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What Do Freelancers Charge? Writing Rates for Websites and Magazines

Shaun Connell
May 28, 2023

Whether you're a website or magazine publisher that is researching hiring freelancers or you're a freelancer that's wondering how to charge clients, understanding the standard rates in the industry is essential.

The truth is there can be a wide range for the rates that freelancers charge for various services, and there are a number of factors that influence these rates, including experience, topic, type of assignment, scope of project, type of publication, and more.

Solution You will be able to find freelancers that charge rock-bottom prices for their services (think a penny or two a word) as well as some that charge much more substantial rates ($1-$3 per word.) Beyond that, there are different common payment structures depending on the type of freelancer you're hiring, including charging a price per hour, price per word, flat fee per project, and price per page.

In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the different rates charged by various types of freelancers. This will help you set your rates as a freelancer or understand what rates are reasonable as a site owner or magazine publisher.

The Basics of Freelance Writer Rates

Whether you're thinking about breaking into the world of freelance writing or you're considering hiring a writer to help create content for your site or publication, it's hard to know what a typical rate looks like.

The truth is, there's an enormous range for how much freelance writers change.

man working as freelancer for magazine and website working on computer in park

Beyond that, there are three primary payment structures that freelance writers can use, which are:

  • Rate per word: Perhaps the most common way that freelance writers charge clients is per word. Rates can range from $0.03 to $2 or more per word, depending on their experience, expertise, the complexity of the project, and more.
  • Rate per hour: Though this is less common, there are some freelance writers that will charge an hourly rate for their work. Hourly rates can range from $20 an hour to $100 or more per hour. This can be a suitable structure when the work involves more than just writing, such as research or editing, or if the full scope of the project is unclear from the outset.
  • Rate per project: Freelancers might charge a flat fee for large writing projects. Project-based rates can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars and are determined by the estimated time, expertise, research required, and the type of assignment.

Now that we've looked at the most common ways that freelance writers charge clients for their work, let's take a closer look at the specifics for website content and magazines.

Before we get too deep into the weeds, though, I wanted to mention one of the best ways for writers and clients to connect with one another-- the Freelance Writing Jobs board. Whether you're a site owner or publisher that's looking for high-quality, reliable writers or you're a writer that's hoping to find some new clients, you'll find that this active board is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of freelance writing.

What Do Freelance Writers Charge For Websites?

When it comes to website content such as blogs or articles, charging per word is by far the most common model. For bigger projects, though, project-based fees also aren't unheard of.

woman working as a freelance writer on laptop with coffee and breakfast

The amount that writers charge can vary tremendously. Newer or less experienced writers might charge between 2 and 5 cents per word. High-level writers can get paid as much as $1 to $3 per word or more.

This might not sound like a huge difference, but when you're talking about a 500, 1000, or 2000-word article, common rates actually cover a huge range.

For example:

  • A 1000-word article at 3 cents a word is going to earn a writer $30.
  • That same article at 25 cents a word will earn the writer $250 while charging $1 per word means that the writer charges a whopping $1000.

Factors That Influence Freelance Writer Rates For Websites

Considering that there's such a big range for writers, we'll need to dive a little deeper to help you understand the rate that's applicable to you.

There are a lot of factors that can be taken into account when it comes to a website writing rate, including:

  • The niche (including industry, client type, and content format)
  • The writer's level of experience and knowledge
  • The length and scope of the project
  • The writer's portfolio and online reputation
  • The speed at which the writer can complete assignments (there are many factors here, but a major factor is typing speed)
  • How much research is required
  • Editing, proofreading, and revisions
  • The writer's credentials
  • Additional tasks beyond writing including image sourcing, publishing, formatting, outline creation, interviewing, etc.
  • The time investment required for marketing, administrative tasks, etc.

What Do Freelance Writers Charge For Magazines?

Magazines often pay freelance writers higher rates than they are able to charge for web content, but that doesn't necessarily mean that freelance writers are making a higher total income when they focus on writing for magazines.

With web content, writers can often set up ongoing relationships with clients where they produce regular articles or blog posts for their sites. In other instances, they might sign on for a large project that involves writing the copy for the main pages.

For magazines, though, writers are often pitching to editors on a one-off basis. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get published in a major magazine-- it can involve:

  • Writing up a pitch
  • Waiting for a reply
  • Submitting notes and
  • Transcripts
  • Doing interviews
  • A lot of back and forth with editors

This is a part of the reason that magazines often pay freelancers higher rates than websites-- more time is required on the part of the writer. Rates for magazine articles can range from 25 cents to $3 or more.

Are you a freelance writer and you're interested in creating passive income using your writing skills? Make sure you check out our guides to self-publishing on Amazon, finding the best book editor, and how to price an eBook.

The Basics of Freelance Editor Rates

There are a number of different types of editing services that freelancers can offer, which affects how much they charge.

The three primary types of editing are:

  • Proofreading: Usually the last step in the editing process, proofreading is a last run-through before something is published. At this point, the content isn't being rearranged or reworked.
  • Copy editing: Copy editing involves ensuring there aren't inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a piece of writing. It is focused on improving the style and formatting while also making sure that everything flows well. This also involves correcting any grammatical issues.
  • Content editing: Content editing, also known as substantive editing, is more intensive than proofreading or copy editing-- it can involve rewriting sections or adding things that were left out.

Freelance editors can charge per word, per page, per hour, or per project.

Some of the factors that influence the rates freelance editors charge include the following:

  • The topic, industry, and niche
  • The complexity of the project
  • The turnaround time (rush jobs cost more)
  • The editor's experience, expertise, and credentials
  • The type of editing required
  • The editor's reputation and track record

What Do Freelance Editors Charge For Websites?

Freelancers that offer editing services for websites can offer their services for a wide range of rates, depending on the type of project, the type of editing needed, their experience, and more.

  • Per-hour website editing rates: Hourly rates for editing a website can range from $20 to $100 or more
  • Per word, website editing rates: Per word rates for website editing can range from 1 cent to 50 cents or more per word depending on the type of editing and other factors.
  • Per page website editing rates: Per page, freelance editors might charge from $3 to $20 or more.
  • Project-based flat fee website editing rates: If a freelance editor is taking on a larger website editing project, the rate charged could range from several hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the size of the project, the complexity of the project, and more

What Do Freelance Editors Charge For Magazines?

It isn't uncommon for magazines to hire freelancers to help with several vital stages in the editing process. The rates charged are going to vary based on the type of work being performed-- for example, proofreading is a much less intensive process than content or stylistic editing.

  • Per-hour magazine editing rates: Hourly rates for editing a magazine can range from $30 to $100 or more
  • Per word, magazine editing rates: Per word rates for magazine editing can range from 2 cents to 50 cents or more per word.
  • Per page magazine editing rates: Per page, freelance editors might charge from $4 to $30 or more.
  • Project-based flat fee magazine editing rates: If a freelance editor is taking on a larger magazine editing project, the rate charged could range from several hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the size of the project, the complexity of the project, and more

How Freelancers and Clients Can Connect

Are you a website owner or publisher that's looking to hire a freelancer? How about a writer that's in the market for some new clients?

Either way, the best place online for freelance writers and editors to connect with clients is over at our Freelance Writing jobs board. I've worked on both sides of the aisle here-- as a writer and as a site owner managing writers. Though there are tons of great writers out there and plenty of site owners and publishers willing to pay freelancers well, it's always been a struggle for the two parties to find one another. Using our job board, hiring freelancers, or finding a beginning writing job as a freelancer has never been easier!

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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