Freelance writing rates

Freelance Writing Rates – What to Pay/Charge

Trying to figure out how much to pay a freelance writer or charge yourself?

No problem.

I’ve been freelance writing for over seven years, and I’ve also outsourced writing to various employees during my time as an entrepreneur.

Today you’re going to learn benchmark rates for different areas like content writing, direct response copywriting, technical writing, and more.

Remember that rates differ based on industry, the writer’s portfolio and skill level, your budget, among many other factors.

With that being said, let’s get into it.

Freelance copywriter rates

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the practice of producing sales copy, which helps a business increase revenue, leads, or another important KPI.

In this instance, I’m particularly speaking about direct response copywriting.

This includes writing sales copy like:

These pieces of material are as close to the point of sale as possible, which is why direct response copywriters get paid the most out of any field of freelance writing.

Their skill can easily generate a client incredible amounts of revenue, and it’s easy to measure.

If you were to pay a writer $10,000 for a copywriting project and they netted you $100,000 in sales, that’s a great ROI 🙂

Copywriting rates

Copywriting is typically billed on a per-project basis or by the hour.

According to the Professional Writers Association of Canada, advertising material is normally billed at $75-150/hour.

Copywriter’s also commonly charge a day rate, which is their hourly rate multiplied by eight, as that’s a full working day.

In the case of a copywriter that charges $75/hour, her day rate would be $600.

If a project were to take two weeks, the total cost for you would be $8,400.

This might seem a lot for some business owners, but remember that it’s an investment.

A good copywriter doesn’t write material for fun. They write it to produce results.

Per-project rates are based on the estimated amount of hours that a project will need to be completed multiplied by the copywriter’s rate.

Some writers may charge a small royalty fee, as well.

Freelance editing rates

Don’t underestimate the power of editing.

Copy and content often go through ruthless edits to make it completely polished and clean.

Editors are specialized in fixing grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and rewriting copy to make it flow better.

Some times you have great material, but it lacks clear communication. An editor will revamp it so that it better resonates with customers, and ultimately increases conversion rates.

According to PWAC, editors typically charge $30-60/hour or $500-20,000 per project.

Freelance proofreading rates

It’s easy to get editing and proofreading confused. They are often performed together but can be done as separate services.

Proofreading comes after the editing process and involves re-reading the copy to correct it of inconsistencies.

While the editor actually makes the changes, the proofreader helps offer advice for communicating your message in a better way.

Hiring a proofreader will improve your branding and how well you sell a product. They will study your business and ideal customer down to a science, helping writers and editors as a team with their knowledge.

The amount you pay for a proofreader to complete a project will depend on many factors, such as:

  • The material: The complexity and type of content that needs to be proofread will change the project’s price. Something like a business plan or scholarly article would be more expensive than a blog post, for example.
  • Length: The longer the material, the more you will to pay. This is purely based on scale, as it will take the proofreader more time.
  • Qualifications: If the proofreader has an impressive portfolio and history of results for previous clients, expect to pay a premium as you will get a better ROI.

Generally, you can expect to pay $15-45/hour for proofreading services on average.

Some professional proofreaders will charge upwards to $100/hour, however.

Website copywriting rates

Website copywriting is the process of creating websites that accurately display a brand’s message while improving how many customers they acquire.

Copywriters will create home pages, about pages, contact pages, service pages, and other key areas of a website for their clients.

They use strategies such as storytelling, calls to action, elaborating on product benefits, and more to increase the client’s sales.

Website writing is typically billed between $1-3/word or $60-100/hour.

Freelance journalist rates

Journalism is one of the best money making niches as a writer.

Writing in magazines tends to have some of the highest rates available, ranging from $0.50-3/word.

If a writer were to produce a 1,000 word article at $3/word, that’s $3,000!

Typically journalism is billed on a per-word or per-article basis, since it’s more of an adhoc industry.

You don’t see many retainers being offered in journalism, although they can be done.

Freelance technical writing rates

What is technical writing?

Technical writing is writing content that is technical in nature, such as reports, instructions, booklets, and similar material.

It requires the writer to be skilled in writing towards a very specific audience, while clearly laying out steps for using or achieving something.

They will also have savvy research skills, commonly conducting interviews, collecting resources like market reports, and ultimately becoming an expert at the given topic.

Average technical writing rates include:

  • $1-2/word
  • $300-12,000/project
  • $50-125/hour

Freelance content writer rates

My bread and butter.

I love producing SEO content for my clients because it improves their authority, organic traffic, and helps them naturally acquire customers without lifting a finger.

Freelance content writing is the practice of creating blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and other website content for businesses.

It is regularly billed on a per-word basis, and I’m a firm believer you should not pay or charge any less than $0.10/word.

Remember that how much you pay will determine the quality of the writer you get, and ultimately the improvement in business performance.

A copywriter skilled in SEO, lead generation, and CRO will charge more because they can create more results for your company.

Wrapping up freelance writing rates

How much you pay for a freelance writer or charge yourself depends on a variety of factors.

Firstly, the scope of the individual project is a big one. Is it a single blog post? A 40 page sales letter? The type of copy or content being written along with how much is needed drastically changes pricing.

Similarly, the skill and experience of the writer will impact the project. Take a look at my content writing service rates as an example.

Just like anything, pricing usually reflects the quality of service you’ll receive presuming you’re hiring a writer.

Going on Upwork or trying to hire cheap writers will get you that: cheap quality work.

That’s why I recommend all business owners to look at copywriting and content writing as an investment. Good writers will net you serious leads, traffic, and revenue.

The same goes for the opposite perspective as a writer. You shouldn’t settle for cheap rates or clients who are difficult to work with.

Read my guide on how to cold email for getting clients and check out these other articles I’ve published on freelance writing for more information:

  1. 9 Guaranteed Ways to Secure Freelance Writing Jobs
  2. How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs and Make 6 Figures From Home
  3. 5 Freelance Writing Job Boards For Earning Big Cash and Hiring Amazing Writers
  4. Magazines Looking for Freelance Writers That Pay Up to $1/Word [Ultimate List]

Hey! My name is Carmine and I've written for Neil Patel, GoDaddy, Smart Insights, and other popular publications. Reach out to me at any time if you need copywriting services.