Figuring out how much you should be paying for freelance writers to create your content can be challenging – since writers price their services differently depending on the kind of content you’re ordering (and how much of it you need).
In this article, we’ll go over the average content writer prices and discuss what you might expect while looking for a freelancer to work with.
Content Writer Prices (In A Nutshell)
How much a freelancer will charge depends a lot on the specific circumstances of both the writer and the job you want them to do. But to give you a quick idea of what you might expect when scoping out a freelancer for your next project, here’s a look at the current industry averages.
Typically, average freelance writer rates can range anywhere from $.05 per word for a writer who is just starting out in the industry, to over $1 per word for the most experienced writers with years of experience. If you work with a freelancer who charges by the hour, you could be looking at an hourly rate that falls anywhere between $16 and over $100 per hour.
These numbers and the numbers you’ll see in the rest of the article are industry averages, and not what we charge at The Content Panel. You’ll find that our freelancers have much clearer rates, and our pricing is much cheaper than what you’ll find in this article.
Why Such a Huge Discrepancy with Content Pricing?
We’ve provided you with a vast pricing window that may be hard to make sense of. What makes some writers worth 20 times as much as other writers? The massive range in content writer cost comes down to several factors, including:
New writers with less than a year’s worth of experience will charge the lowest rates. As writers get more experience, they start upping their rates, sometimes coming in at a dollar or more per word. But experience isn’t always just about how much time a writer has spent in their profession.
How long a freelancer has been specializing in a specific type of writing, how much time they’ve spent in a specific industry, and how much experience they have with getting proven results for their clients are equally important. These factors all go into the formula for deciding a writer’s experience level that will affect their freelance copywriter rate.
A writer getting paid a small fee per job will try to get each task done as quickly as possible. To make a decent wage off $20 blog posts, you have to write a lot of them. For this reason, writers who charge the lowest rates are the most likely to find corners to cut, like proofreading and research.
On the other hand, higher-paid writers will feel comfortable taking their time and paying attention to detail while working on a piece. Higher paid writers are more likely to give you a finished product that requires minimal edits or amendments.
Type Of Writing.
Some writing takes a lot more time and skill to write than others, and the pricing of these projects will reflect that. We’ll go further into detail about the several types of content later in the article.
Complexity And Technicality Of The Subject.
If your business is in a complicated or technical industry, you will need to find a writer with experience in the industry. You might be able to find a writer with less knowledge but who is capable of putting in the research needed to learn the subject well enough to write about it, but you may be required to pay for their research time.
Less technical subjects like video games or food will naturally be easier – and cheaper – to write about than healthcare or coding. If the content you want to be written requires interviews, quotes, or graphic design, your content writer cost is likely to be greater, too.
Location Of The Freelance Writer.
American and British freelance writers tend to cost the most to hire. Writers from other countries are likely to charge a lower rate that will reflect the local cost of living.
The Audience For Your Content.
If you want content geared toward a general audience or people who might not have a lot of knowledge on your topic, your rates will be lower than if you have a topic geared for an expert audience. This is because the more your audience knows, the more your freelance writer needs to know. And as mentioned above, more experience means a higher fee.
Content Writer Costs Depends on the Type of Content
“Content” is an incredibly broad term, and not all content is equal when it comes to difficulty and the amount of skill required to write it. A blog will be a lot cheaper than a whitepaper because to write a white paper, your freelancer will need a certain level of expertise in your industry and will have to do an extensive amount of research. But a generalist would be able to write a great blog post for you without nearly as much research. There’s an extensive list of types of writing you can hire a freelancer to do:
- Social media content
- Linkbait articles
- Landing Pages
- Video and webinar scripts
- Sales letters
- Press releases
All these content types come with different price points because they require varying levels of experience and research. If your freelance writer is providing extra services, you’ll need to account for those while budgeting for the content you want to buy. Some additional services a freelance writer might offer are:
- SEO keyword research and competitive analysis to help you beat the competition.
- Technical SEO fixes for your existing website to make it better optimized.
- Link building and digital PR to get your website more backlinks and build your presence on the web.
The way freelance writers charge for these services can be as variable as the services themselves. A basic keyword list might come in as low as $400, or as high as charging nearly $50 per keyword. Meanwhile, comprehensive keyword research and competitive analysis might cost you around $3,500! These services are not always necessary for content writing and depending on your goals, you might not have to plan for them in your budget.
Average Content Writer Costs
To make sense of all the ways freelance content writers might price themselves, it’s best to analyze the fees based on the method the writer will use to calculate their rate. Keep in mind that these numbers are industry averages, and not what we charge. Our pricing is cheaper than you’ll find on this list and the freelancers who work for us have set-in-stone rates per word so you never have to guess how much you’ll be paying.
