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What Rate to Charge for Freelance Work

  1. Barbara Kay profile image92
    Barbara Kayposted 5 years ago

    I've been offered a writing job, but I don't know how much I should charge per word. Please let me know what you charge or would charge.

    1. teaches12345 profile image94
      teaches12345posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Great question, Barbara.  I was just about to ask the same thing.  Hopefully, we will get some good responses very soon.

      1. Barbara Kay profile image92
        Barbara Kayposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        teaches12345, We've gotten some good answers here. I think I know what to charge now. I hope it has helped you too.

    2. tsmog profile image83
      tsmogposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Great question. I have an interest in knowing. I received an education just now. So, what you wrote for this 'self' was priceless. Where do I send the check? smile I look forward to learning more. And, thank you both teaches12345 for prompting me to look and to you recommend1 for sharing. I think I will move to China, the pay is better there. Just kidding about, yet there is truth too . . .

    3. livewithrichard profile image85
      livewithrichardposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      How much to charge for freelance writing?  This is a question that is asked often but nobody ever gives a clear answer.  The reason this is so is because what you charge may be very different from what I would charge.  Why? Because as a freelancer/consultant/many other hats,  I have a certain income level I require in order to measure my success as well as set and meet future goals.  You have to know your numbers... ie how much does it cost to run your business (freelance writing is a business not a hobby) this includes advertising, how much do you need to earn an hour, how fast can you complete an assignment, etc...

      To figure out how much to charge, you need to first determine how much you need to earn annually.  Do you need $20,000 a year or $100,000 a year.  Take that income requirement and add in some fixed expenses that are associated with your business... social security, taxes, supplies, health insurance, retirement, etc.  Once you have a total figure then you need to divide that number by how many billable hours you expect... 1000 hours for part time, 2000 hours for full time. 

      There are hundreds of writing opportunities out there that do not involve writing for pennies on a shared revenue online writing site.  You just need to find what you are best at and go after those opportunities.

      I found a small niche that works really well for me.. Family History‚Äôs  that are only 70 to 100 pages long and I get anywhere between $700 and $1400 for them.  I could earn a real good living if this is all that I did, but I have a full time consulting business that takes a lot of my time.  These really help me get through the slow winter months and I can book 2 or 3 a month.

      1. recommend1 profile image70
        recommend1posted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I think this is the point, writing for a living is hard to get enough stuff unless you find a niche as you say - though these have a habit of evaporating without warning.  As a second string when things are slow it is perfect.

    4. mistyhorizon2003 profile image96
      mistyhorizon2003posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I would turn the tables on them and ask them what they are offering to pay, that way you don't risk underselling yourself. I am in the same position as you right now, and I have been made an offer. I am now weighing up if it will be financially practical or not, plus I need to know what they want me to write about, or if they just want anything I write, on any topic, providing it is of the right quality and meets their word count requirements.

      Edit: It is also worth considering how fast you can actually write. If you write fast your hourly rate could end up being pretty good even if only at a  low rate of pay per word. I guess it is an old retail rule but it holds true today, and that is 'reduce your margin and increase your turnover'.

    5. getwriting profile image61
      getwritingposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      It's been my experience with freelance work that your pay rate per word will depend on the size of the publication.  I've done some weekly columns for regional papers that only pay $.15/word while main local papers pay by the column inch or up to $.35/word.  Regional mags will pay $.25 to $.50 word while mags such as Washington Golf Monthly our of DC that I've written for have paid $1/word and some such as Phila. Mag. pay up to $2/word for features.  All depends on your experience and writing ability.  But beware of larger mags such as Phila. Mag. - with the cost of printing going up and ad revenue down in many mags, many have cut the use of freelancers drastically, prefering to have most work done in-house or by contributing writers with a history of work for the publication.  Hope that helps a bit, good luck with your writing.
      Fred Frazier,,

    6. Barbara Kay profile image92
      Barbara Kayposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you to everyone for your answers.

    7. Humdrumconundrum profile image57
      Humdrumconundrumposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      $1/word . . .fifty cents on a bad day.

  2. recommend1 profile image70
    recommend1posted 5 years ago

    I can only tell you that - for editing translations - I get up to 20 dollars per thousand words.  One thousand words takes about 75 minutes so it pays around 16 dollars per hour.  This may not be a lot but here in China it certainly buys more and feels more comfortable.  Writing something simple takes me about the same time as eciting, but I still have to edit my own work which takes another while.  Complicated stuff or anything that requires research will take 3, 4 or 5 times as long and the pay will rarely cover the time unless you get really good at it, and fast.  The wiriter here are unlikely to answer this question I would think.

  3. bizwin profile image60
    bizwinposted 5 years ago

    I charged $10 per 400 to 500 word counts as I know that  can write one article within 30 minutes or less. This means that I earn $20 per hour for 800 to 1000 word articles. You should be really good at what you are writing about, so it requires no or minimal research. I can tell you that there are many clients out there looking for online writers to write articles for their online businesses. Some hire for temporal positions, some are permanent.

    1. Barbara Kay profile image92
      Barbara Kayposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you bizwin. This gives me a good guideline. Hopefully it is acceptable to the customer.

  4. readytoescape profile image60
    readytoescapeposted 5 years ago
  5. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image96
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 5 years ago

    It depends on the venue and the type of writing.  Most newspapers and magazines pay per article for freelance work, and they have general guidelines for length.  One local magazine pays about $125 for articles that are between 900-1200 words, and this is a reduction from the $150 they paid a few years ago, before the economy slumped.

    Major daily papers can pay more, but often have reduced their budgets for freelance work.  Short features can get $250 or so (for about 900 words). One national religious magazine pays around $75 for articles (around 900 words), but mentions that people often donate their work if they're church members.

    A major travel magazine I worked with paid by the word - it was $1 for three words many years ago; not sure what they pay now.

    Hope this is helpful - not sure it is, though!