It’s the biggest question many freelance writers have: What should I charge? More specifically, what are going freelance writing rates for the type of project I’m doing?
After all, we don’t want to leave money on the table… or price too high and lose the gig.
If you struggle with pricing your work, it’s no surprise. Writing rates are all over the place, as there are so many variables that affect appropriate pay for a particular writing job. Those variables can include:
- Size, age and reputation of the client
- How important the writing is to client’s income
- The level of competition in their industry
- Complexity of the subject matter
- How well you know the subject matter
- Country and language used
- Volume of work on offer
- Usefulness of these clips in your portfolio
- How badly you need money right now
And more. See why the whole concept of ‘going rates’ is problematic? There’s also the question of your personal income goals, time available, living costs… all may factor into what you seek to charge.
What we can learn is what real writers are charging, for roughly similar work. I began investigating what writers earn last year, with the 2019 Writer Pay Survey.
It was a good start. But I only asked about rates on a couple of types of writing in last year’s survey — articles and blog posts, mainly. Writers asked for more.
So this year’s survey of nearly 600 writers asks more questions, about case studies, white papers, email marketing, and more. You can grab a downloadable version of all the data and my takeaways at the bottom of this post.
What are freelance writing rates these days? Are rates getting better or worse? Short answer: Some of each.
But I see lots of reasons for optimism in this year’s survey. In reviewing it, I decided it would be most useful to spotlight data from writers who earn primarily from freelancing — it represents 60%-100% of their income.
All the stats shown below are for writers in this more full-time freelancing category. Let’s dig into the data: