How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates As a Newbie (How Much to Charge)

Did you recently land a new freelance writing job?

I’ve been a freelance writer for a few years now, and I’m at a good place right now with my workload and my freelance writing rate.

But, I didn’t start out like that. I had to figure out what my freelance writing rates was as a new writer.

How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates As a Newbie (How Much to Charge)

If you were like me when I first started out, I had no clue what were freelance writing rates and how much should I charge for freelance writing.

How do you decide what your writing is worth to prospects?

What are a good hourly freelance writing rates for a freelance?

I asked other freelance writers, but they couldn’t tell me what MY writing was worth. So, the only thing I did was pick a freelance writing rate, and I thought $.04/word was a good freelance writing rate as a starting point.

Boy, was I wrong!

I quickly learned that any freelance writing jobs that came my way, were low-quality and low priced. Why was that happening?

It was because I was telling everyone that’s what I was worth!!

To see how much does freelance writing pay, check out my YouTube video and make sure to subscribe to my channel!

Freelance Writing Rates

Some things to consider when setting your freelance writing rate and deciding how much to charge for freelance writing are:

  • What your niche is – some niches are more profitable than others
  • The level of your writing skill – you need to have some basic understanding of the English language and forming engaging content
  • How you define yourself online – you can do this easily by starting a service-based blog
  • Your network – you can land some sweet gigs if you have a network to fall back on
  • What others say about your writing – by guest posting you can find out what others are saying about your work
  • Where you live
  • Your ideal client

With those in place, you can decide the value of your writing. For my course students, I suggest to start at around $.12/word.

This is standard for blog posts of varying niches.

How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates

You can’t make a living at $.05/word. You have to grow your business so that you can start making a living as a writer.

So to set your freelance writing rates you have to account for growing your income as a freelance writer.

You also have to account for your growth as a freelance writer when deciding how much to charge for freelance writing.

I am a much better writer now than I was when I first started out as a new freelance writer! I learned more about my freelance writing niche, attended webinars, read books and such to learn more about my niche and that time I put in should reflect in my freelance writing rates for clients.

How Do You Price a Job for Your Freelance Writing Rates?

For brand new freelance writers stick with my recommendation of at least $.10/word – $.12/word.

As I established myself as a freelance writer, I set my freelance writing rates on a per 500 words.

Currently, my freelance writing rates between $200 per 500 words to $250 per 500 words, which gives me an hourly rate of $200.

I had to learn to type fast and to work efficiently like creating outlines and understanding my topic for my writing jobs.

Should I Go With Hourly Freelance Writing Rates?

For writing jobs I wouldn’t suggest going with hourly freelance writing rates. You can make less money if you are a fast typer right?

Instead, think of it for other online jobs.

I you’re still wondering, what are good hourly rates for a freelance writer, what I can advise you is that if you do editing work to charge a minimum of $45/hr or $50/hr is good.

Here’s a good hourly rate calculator to calculate your hourly wage.

Typically, this is a progression of a freelance writer:

1. One Off Pieces

In the beginning you might land a freelance writing job that’s only one project or one blog post. This might even be a paid guest post.

These types of gigs are fun and exciting and it helps you figure out your niche.

Typically your freelance writing rate may be on the low side but you’re new and you’re learning the ropes to having a freelance writing business.

2. Specialize

Once you have a handle on freelance writing, you soon start to realize where the money is. And that is with your niche.

It will be your niche and writing skills that will set your freelance writing rate at this time and help you decide how much to charge for freelance writing.

From the one-off pieces you learn which topics you enjoy writing about and which ones give you the most income. You also learn what type of clients you enjoy working with.

At this point you can be a bit choosy on which freelance writing jobs you pick.

3. Recurring Work

When you’re in the “thick” of freelance writing, you will try to find ways to sustain this workflow. So that means finding recurring work.

You also might explore other services to diversify your income. Some extra services you might offer are:

With recurring work you may give a discount on your freelance writing rate because it is consistent work that you don’t need to pitch every month. Many seasoned freelance writers have bundles of projects like – 4 blog posts, 2 emails, 3 social media posts for $500/month. Freelance writing rates per projects like four blog posts might be $400 and your rate for two emails might be $100. So for this client you are discounting your social media post writing when you give them your freelance writing rate.

4. Fine-Tuning

At this point – probably a year into freelance writing – you start to really fine-tune your hustle strategy for marketing your freelance writing business.

