Freelance Writing 108: Rates and Article Prices

Freelance writing is a great way to earn a living, but as you know by now, it can be terribly difficult to break into the field. To do this you need to understand as many facets of the industry as possible. Unless you want to rely on luck understanding freelance writing rates will give you an advantage when placing bids and gaining new clients.

There are two different types of freelance writing rates. One is for online content. Your work will ultimately be used for marketing purposes. The second type is for publications and the like, and your work may be used in dozens of different ways with many different intentions.


Common Freelance Writing Rates for Online Content

Freelance writing earnings for online content are much lower than the other kinds, but they are also the most plentiful. You are competing in an international marketplace with talented writers with various costs of living, and the rates reflect that.

Despite this, there are ways to make great money with freelance writing rates for this kind of work. It just takes some time and effort to build up your clientele and skills. Over time you can increase your rates substantially. It is possible to triple your hourly earned income by doing this.

Web content, blog posts, and keyword optimized articles are the most common type of assignment you will find in this freelance writing niche. The skills you need to develop are easy to understand. If you can type quickly and have even a moderate skill level, these assignments can provide a living.

Rates for this work range from ½ cent per word to about ten cents per word. That means a 500 word article (the typical size of these pieces) will provide a range of $2.50 to $50 each. Finding clients that need the level of quality that warrants a $50 price tag for a 500 word article is difficult. Finding clients willing to pay ½ cent per word is no challenge at all.

Expect to earn one cent per word for the majority of these freelance writing projects. If you can put together three 500 words in an hour you will bring home $15 in gross earnings for each hour you have worked.

Common Freelance Writing Rates for Other Types of Writing

There are dozens of other areas that provide better freelance writing rates, but they are far more difficult to obtain. If you start building your portfolio with online content assignments you can slowly work your way into these projects.

Depending on the kind of work you take on you can expect to earn from $25 to $200 per hour with these assignments. The list that follows details the range of potential freelance writing rates for a vast variety of skills:

  • Proofreading: $12.5 – $60/hr
  • Copyediting: $15-$70/hr
  • Proposal and Grant Writing: $20-80/hr
  • Technical Writing: $20-$100/hr
  • Ghostwriting (fiction or non-fiction): $20-$100/hr
  • Advertising Copywriting: $22.5 – $100/hr
  • White Paper Writing: $50-$100 /hr

The good news is that you can find assignments in these categories even through the online job boards. You can expect to earn at the lower range while building a portfolio of samples. Don’t take shortcuts just because these projects pay less. If you put in the same amount of effort as you would if you earned more it will enable you to find better paying clients in the immediate future.

What Are Appropriate Freelance Writing Prices for New Freelancers?

There are two common misconceptions when it comes to bidding as a newcomer. The first is that you should seriously slash your rates as a way to get into the game. The second is that you have any right to earning the going rate.

Don’t be too cheap, as this will indicate to your potential clients that you are a risk. They will quickly realize that you are new at this, and many can’t afford to waste time dealing with a writer that may not provide what they are looking for.

If you don’t have the experience necessary to earn standard rates few clients will be willing to pay. Instead, aim to set your starting freelance writing rates at approximately 80% of the values listed in this article, and success is sure to follow.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.

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