for your services. Additionally, it is essential to consider any additional expenses, such as research or editing, when setting your rates.
New writers may find this helpful: Your hourly rate freelance calculator – a calculator that takes your personal finance expenses into account when charging a client (yes, it’s important!)
Understanding Freelance Writing
Here are just some examples of things you need when it comes to freelance writing:
- Strong writing skills. This includes having a good grasp of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If you are new to writing, there are many resources available online to help you improve your skills. Grammarly is a tool I use to ensure my articles stay grammatically correct. Even Grammarly makes mistakes sometimes, though – so perhaps I should revise that to say strong grasp of the English language (or whatever language you may be writing in).
- Understand the different types of content writing. As a freelance content writer, you may be asked to write blog posts, articles, social media posts, website content, and more. Each type of content requires a different writing style and tone.
- Know the different types of content writing services you can offer. Some freelance writers specialize in a particular type of content writing, while others offer a range of services. It is important to identify your strengths and focus on offering services that align with your skills. In some cases, experienced writers take on both roles as content writers and also grant writing, the latter of which is a more specialized form of writing.
This article may help you – it includes the different types of writing you can take up as a freelance writer, job boards where you can land jobs and how to create your own portfolio online quickly.
- Additional requirements – the ability to do deep dive research is a great skill set. Understanding of the target audience you’re writing to, communicating effectively with your client to see the project to success, dedication, good work ethics, and efficient time management will bring you a long way.
So yes. It’s NOT just about sitting down and winging it.
Types of Freelance Writing
Let’s check out some of the most common types of content in the freelance writing business and what they entail:
Blog content writing is a popular type of freelance writing. There are typically short articles that provide information on a specific topic. Blog posts can range from 500 to 1,500 words and can be written on a variety of topics, including fashion, food, travel, and more. A long-form article can go over 3,000 words and you can charge more for those!
White papers are longer, more in-depth pieces of content that provide detailed information on a particular topic. They are often used in B2B marketing and can range from 5 to 20 pages in length. White papers require extensive research and analysis.
Technical writing involves creating documentation for technical products and services. This can include user manuals, product specifications, and technical reports. Technical writers must be able to communicate complex information in a clear and concise manner.
Social Media Content
Social media content includes posts for platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These posts are typically short and require a creative approach to engage the audience. Content types include text, images, and videos.
In addition to writing, some freelance writers also offer graphic design services. This can include creating infographics, designing logos, and creating images for social media posts.
Case studies are in-depth analyses of a particular situation or problem. They are often used in B2B marketing to showcase how a product or service was able to solve a specific problem for a client.
Press releases are written to announce a new product, service, or event. They are typically written in a journalistic style and are sent to media outlets to generate coverage.
Sales letters are written to persuade the reader to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service. They are often used in direct mail marketing and can be highly effective when written well.
Website copy includes all of the text on a website, from the homepage to the about page to the product descriptions. It is important for website copy to be engaging and informative to keep visitors on the site.
Long-form articles are typically over 1,500 words and can be on a variety of topics. They require extensive research and analysis and are often used to provide in-depth information on a particular subject.
As a freelance writer, it is important to be able to offer a variety of writing types to clients. By being versatile in your writing skills, you can increase your chances of finding work and building a successful freelance writing career.
Freelance Writing Pay Rate: Based On Writing Types
White Paper Rate
White papers are often longer and more in-depth than other types of writing. Because of this, they typically command a higher rate. When determining my white paper rate, consider the following factors:
- Length and research: Charge a flat fee based on the length of the white paper and the level of research required.
- Revisions: Include a set number of revisions in my white paper rate, but additional revisions will be charged at an hourly rate.
- Rates can start from $4,500 for new writers and range between $5,500 to $7,000 for more experienced writers.
Email Writing Rate
Emails are often shorter and less complex than white papers, but they are still an important part of a freelance writer’s portfolio. When determining my email writing rate, I consider the following factors:
- Type of email: A promotional email may command a higher rate than a simple follow-up email. Welcome emails are easier to write, but still require a level of research into the style and vibe of your prospective client. Sales and launch emails will require more persuasion and a deeper understanding of the audience you’re writing to in order to increase conversion rates.
- Estimated time involved: Some writers may charge per word rates – because some emails can be long, and some short. I typically charge by the project, block 1-2 days for research and writing, and get them done. To me this is the best way to charge – blocking two days off in the calendar regardless of how much work it may be will get my brain in gear and focused to see the whole project through.
- How I charge: Welcome sequence typical rate: $500 for 5-6 emails. Sales and promotional launch emails: $800-$1000 for a series of 7-8 emails.
Blog Post Rate
Blog posts are a popular type of content for freelance writers. They are typically shorter than white papers, but still require research and writing skills. When determining my blog post rate, I consider the following factors:
- Length: Below 1,500 words – $200 per article. With 1 revision.
- 1,500-2,999 words – $300 per article. 1 revision.
- Above 3,000 words – $400 per article. 1 revision.
Actually, 1 revision usually does it. I send the article to my client, he reads it, gives me his thoughts, I make the changes, and voila. I get paid.
I’ll be raising my rates soon, too – so I’m excited!
What’s so amazing about freelance writing? The good news is there will always be businesses needing emails written for them. Blog posts. Articles. Newsletters.
