How to choose freelance writer rates 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Freelance Writer Rates as a Beginner in 2023

Hey there, fellow mama-preneurs! If you’re just starting out in freelancing, you’re probably wondering how to price your freelance writer rates. Sadly, there is no secret, simple formula to follow to choose your rates.

How to choose freelance writer rates 2023

It can be tough to figure out what to charge when you’re just beginning, and it depends on many factors such as your freelance writing niche, your experience and the scope of your client’s writing needs. 

My goal for this article is to give you enough info so that you can choose your rates with confidence and find a balance that makes you and your clients smile.

So put on a fresh pot of coffee, grab a notebook, and let’s dive in!

Factors That Affect Your Freelance Writer Rates

If you’ve been looking online for a freelance rate cheat sheet, you probably haven’t found a lot of clear information, and that’s because freelance writing rates depend on so many different factors.  

Your Experience

Your experience is perhaps the biggest factor when determining your freelance writing rates. New writers with a barely-there portfolio, then you aren’t going to have a track record of high-performing content to show off to your potential client and you may have to charge lower rates. However, an experienced writer can charge higher rates since there will be a track record to show.

Just like with any job, if you’re an entry-level writer, then your rates should reflect that. When I first started writing, I would always ask what my prospective clients’ budget was, and just work with what they were offering for the position. 

As I’ve grown in my career, I can now set my rates and be pickier about working with clients that can afford it. 

I also want to point out that experience does not equal years. I have seen many pitches that brag of 15+ years of professional writing, but after seeing their samples, they’re…not great. 

2 years of experience immersing yourself in one niche, in my opinion, is more valuable than 15+ years of scattered writing for multiple niches. Just something to keep in mind when creating and pitching your portfolio.

Your Writing Niche

Different industries charge different rates for the same things. This is the second biggest factor when choosing your rates. If you’re writing for more complicated topics that require more expertise or research, charge accordingly. 

Higher-paying industries are:

  • Finance
  • Tech
  • Software
  • Medical 
  • Engineering 
  • Fitness
  • Etc.

While lower paying industries would be:

  • Travel
  • Lifestyle
  • Homesteading
  • Home and Garden
  • Parenting
  • etc.

These lists aren’t exhaustive, I’m just brainstorming. The lowest of the low would be content mills that pay 2-3 cents per word.

Scope of The Project

This one may be debatable, but I personally price differently depending on the scope of the project. If a client comes to me with a clear vision, a content calendar, keywords, and content briefs prepared for a long-term project, they’re going to get a better rate than a one-off ambiguous project from someone that I’m never going to see again. 

Freelance Pricing Model

After you’ve nailed down your niche of choice, know your experience level, and the scope of the project you’re pricing, you have several pricing model options to choose from. 

Here’s a breakdown of the pricing models for freelance writers:

Hourly Rate

This model is straightforward – you charge the client for the number of hours you work on their project. It’s best for projects with a flexible timeline or for when the scope of the work is unclear. 

The advantage of this model is that it provides a predictable income and the client knows exactly what they’re paying for. However, it may not be the best option for more complex projects that require a lot of research and preparation.


This model involves charging the client a set rate for each word you write. It’s a good option for projects with a clear word count, and it can also be helpful for clients who want to limit their costs. 

The disadvantage of this per-word rates model is that it doesn’t take into account the time and effort you put into researching, outlining, and editing the work.

Project Rate

With this model, you agree on a fixed rate with the client for a specific project. This is ideal for projects with a defined scope and timeline. 

The advantage is that you and the client both have a clear understanding of what’s included and what the cost will be. 

However, this model can be less flexible if the scope of the project changes.

Retainer Fee

This model involves charging the client a set fee on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly, for ongoing work. This is best for clients who need a dedicated writer for a long-term project or for regular content creation. 

The advantage of this model is that it provides a steady stream of income for the writer and a consistent level of service for the client.

Base plus Commission

This model involves charging the client a base fee for the project, with the possibility of earning additional commission based on performance or sales. This is a good option for writers who are promoting a product or service and want to earn extra income based on their success.

Ultimately, the pricing model you choose will depend on the type of work you’re doing, your skills and experience, and the needs of your clients. It’s your business, you get to choose!

Types of Content Freelance Writers May Take On

  • Blog Posts: A type of content that is regularly published on a blog, covering a specific topic and written in a conversational or personal tone.
  • White Papers: An informative report that presents a problem and proposes a solution, often used to educate and influence a target audience in a particular industry or field.
  • Case Studies: A type of research paper that examines a real-life situation, analyzing its causes and potential solutions, and often used to demonstrate the benefits of a product or service.
  • Content Marketing: A marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
  • Landing Pages: A specific webpage designed to convert visitors into customers by presenting a clear value proposition and a call-to-action.
  • Sales Letters: A persuasive letter written to influence a target audience to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.
  • Magazine Articles: A written piece that presents information on a specific topic or subject, typically published in a magazine.
  • Email Marketing: The use of email to communicate with a target audience for the purpose of promoting a product or service.
  • Social Media Content: Content created for and shared on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to engage and build relationships with followers.
  • Technical Writing: Writing that focuses on the clear and concise communication of technical information, such as user manuals, product specifications, and reports.
  • Website Copywriting: Writing that is specifically created for a website, including homepage copy, product descriptions, and call-to-actions, designed to engage and convert website visitors into customers.

