melanie johnston writer

Freelance Content Writer's Rates: A Helpful Guide That Will Set The Record Straight


It seems like everyone thinks they can write, but when it comes right down to it, very few individuals have the talent or the tenacity to stick to the business of writing. And YES, it is a business! Many people go into writing because they think they will become rich and famous and that it is easy to do; however, that simply is not so. Writing takes time, energy and most of all skill. Unfortunately, with so many poor writers flooding the market, the professionals are having a difficult time making any kind of money, much less a decent living. So as a freelancer, how do you set your rates?

Know Your Value

Creative people tend to sell themselves short when it comes to putting a value on their talent. As a freelancer you have the power to charge whatever you feel is appropriate, but what is a fair market value? That all depends on the client you are working with. Print media has set rates that freelancers can make a fair wage working at, but when it comes to online work, the rates can vary vastly. The internet is flooded with blogs, ezines and web sites that all need writers to create their online presence, but few want to pay for the skills of a good writer. Freelance writers need to feel invested in a project and if that task comes with a small payout, they may turn their attention to other things. Know your value and stick to it. Your time and skill is worth a fair wage.

Per Job versus Per Hour versus Per Word Count

There are three main payment methods that freelance writers can base their cost on; per job, per hour or per word. Which one you choose is purely up to you. But before you go ahead and set a rate, ask yourself these questions;

  • Do I know a lot about this topic and am I even interested in it?
  • How much research is going to be required?
  • How much time will I invest in this project?

Answering these questions are key to setting a fair wage. For example, the client may only want 500 words, but will it take hours of research to get the information required to write a good article? Know what you're getting into and move forward accordingly.

Being a freelance writer can be a rewarding and lucrative career. Know your value and set a wage that both you and the client are happy with. As your skills grow and your reputation as a skilled writer take hold, you will be able to find jobs that are well worth your time and talent.