This might mean optimizing your pitch so that you land the right type of client. Or, it might mean using cold pitching as a new tactic for high-paying projects.

As a more established freelance writer, you will learn what to do to land more projects and raise your freelance writing rate.

This is where you can play with your freelance writing rate and see “how far you can go.” I tell my students in Writeto1k to increase their freelance writing rate with every new job that comes their way.

This is how I moved on the income ladder.

Check Industry Standards for Freelance Writing Rates

Contently, a content marketing platform and a portfolio platform for freelance writers, has a handy infographic on the states of freelance writing rates back in 2018. You can use this as a loose guideline for your current freelance writing rates and see which types of projects yield better income.

You can also check Who Pays Writers, which is a database of other freelance writers sharing their freelance writing rates for magazines and businesses.

 

If you are thinking about writing for a certain publication, go to this site, plug in the name of the publication and see if others share their freelance writing rates.

Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates

It’s up to you to set your freelance writing rates and learn how to negotiate a higher rate when the time comes. It’s also up to you to pick the right jobs so that you can turn this into a livable income.

Free free to use the steps in this post on setting your freelance writing rates for the first time.

Don’t over think your freelance writing rates as well.

Go with your gut instinct and always ask yourself, “how many hours will this project take?” and from there you can figure out how much money it would be for that project rather than figuring out the average freelance writing rates per word.

You can also segment your services and have a base quote for each service. For example, blog posts of up to 1,000 is $100, emails of 500 words is $150, white papers of 1500 words is $300.

This freelance writing rate will change based on each unique project.

Over to you – what is your freelance writing rate and how did you decide on this? Share with me in the comments and don’t forget to pin this!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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14 Comments

Hey Elna, I am almost through with your 1K lessons and now I have to decide on my rate as a newbie. At least you have answered my question, so thank you! I cannot wait to get my feet wet soon!Reply to Anum
Hi Anum, That’s great to hear! Good luck on finding that first client!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for this helpful article. I’m a new writer who is struggling on how to increase my rate. Just a quick question. Does the rate that you mention above apply for both rewriting or just writing new content? Thanks ElnaReply to Iris
Hi Iris, The rate I mentioned is for new content. Rewrites should be less!Reply to Elna
Any rough indications of the rate for rewrites would be appreciated. Thanks ElnaReply to Iris
Hi Iris, I’m sorry, I don’t know the rates for rewrites as a service. But you can offer rewrites when someone edits your work. That’s part of your service as a writer.Reply to admin
Hi Elna, I recently cold pitched to a major news website in my country. They replied kindly saying their budget not allowing for freelancers these days and would keep my email for the future. As a new freelancer, should I reply by offering writing free occasionally for them to kickstart my freelancing career? Looking for to hearing your thoughts.Reply to Eric
Hi Eric, I would offer my writing for free; Instead, guest post for free! Just Google your niche + write for us to get blogs that accept contributors.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna Again thank you so much for all the helpful info!! I just wanted to ask, why does where you live play a role if everything is done remotely? ThanksReply to Rebekah
Hi Rebekah, Well, for many people living in India, they are willing to write articles for $5 as this is enough for them to live on. That same article I may charge up to $100 or more. So where you live does play a role in how much you need to live on.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, There are many other freelance writers who had no clue how to rate their freelance writing projects – myself included. When I started, I asked many I trusted will easily tell me but I was stunned when almost all those I spoke with refused to give me a clear answer as to how much to charge my clients. However, I decided to begin with $50 for a 1000 word article after only two among all those I spoke with told me they’re doing $50. I got my first client and worked on projects for six month and increased my price. It has been great ever after. Along the line or on my journey so to speak, I learned that your area of residence plays a crucial role in the way you charge your clients. As you mentioned, being fluent in English, and many other factors are involve with one has to consider. The tips and suggestions you presented here are incredibly valuable. Thanks for sharing.Reply to Moss
Hi Moss, It was the same with me when I first started. No freelance writer would give me a freelance rate or some idea about it. It is all based on so many factors like where you live, your writing level, your marketing ability and your niche. But, in my course I do tell writers to start at around the $.10/word mark as this is pretty standard for new writers. In a few years, I’ll probably up the rate to account for the new cost of living.Reply to Elna
Would you say that’s the same beginning rate if someone wants you to write copy for their website? $.10/word? That is pretty much my base, but I’m not sure if it’s different for website copy (home page and 3 other information type pages).Reply to Kate
You can try that if you want. I don’t do website copy so can’t give you some advice for that! Sorry!Reply to Elna