One of the most difficult things about hiring a freelance writer is knowing how much to pay. On the one hand, you want to make sure you pay enough that you get a quality product. But on the other hand, you don’t want to pay more than you need to. In other words, you want value for money. But you’re much less likely to get that if you don’t know what the average freelance writing rates are and many writers are unwilling to share their rates publicly. Luckily, there are a few posts like this that shed a little light on the issue.

Why you need to know what the average freelance writing rates are

The easiest way to get set up with a new freelance writer is to contact a few prospective writers with a brief description of what you’re after and a fee range. That way neither of you waste time corresponding about specifics if your budget doesn’t match the writer’s fee range.

Of course, the elephant in the room when people recommend this approach is that you don’t want to give away your budget in case it’s above what your prospective writer normally charges and you end up paying more than you really had to as a result. But if you take this approach with a budget that’s in line with market rates, then you’re not going to be offering more than what the writer usually charges. If you are, the writer is unlikely to be talented enough or experienced enough to warrant that budget and you’ll quickly discover this when you evaluate the writer’s skills.

Knowing what the going market rate for a service is also gives you the option of offering less than the market rate if you want a low-quality, budget option. Or you can offer more than the market rate in order to secure exceptional services.

Now the market rate for any given service is going to be a range because there are all sorts of experience levels out there. And not all writers provide the same types of services. As an example, some blog writers will only provide a title and the body text for a blog post whereas others will also provide SEO extras like a meta description (the latter will also likely optimise the title and body text so your posts get a higher position in a search engine’s search results).

Nevertheless, having access to reliable market rate data is be a big help when it comes to finding a new writer, especially if you’ve got a big or long-term project on the cards.

What are the market rates for common freelance writing services?

By now you’re probably silently telling me to get on with it and reveal what the rates are. But before I do, there’s one more thing I want you to know.

In fact, it’s really more a case of you needing to understand. Because if you don’t appreciate what I’m about to tell you, you’re likely to get a big shock when you see the market rates. Most people do.

Many business owners wonder how freelance writers can get away with charging more than they themselves make. But in reality, many freelancers struggle to make what their identical in-house writer colleagues make. This is because employers spend a lot of money on in-house employees that those employees never see. More obvious expenses include superannuation, certifications and professional development. Less obvious ones include office space, heating and cooling costs, and equipment (such as a computer and relevant software). Plus the chattier in-house staff are probably less efficient than many solo freelancers so freelancers often provide more value for every hour they work. Freelance writer rates need to include funds that contribute to all these expenses and more.

If you’re interested in examining this in more detail, check out this post on why freelancers are ‘so expensive’.

Now that you understand what a freelancer’s rates include, you’re ready to see the rate table I’ve put together. It’s based on a bunch of surveys that were conducted on real freelancers so you can be confident it reflects real market rates. There’re a few pages of rates so I popped all the info into a PDF, which you get for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. You can sign up by filling in the below form.

Signup for your free copy of the freelance writing rates guide

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K. M. Wade

Kelly is a business content writer, copywriter, content marketing strategist, author, scientist (PhD) and gardener with 10+ years of professional writing experience


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