Freelance Writing Rates: How Much to Charge

As a freelance writer, you might question the industry standard for writing rates. Understanding the average freelance writing rate can not only help you set your pricing but also ensure that you’re fairly compensated for your work.

The rates in this field can vary depending on factors such as experience, the type of content, and the niche you are writing in.

If you’re starting out, knowing typical rates for beginners, intermediate, and advanced freelance writers can be useful. For instance, beginners usually charge between $0.05 to $0.10 per word, intermediate writers earn $0.30 to $0.50 per word, and advanced writers can charge from $1 to $1.50 per word.

However, remember that these are only average rates, and your pricing will depend on your skills, workload, and the unique value you bring to each project.

It’s essential to remain flexible with your rates and adjust them based on your experience and track record. Remember, the key to earning a sustainable income is to balance setting competitive rates and providing quality work that keeps clients coming back for more.

Understanding Freelance Writer Rates

As a freelance writer, it’s essential to know the average rates in the industry, especially when starting or negotiating with clients. This section will discuss factors influencing these rates and provide you with some insights to determine your own pricing.

Factors Influencing Rates

Several factors can impact your freelance writing rate. These factors may include your experience, niche, content type, and client requirements. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

  • Experience: The more experience you have, the more you can potentially charge. Beginners might charge around $0.15/word, while more experienced writers can charge as much as $0.50/word.

  • Niche: Certain niches demand higher rates. For example, technical writing and highly specialized industries like finance or medical may have higher rates, with technical writers making around $81,470/year.

  • Content Type: Longer and more complicated content usually has higher rates. For instance, writing a single email might cost between $99 and $249, while a more technical and extensive webpage may go for $500 to $750.

  • Client Requirements: Different clients may have various expectations, and their budget plays a significant role in determining the rates. For example, a small business might have a lower budget than a larger corporation.

Understanding these factors will help you set your rates and negotiate with clients effectively. It’s crucial to strike a balance between your experience, the market rates, and your clients’ needs to find the sweet spot for your business.

Related: How to Get Freelance Clients

Types of Freelance Writing

Content Writing

As a content writer, you create informative and engaging articles for blogs, websites, or digital publications. Your primary goal is to provide value to your target audience, and your tasks may include writing long-form articles, listicles, or opinion pieces.

The average rate for a 1,000-word blog post ranges from $50 to $175, depending on your experience and research requirements.


Copywriting involves writing short-form, sales-driven content. You may work on projects like ad copy, email campaigns, or social media posts. Captivate your audience and persuade them to take action with persuasive language and strong calls to action.

Freelance copywriters typically charge per word or project. For example, a beginner might charge $0.05-$0.10 per word, while advanced writers may charge up to $1.50 per word.

Technical Writing

Technical writing requires you to create detailed, accurate content covering complex topics. You might produce user manuals, technical guides, or product documentation. A strong understanding of the subject matter and effective communication skills are essential for this role.

Technical writers often charge per project or per hour, with average hourly rates varying based on experience and the complexity of the topic.


Ghostwriting is the practice of writing content on behalf of someone else, without receiving credit for the work. You may ghostwrite books, articles, speeches, or blog posts, tailored to your client’s voice and style.

Since you don’t receive credit for your work, ghostwriters often charge higher rates than other freelance writing types. Rates for ghostwriting vary depending on the project scope and level of expertise required.

Related: How to Become a Writer: 15 Proven Ways for Success

Pricing Structures and Methods

As a freelance writer, it’s essential to understand different pricing structures and methods to determine the best fit for you and your clients.

This section will explore the most common pricing methods, including per word, per hour, per project, and retainer or monthly fee.

Per Word

Charging per word is a popular method for many freelance writers, as it offers flexibility and transparent pricing for both parties. The rates can vary depending on your experience and the type of content you create.

For example, beginners may charge between $0.01 to $0.10 per word, while more advanced writers might charge up to $1.50 per word.

Per Hour

Hourly rates are another option for freelance writers. This method involves charging clients based on your time working on their projects.

On average, hourly rates range from $6/hr to $75/hr, with more experienced writers potentially charging between $30/hr to $50+/hr.

Per Project

Per project pricing is ideal if you prefer a fixed amount for a specific project regardless of the time spent or word count. This method allows you to closely evaluate each project’s demands and intricacies before determining the appropriate rate.