You can charge different rates for all these content types, start off with low rates if you’re less confident, and eventually decide on a fair rate that works for both you and your client as you become better.
As a freelance writer, setting your rates can be a daunting task. There are many pricing models and methods to choose from, and it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. In my experience, the most popular pricing models are the per project rate and per word rate.
Per project pricing is when you charge a flat fee for the entire project. This method is great for clients who want to know exactly how much they will be paying upfront. However, it can be challenging to estimate how long a project will take, and you might end up undercharging for your time. (This no longer happens after a few years of experience, though. Having written for 3 years now, I can give an accurate estimate and know exactly just how much time I’ll need to complete a specific project).
Per-word rate is when you charge a certain amount per word. This method is great for writers who work quickly and efficiently. This method usually means you calculate how much money to charge only after the project has ended. You can start by taking a small deposit upfront, and then charging the balance during the handover.
Another pricing method to consider is charging by the hour. The per-hour rate is excellent for writers who provide additional services like editing or research. However, it can be challenging to track your time accurately, and clients might be hesitant to pay for hours that they perceive as unproductive.
When setting your rates, it’s essential to consider your experience level. If you’re a beginner, you might need to charge lower rates to attract clients. However, as you gain more experience, you should charge higher rates to reflect your expertise.
High quality writers easily charge significantly higher freelance writer rates. There are some that even charge upwards for $5,000 for a sales letter! And is still fully booked. So it just goes to show, your opportunities to make more money is limitless.
As long as you are keen to improve yourself and your skills – the sky’s the limit!
It’s also important to consider the industry you’re working in. Rates for freelance writers in the United States can vary widely depending on the type of work you do. For example, content mills typically pay lower rates than job boards or content marketers.
Where Are The Big Payouts At?
As a freelance writer, it’s important to know where the big payouts are at. While the average freelance writing rate is around $25 per hour, there are some niches and clients that pay much more. Here are some areas where you can find big payouts:
Copywriting is one of the highest paying niches in freelance writing. Companies are willing to pay top dollar for talented copywriters who can write compelling sales copy that converts. As a copywriter, if you have the portfolio to back you up and the required skill level, you can actually charge anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour, depending on your experience and the client!
Technical writing is another high-paying niche in freelance writing. Technical writers specialize in creating user manuals, instruction guides, and other technical documentation for software, hardware, and other products. The average hourly rate for technical writers ranges from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on their experience and the complexity of the project.
Ghostwriting is a lucrative niche for freelance writers who have experience writing books, articles, and other content for high-profile clients. As a ghostwriter, you can charge anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more for a single project, depending on the client and the scope of the work.
Corporate writing involves creating content for businesses, such as blog posts, newsletters, and white papers. Corporate writers can earn anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on their experience and the client.
Public Relations Writing
Public relations writing involves creating press releases, media kits, and other materials for businesses and organizations. Public relations writers can earn anywhere from $75 to $200 per hour, depending on their experience and the client.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to earn big payouts as a freelance writer, consider specializing in one of these niches or working with high-profile clients who are willing to pay top dollar for quality content.
These figures above show the endless possibilities one gets as a content marketer and freelance writer. Never feel that the market is too saturated and that you do not stand a chance.
You definitely do.
The amazing thing about having a freelance career is that while you may need to work a lot sometimes, in the end, ultimately you decide which individual projects you want to take on and which to refuse.
You set your freelance rates.
You eventually opt for higher pay as your expertise grows.
You can even accelerate this process by growing your skill level quickly by taking on online courses and personal coaching, which is always a good practice and should apply to every freelancer.
One course I took and totally recommend is by Kate Doster. She teaches amazing stuff about email marketing and subject lines, and now I write newsletters and emails on top of building funnels. It’s a double income, yes. Her weekly coaching calls in her FB group are really awesome too. She takes time to answer your questions and goes through your sales page or landing page copy as well as email copy, giving feedback along the way.
When we take a closer look at all the amazing different options that a freelancer has, the possible high rates, and the time with the family – I am always grateful that I left my corporate job and went online.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the average rates for freelance writing jobs?
The average rate for freelance writing services in 2023 can range from $25 to $500 per hour. However, rates can vary depending on the type of writing, the client, and the writer’s experience. A good idea is to always research the rates or use the freelance calculator to determine how much you want to charge before just blurting out any figure.
How do I determine my freelance writing rates?
Determining your freelance writing rates can be a challenge. It’s important to consider factors such as your experience, the type of writing you specialize in, and the rates of other freelance writers in your niche. Most importantly, don’t let clients make you feel as if you’re not worth the standard pay!
What is the typical pay per word for freelance writers?
The typical pay per word for freelance writers can vary depending on the type of writing and the client. However, according to the Peak Freelance survey, the average rate for freelance writing services in 2022 was $0.50 per word.
How much can a freelance writer make per month?
The amount a freelance writer can make per month can vary depending on the number of clients, the type of writing, and the rates charged. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a new freelance writer in the United States is $48,665 per year. As your experience grows, you can make easily over 6 figures annually even 2-3 years down the road. It really depends on the rate you learn and grow!
Where do I find writing jobs?
As a freelance writer, there are several ways to find writing jobs. You can search for job postings on freelance job websites such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. You can also reach out to potential clients directly through social media or email. Networking with other freelance writers and industry professionals can also lead to job opportunities.