The Market Value

Knowing the market rate is important for new freelance content writers because it helps set a benchmark for the pricing of your services and ensures that you are charging competitive and fair rates.

If your rates are too low, you risk undervaluing your skills and experience, and if your rates are too high, you may price yourself out of the market.

To find the market rate for a project, you can take the following steps:

  • Research: Look for information about the typical rates for the type of work you are offering. You can search for information online or ask other freelancers in your network for their rates.
  • Use online platforms: Sites like Upwork, Glassdoor, or ProBlogger provide information on average rates for various types of writing projects.
  • Check job postings: Look for job postings that require the same type of work you offer, and see what they are offering in terms of compensation.
  • Ask clients: If you have current or potential clients, you can ask them what their budget is for the type of work you are offering. This can give you an idea of the rates they are willing to pay.

It’s important to remember that the market rate is just a starting point and can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as your location, experience, and the type of project.

2You should also factor in your own costs, such as the amount of time and effort required to complete the project, when determining your own rates.

How Much Should I Charge for Freelance Writing?

The cost of each type of writing deliverable can vary greatly based on several factors, such as the length of the piece, the level of complexity, the expertise of the writer, and the type of project.

However, here is a rough estimate of the average rate range for each type of deliverable:

  • White Papers: $1,000-$5,000+
  • Case Studies: $1,000-$3,000+
  • Technical Writing: $50-$200+ per page
  • Magazine Articles: $500-$2,000+
  • Website Copywriting: $500-$3,000+
  • Email Marketing: $500-$2,000+
  • Content Marketing: $2,000-$10,000+ per month
  • Landing Pages: $500-$2,500+
  • Sales Letters: $500-$2,000+
  • Social Media Content: $500-$1,500+ per month
  • Blog Posts: $100-$800+

It’s important to keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and the actual cost of each type of deliverable may vary depending on the specific project and the needs of the client.

How Do I Choose My Personal Freelance Writing Rates?

As someone who is self-employed, you get to call the shots when it comes to your rates. Isn’t that exciting?

You get to take into account all the important stuff like your experience, market rates, the time and effort required for a project, and your own financial needs, and use that information to set prices that work for you.

Sure, it’s important to have an idea of what other experienced freelancers in your field are charging and to consider the budget of potential clients.

But ultimately, the decision on how much to charge for your services is all yours! And the best part? You get to choose the pricing model that works best for you.

  • Do you like stability and predictability? Hourly rates might be the way to go for you. 
  • Do you prefer a clear understanding of the scope of work and the amount of money earned for each project? In that case, a project-based, flat rate might be more your style. 

The good news is that determining your rates isn’t a one-time thing. As you grow and evolve as a freelancer, you may feel that your low rates need to be adjusted to reflect your increased skills and expertise or to meet changing financial needs. So keep an eye on the market and be willing to adjust your rates as needed.

In a nutshell, as a freelancer, you’re the boss when it comes to your rates. By taking into consideration a variety of factors and being open to adjustments, you can make sure you’re earning a fair and competitive rate for your services. 

What to Say When You’re Client Asks Your Rate in an Interview and You’re Not Ready to Say?

So, you’re in an interview for writing jobs and the potential client asks about your rates and you’re not ready to spill the beans just yet? No problem! You can still play it cool and give them a helpful response.

Here’s one way to handle it: 

Of course, I’d love to talk about my rates! But before I do, can you give me a bit more info about the project and what you’re looking for? That way, I can tailor my quote and make sure it fits your budget like a glove!” 

This way, you show that you’re all about providing a customized solution that meets their needs.

Or, you could try this approach: 

Well, my rates are unique to each project! Can we chat a little more about the specifics so I can give you a quote that’s fair for both of us?” 

This lets the client know that you’re open to negotiation and flexible, but that you need more details before giving a specific number.

The bottom line is, it’s always good to be upfront and honest about your rates, but if you’re not ready to give a specific number during an interview, these responses can help steer the conversation in a positive direction and make sure you’re both on the same page. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing your rates for your freelance writing business can seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you are ultimately in control. 

By considering factors such as your experience, skills, and market rates, you can determine a pricing model and freelance writer rates that works best for you and your clients. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate and communicate your rates clearly and confidently. Remember, your rates are a reflection of your value as a writer and the quality of your work. 

By setting fair and reasonable rates, you can build a successful freelance writing career and attract clients who are willing to pay for your expertise.

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