Freelance Writing Week II: The Right Pay for Freelance Writing Jobs

Welcome to Day 3 of Freelance Writing Week II!

So far we’ve covered:

Now, let’s move on to:

What is the “right” pay for freelance writing jobs?

Writing Tools 3 by avianto on FlickrIn my best lawyerly voice, I respond with a straight face: “It depends.”

Basically this is something you’re going to have to decide for yourself, i.e., whether you’re comfortable with the amount being offered or want to negotiate. Rates are all over the place, so your best bet is to do lots of research before committing to a price.

One thing that is absolutely certain, though:

Be sure you know what you will be paid for an assignment *before* you even start.

To be clear, pay is usually offered in two ways: by the word or by the blog post/article. Print publications often have set rates that aren’t *too* negotiable (although it doesn’t hurt to ask), but you’ll probably have more wiggle room with online venues.

As stated above, rates vary widely, but it doesn’t hurt to look around to similar publications or blogs and make sure the rate you’re being offered is competitive.

Sometimes pay is also offered by the hour, so you should be prepared with a number for that as well.

How do I set freelance writing rates?

Many factors should be considered when deciding how much you should get paid for a freelance writing assignment, including but not limited to:

  • Your experience
  • Your expertise on the subject matter
  • Length of the finished piece
  • Amount of research required
  • Writing time required

For more specific details on this, I’m directing you to Anne Wayman at About Freelance Writing, who recently posted:

Setting Freelance Rates

Final note about freelance writing rates

If you’ve been writing for a publication or organization for a year or more and your rate has stayed the same, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise.

I did this with one of my regular clients and now make four times more per piece than when I started–and have a much smaller required word count as well. It never hurts to ask!

Also, on the subject of earning money as a freelance writer, check out:

Not Earning Enough as a Freelance Writer? You Have Only Yourself to Blame by Jennifer Mattern at All Freelance Writing. Jennifer gives *excellent* advice that is sure to get you motivated to find well-paying freelance writing gigs.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for
“How and When to Expect Freelance Writing Payments!”

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Also free free to bookmark, Stumble, and share these posts with friends via email, your blog, and Twitter. The more people we have reading them, the more ideas and suggestions we can come up with in the comments. We freelance writers have to stick together!

Do you have advice about setting freelance writing rates?

5 Beans of Wisdom to “Freelance Writing Week II: The Right Pay for Freelance Writing Jobs”
  1. I’m loving this series.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Lo Shopping: Saponissimo. Hand made soaps from Italy’s Amalfi Coast

    Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  2. 04.22.2009

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

    This looks like an interesting series–I’ll have to take some time later today and check out the rest! Take care!

    Jenn Mattern’s last blog post..Woohoo! 1000 Posts!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. 04.24.2009

    You’re right in the “It depends”. For everything you have written here, I am all thumbs up! Pay increases when you know that you can bargain more for the quality of your work.

    Thanks for validating my opinions, too.

    Tara’s last blog post..Saying “No.”

    Thanks so much for coming over and sharing your thoughts, Tara! Much success to you 🙂

  4. 04.25.2009

    In the field of travel writing, rates don’t vary much among the legitimate established publications and sites… the best US and UK publications pay around $1.50 a word, the good ones pay around $1, which is the industry standard, then you get varying rates, from 35-50-75 cents a word… with magazines, the rate is essentially connected to the distribution, so the magazines with the widest distribution and therefore the highest readership pays more… in-flight magazines for instance can vary remarkably with the best ones, such as United’s Hemispheres paying high rates while low-cost airlines with smaller number of readers will pay on the low side. Ditto re digital. The sites with the highest hits are almost paying magazine rates, those with lower hit rates will pay a pittance.

    LaraDunston’s last blog post..Travel by postcards: A Little Beijing

    I hope lots of aspiring travel writers are reading your comments–*so* helpful! Grazie mille 🙂

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Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
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