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How Much Should I Pay a Freelance Writer, and What Is Their Pay Based On?

how much should i pay a freelance writer

According to reports, the demand for content creators is exploding by an annual growth of roughly 33%. 

Fortunately for those needing writing services, the ranks of freelance writers have also shot up. However, not all of these writers have the skills required to produce quality content. 

One of the best ways to ensure that you receive great content is to pay well for it. However, there is also a limit as to how much you need to pay a specific writer. 

So how much should I pay a freelance writer?

There is no easy answer to this question. But once you have some insight on typical rates based on content type and experience, it’ll be a lot easier to offer a rate that is both competitive and affordable. 

Read on to get the inside scoop on freelance writing rates and become confident in your offers. 

Different Freelance Writing Rate Structures

There are a few different freelance writing rate structures. 

The most common fee structures are hourly and per word. Besides these, some freelance writers also charge a monthly retainer for large projects and ongoing work.

Per word rates are some of the easiest for both writers and clients. As a client, per-word rates are ideal, as you knew exactly what a piece of content will cost upfront. 

Some people also pay freelance writers per assignment. However, this is similar to per word, as most assignments will have a predetermined length.

An Overview of Freelance Writing Rates

Freelance writing rates can vary drastically, from as little as $0.005 per word—to $1.00 per word and up. 

Average hourly rates for writers also vary widely. According to Indeed.com, hourly writing rates can range from $7.25 to $55.25. 

As for annual earning levels, Glassdoor tallies that blog writers earn between $33,000 and $81,000 annually, with $51,395 being the average annual salary.

ZipRecruiter, on the other hand, puts the annual earning range of freelance blog writers to between $12,500 and $150,000. However, their data also places the average annual earnings at $51,324. 

Additionally, ZipRecruiter estimates that the average hourly rate for freelance blog writers is $27. 

This data is, however, so broad that it’s not all that helpful. Let’s take a more detailed look at the relationship between freelance writing pay and experience. 

Rate Scales and Experience

As shown above, hourly freelance writing rates vary dramatically. However, rates typically correlate with experience. 

To get a better idea of “how much should I pay a freelance writer”, here is a rough break down of the different pay ranges in relation to experience levels.

Beginners

Beginner writers typically have up to 3 years of experience. Some of this may have been on a part-time basis. 

There are two rough rate categories most commonly paid to freelance writers. These are up to $20 per hour and between $21-$40 per hour

Equivalently, acceptable per word rates for beginner freelance writers range from $0.01-$0.10 per word and can go as high as $0.25 per word.

If you are working with a freelance writer that is new in their career, but competent, you may want to consider offering rates in the $21-$40 range. However, if the writer in question is very fresh, slow, prone to errors, and writing highly simple content, you could look at paying $20 or less. 

Intermediate

Intermediate writers typically have between 3-7 years of experience writing full time. 

Common ranges of hourly pay for intermediate freelance writers are around $21-$40 per hour and $41-$60 per hour.

As for per-word rates, intermediate writers may charge between $0.11-$0.25 per word, or more commonly, $0.26-$0.50 per word

Once again, the quality of work that the writer is providing should be able to guide you as to what to pay within these ranges. 

Professional

Professional writers are those who have been writing for between 7-15 years. 

Professional writers net somewhere between $81-$100 per hour and in some cases over $100 per hour. 

When it comes to per word rates, professional writers may charge anything between $0.26-$1.00 per word. The exact fee may depend on the subject matter. 

Expert

Some expert freelance writers charge a similar amount to professional writers. However, a large percentage of expert writers cost over $100 per hour to hire.

Most writers who have been in their field for over 15 years will be experts. 

How to Judge Experience

Hopefully, the broad categories that we just looked at will give you a rough idea of how much to pay based on experience. 

However, experience is not something that can always be measured in years. For example, a writer may have 5 years’ experience but have never written on your subject matter before. Or, they may have been writing for 3 years, but have not improved their grammar skills or their delivery. 

Therefore, when using experience to estimate freelance writing pay, take into account the following:

  • The writer’s ability around your subject matter
  • Their general writing skills 
  • Their ability to come up with relevant content ideas

Make sure that you get to look at their portfolio. You can also send potential writers a test piece to see if they are able to write the specific type of content you are looking for. 

Experience is one of the top qualities to look for in a freelance writer. So make sure that you investigate this. 

Types of Writing and Associated Costs

The final thing to consider when wondering what freelance writing pay to offer is the type of content that you need. 

Straightforward content on simple topics will typically take less time to produce than detailed content on technical subjects. Make sure you factor this in. 

If you offer a low rate for technical writing, you will likely end up with a string of unqualified writers who cannot do the information justice. On the other hand, paying high rates for very basic content is also not worth it. 

How Much Should I Pay a Freelance Writer? Now You Know

By now you probably have a basic answer to the question “how much should I pay a freelance writer.”

Is your next step to start generating content at an affordable price? If so, you need to take a look at the stellar pricing plans on our content creation services. 

If you like what you see, you can start ordering content from our vetted writers today by creating a client account. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help. 

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