Freelance Writer Salary – What Can You Expect to Make?

Are you wondering how much a freelance writer salary is? Whether you are an aspiring freelance writer or have been in the business for some time, it is only wise to find out how much a freelance writer makes, at least on average. For a newbie, this will guide you when making your rate card. For the not-so-newbie, this information will help you determine if you are on the right track when it comes to charging for your work.

Unlike regular employment where employers usually follow government-mandated salary or compensation guides, you, as a freelancer, have total control over how much you will charge a client. However, this goes without saying that there are factors to consider before you lock in your rates. You wouldn’t want to lose gigs just because your pricing is too high, right? Or miss the opportunity to earn well because you are charging way too low. So, in order for you to have an overview of how much a freelance writer salary is, you must know the factors that dictate the average ongoing rates.

man counting money with laptop, calculator and papers on table

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make?

So let’s see. How much do freelance writers make? Well, to set your expectations, a freelance writer’s salary depends on several factors. Even if you look at job boards, freelance writers’ rates are based on skills, expertise, and duration of the contract. Rates may also vary depending on the type of material or content you are to produce, the length of the article, and other responsibilities you are expected to deliver.

Here are some of the factors you must consider when setting your rates:

• Credentials

Naturally, if you have a degree that is relevant to writing or languages, this is a plus point. If you have awards, recognition, and certificates from other relevant short courses, these are acceptable reasons to increase your rates.

• Experience

Most clients will look at experiences and previous jobs when comparing the rates of freelance candidates. Clients will most likely be okay to pay a higher rate if they see that a freelancer has a lot of experience.

For instance, in the freelance online marketplace site Fiverr, you get to advance your level as you complete more gigs. Level 2 sellers (how Fiverr calls freelancers) have higher rates than those in level 1.

• Niche

close up of a typewritter

There are different types of freelance writing jobs. These writing jobs each require a different set of skills which can dictate how much you charge for your work. For example, a white paper writing job will definitely fetch a higher rate because it involves research and evidence-based references. White paper writers charge clients from $50 to $150 per hour which is higher as compared to the average maximum rate of blog writers, which is $50 per hour.


As a freelance writer, you can also base your rates on contract terms and conditions. If your client wants you to work for them exclusively, then obviously, you can increase your rates to cover for opportunity losses. If your client places additional tasks in your contract, say, reporting, analytics, or unlimited revisions, then you can increase your rate.

• Timeline

The speed of delivery may have an effect on a freelance writer salary rates. If you will deliver an article within 24 hours, then you can charge a little higher than if you are to deliver it within 2-3 days.

• Standard Rates

Online job markets have made it simpler to determine industry standard rates because they are now openly publicized. Go to job board giants like Upwork or Freelancer and check out other freelance writers’ rates. This way, you will have an idea of whether you are charging competitively, especially if you are just new to the industry.

woman writing on notebook with chart on tablet screen

Freelance Writer Salary Type

There are several ways on how you can determine your pricing scheme. While charging by the hour has become sort of a norm for freelance writers, you can actually have a different system. Whatever works for you and your client is okay.

  • Per Word. Every word counts. Some freelance writers prefer to charge clients on a per-word basis.
  • Per Hour. For those who get annoyed by word counts or simply want to follow the standards, they bill their clients by the hour. Depending on your skill level, timeline, or experience, you may charge from $12 to $150 per hour.
  • Per Article. Some clients prefer to pay freelance writers per article.
  • Retainer. Sometimes, a client will like your work so much that they will put you on a writer retainer agreement. This means that you are bound to write for them until the completion of a project or campaign. Or, you will receive a monthly freelance writer salary with an agreement to deliver a specific number of articles.
  • Packages. One of the perks freelancers enjoy is the ability to be flexible in their pricing. With this said, you can create a package to make things simple for your clients. No more word counts, no counting of hours. For instance, as a copywriter, you can create a package that includes delivering copy for 3 webpages with up to 500 words each, with title tags and meta description, and provision for one revision per copy.

Other Factors That May Affect Pricing

person typing on laptop with open notebook on the side

There are other factors not directly related to writing that your clients may require from you. These tasks or assignments may help with your writing but is not usually part of the services provided by writers. These tasks can also be charged in addition to your published or agreed rate.

  • Competitor or Market Research
  • Image Sourcing
  • Keyword research
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Content or Campaign Strategy
  • Edits & proofreading for Other Content

Freelance Writing Jobs

We have mentioned that a freelance writer salary depends on the type of freelance writing you provide. Here is a bonus guide to some of the popular and in-demand freelance writing works:

Article WriterBlog WriterWhite Paper Writer
Academic WriterScript WriterMedical Writer
SEO WriterSpeech WriterGhostwriter
CopywriterLegal WriterSocial Media Content Writer

Your rate will depend on your level of expertise in these fields. It is okay to have more than one specialty, as this will give you more opportunities to landing gigs.

Pro Tip: Keep on writing. For days when you do not have gigs, keep your portfolio updated by writing more sample works. If you believe that you have already mastered a certain niche, try to expand and practice writing for a new niche to excel in.


hands typing on laptop

Now that you have an overview of how to charge for freelance writing services, it will be easy for you to manage your expectation of how much you can earn from this industry. Of course, you must first identify the type of writing in which you are most proficient. You then have to decide on the additional services you are willing to provide. You will also have to decide on a pricing scheme that you believe will give you the best compensation for your work. Do not, however, forget to check on the industry standard rates to see if your pricing is way off the average range. Knowing the average freelance writer salary rates will help you place your business in the freelancing world competitively.

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