Content Writer Price Per Project
- Magazine article: $100 to over $5000
- Blog: $5 to $50
- Web-based news article with minimal research: $15 to $50 per page
- Newspaper article: $75 to $1000
- Sales letter: $150 to $2000
- Email campaign with no graphics: $300 to $3000
- Ghost-writing E-book: $5000 to $20000
- Book summary: $ 250 to $500
- Book review: $2 to $200
- Brochure without graphics: $300 to $2500
- Business plan: $500 to $5000
- Editorial management per issue: $500 to $5000
- Grant writing: $200 to over $5,000
- Newsletter: $200 to $1,000
- Press release: $200 to $500
- Resume: $200 to $500
- Script: $1,000 to over $20,000
Freelance Writing Rates Per Hour
- Advertising: $45 to $100 per hour
- Copyediting: $30 to $70 per hour
- Developmental editing: $50 to $80 per hour
- Editorial: $20 to $150 per hour
- Fact checking: $15 to $50 per hour
- Ghost-writing: $40 to $100 per hour
- Indexing: $30 to $70 per hour
- Line editing: $40 to $70 per hour
- Proofreading: $25 to $60 per hour
- Proposals and grants: $40 to $80 per hour
- Tech editing: $30 to $90 per hour
- Technical writing: $40 to $100 per hour
- Web content: $10 to $90 per hour
- White papers: $100 to $200 per hour
Content Writing Costs Per Page
- Lesson plans: $10 to $20 per page
- E-books: $10 to $35 per page
- Indexing: $3 to $6 per page
Other Fees a Freelance Writer May Charge
- Upcharge for rushed delivery: an additional 10% to 25%
- Upcharge for keyword optimization: an additional 10%
- Down payment: 10% to 25% of the total price of the project
- Monthly retainers: varies based on the volume of anticipated work per month
Which Type of Pricing Strategy is Best?
There are pros and cons to working with freelance writers who use each of the above methods to determine their freelance writer rates. Writers who charge by the word can be trusted not to waste your money. Since their pay is based on their output, you know exactly what you can expect from them and you won’t have to worry about any surprises on your bill. The potential downside to this type of rate is that a writer who charges by the word might focus more on quantity rather than quality.
Most freelance writers tend to charge per project. They’ll give you a fixed cost for the content they’re writing for you that won’t change based on the length of the content. The upside of this pricing strategy is that you know exactly what to expect in terms of pricing. The downside is that you might not know exactly what your writer is doing for that fee, and you can be overcharged without realizing it.
Charging by the hour is a less common approach to pricing by freelancers, but it’s still not uncommon to see. With this fee strategy, you pay your writer based on how long they work on your project. The hourly rate includes the time they spend researching the project before they even start writing. If you know your writer is efficient, this can be a good rate style to agree to. But if you don’t trust your freelance writer to work effectively on your project, they may take longer than they need to and end up overcharging you for the work.
In general, you might not have very much control over how the freelance writers you hire choose to charge you. But at The Content Panel, we charge by the word so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money every time.
Client Relationships Can Affect Freelance Writer Costs
When looking for freelance writers for hire, there are two types of client-freelancer relationships you might have with your content writer.
- Direct client-freelancer relationships are ones where there are no intermediaries. You will find your freelancer and contact them directly to establish a working relationship.
The benefit of this relationship is that there is no “middleman” between you and your freelancer and no additional fee that needs to be paid to a service that you used to find your writer. The downside to this approach is that you have to put in all the leg work to find and vet your content writer, which might be more time-consuming than you think.
- Indirect client-freelancer relationships use an intermediary, like us! The upside of having an indirect relationship with your freelancer is that you don’t have to put in the work to find the perfect freelancer.
The service that you pay to act as intermediary deals with matching you with a writer, which allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. The downside of this kind of relationship is that direct contact with your freelancer might be limited depending on the intermediary you choose.
What to Expect from a Freelance Writer Based on Your Budget
Now that you know what the average content writer’s price range is, it’s time for you to decide how much you want to pay for the content you want based on your budget.
If you have a smaller budget and you’re looking to hire a writer on the lower end of the fee scale, you should expect to work with someone newer in the copywriting industry who will have less experience. That doesn’t mean they won’t be a fantastic writer, but they will lack the type of industry knowledge that comes with years of working in the job. You should expect to spend a bit more time working with them before they get everything exactly right. This might mean guiding them with specific instructions, giving them more time to research, and doing more edits.
If you would rather save more time and effort, but don’t want to spend a ton of money, you’ll be looking at a freelancer in the middle range for pricing. This type of writer will have a few years of experience working as a content writer and will know a decent amount, but not everything. They’ll be a bit more expensive for their experience, but you’ll be able to spend less time working with them overall because they will mostly be able to manage on their own.
If you want to work with a writer on the higher end of the price range, you’ll be getting a writer with several years of experience. This writer has developed a process for doing high-quality work and getting their writing submitted on time. They will give you a product that is finished, or close to finished with minimal edits required. They will probably have some name recognition that will give you a boost by being associated with your brand, and they will have a thorough understanding of the industry you do business in as well as the specific type of writing you need to have done.
Adding content to your website is a key factor in attracting people to your business, but it can be hard to figure out how much you should be paying for content when there’s such a huge range of prices out there. The world of content writing is an expansive one with a seemingly infinite number of types of content and highly variable pricing. What you’ll end up paying for content will depend on what you want your freelance writer to write for you, and how much experience you want them to have before you work with them.
Are you looking to hire a freelance writer for your business, but would rather avoid the headache of jumping through hoops to find a great writer for a great price? Check out our pricing to learn more about how we can help match you with the perfect freelance writer today!