$250 to $399 is the most popular rate for a 1,500-word blog post, while whitepapers often range between $500 to $999.

Retainer or Monthly Fee

A retainer or monthly fee model is an excellent option when working with long-term clients on ongoing projects. This method ensures a steady income and allows your clients to budget more effectively.

In this arrangement, you and your client agree on a fixed monthly rate for the agreed-upon amount of work or set number of hours, providing security for both parties.

Each pricing method has pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your preferences, work style, and the specific projects you take on.

By understanding the different options, you will be better equipped to set fair and appropriate rates for your freelance writing services.

Related: 9 Best Invoice Software for Freelancers

Determining Your Rate

As a freelance writer, determining your rate is crucial to your success. This section discusses how to set your prices by conducting market research, evaluating your skills and experiences, and calculating your expenses and desired income.

Market Research and Comparisons

To start, you should conduct market research to understand the industry standard for freelance writing rates. Explore job boards, online forums, and websites related to freelance writing to collect data on rates.

You can get an idea of average rates for beginners, intermediate, and advanced writers from various sources, like Upwork.

  • Beginner: $0.05-$0.10 per word
  • Intermediate: $0.30-$0.50 per word
  • Advanced: $1-$1.50 per word

Once you have this information, compare your rates with those of other freelance writers with similar skills and experience. This will give you a benchmark to work with when setting your own rate.

Evaluating Your Skills and Experience

Next, assess your skills and experience as a freelance writer. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced writer? Your level of expertise will impact the rate you can charge. Be honest with yourself when assessing your skill set and adjust your rates accordingly.

Also, consider your niche or specific industry if you have one. Some industries may pay more than others, so adjust your rates based on your knowledge and experience within a particular field.

Calculating Expenses and Desired Income

Finally, calculate your expenses and the desired income you want to earn. Remember to factor in cost factors such as taxes, equipment, software, and insurance when setting your rate. A freelance rate calculator can help you determine a suitable hourly rate based on your expenses and preferred working hours.

Once you’ve finished these steps, you should better understand the rate you should charge as a freelance writer. Remember that your rate may change over time as your skills and experience grow, and as market conditions evolve.

Continuously monitor your performance and the industry to ensure your rate remains competitive and reflects your worth.

Related: How to Become a Freelance Writer (with No Experience)

Negotiating Rates with Clients

Negotiating rates with clients can be challenging as a freelance writer, but it’s a crucial step in establishing a successful business relationship.

Justifying Your Value

When discussing rates with a prospective client, focus on the value you bring rather than just the price. Highlight your skills, experience, and any specialized knowledge relevant to the project.

Remember, clients are often willing to pay more if they perceive they’ll be getting a higher quality product. You can justify your desired rate more effectively by emphasizing the results they can expect from your work.

Revising Scope and Timeline

If a client is hesitant about your rate, consider offering alternatives by revising the project’s scope or timeline. For example, you could suggest reducing the word count, excluding additional research, or extending the deadline.

This shows that you’re open to working within the client’s budget while still maintaining a reasonable rate for your work.

Finding a Middle Ground

Both you and your client should be satisfied with the agreed-upon rate. When you understand your client’s budget, you can negotiate a middle ground that works for both parties.

Offer different options, such as a lower rate with fewer revisions or a discounted price for a faster turnaround time. Engaging in this type of flexibility demonstrates your professionalism and willingness to collaborate.

Remember to keep the conversation open and honest, while also being firm about the value you bring to the project. By addressing these negotiating points and employing a casual tone, you’ll be on your way to securing a rate that works for both you and your client.


As a freelance writer, understanding the average rates in the industry is essential for your success. Remember, over 70% of freelance writers make less than $50k per year, with more than half earning less than $30k per year. However, with experience and specialization, it’s possible to charge higher rates and increase your annual income.

Consider factors like your expertise, the value you provide, and the market demand for your niche when setting your freelance writing rates. For hourly rates, over 60% of freelance writers charge over $50 per hour. If you prefer charging per word, a typical range for freelancers often falls between $0.05 and $0.20 per word.

Ultimately, it’s essential to know your worth and be confident in your skills when negotiating rates with clients. The more you invest in your professional development, the higher rates you’ll likely command.

So keep honing your writing skills, specializing in your niche, and building your portfolio to navigate the world of freelance writing successfully.

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