How Much To Charge For Freelance Writing Rates As A Beginner

One of the biggest challenges for beginner freelance writers is figuring out how much to charge for their services. Should you aim high to not undersell yourself, or low to attract more clients? It can be a tricky balancing act, but setting the right rate is crucial for your success in the industry.

As a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to pricing your work. You don’t want to underprice yourself and not be valued for your skills, but you also don’t want to overprice and lose potential clients. Finding the sweet spot for your rates is essential for building a successful freelance writing career.

Setting your freelance writing rates as a beginner can be a bit overwhelming, but with the right approach and understanding of your worth, you can confidently determine how much to charge for your valuable services. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when setting your rates and provide helpful tips for pricing your work effectively as a freelance writer.

How Much To Charge For Freelance Writing Rates

A good starting rate to charge for freelance writing is between $50–100 an article. This is the very beginning rate. I don’t want you lingering in the beginning rate for long. At this level, what you need to do is build up a few clients at this rate and then move on to greener pastures.

A good intermediate rate is $125–200 per article. For experts, $250+ per article is better. For articles that require a lot of research, and interviews, and are longer, you need to charge $500 and up.

Before you go on to drop your rate, it would be nice if you look at what the industry’s standard is and also get input from other websites.

Freelance Writing Pricing Models

There are various freelance writing models you can use to charge for your freelance job. In this section, we’ll treat each pricing model to help you choose the one that’s best for your business.

Pricing Per Word

About  18% of freelance writers price their services by word count. The per-word rate is somewhat disadvantageous to clients as it’s easy for a freelance content writer to add unnecessary words to the article to earn more money.

Employing a per-word pricing model might pose difficulties in securing potential clients. Another drawback of this approach is its failure to accommodate revisions, potentially leading to additional work without corresponding extra compensation.

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Pricing Per Post

Charging per article is also beneficial for freelancers as it allows greater creative flexibility to adjust the word count as needed. The critical aspect of project-based pricing lies in clearly outlining the project scope in advance to prevent clients from requesting numerous revisions and prolonging the project.

For clients, this approach is advantageous as it provides a clear budget for each project, alleviating concerns about freelance writers adding unnecessary content solely to increase earnings for the article.

Pricing Per Hour

Opting for an hourly rate is advantageous for freelancers as it ensures compensation for every worked hour. Nonetheless, clients often prefer flat fees or per-word pricing, as relying on an arbitrary number of hours can be perceived as less transparent. Instead, it is recommended to estimate the project’s duration in hours and propose a fixed rate to the client based on the project’s scope.

Retainer Pricing  

Lastly, you have the option to propose a retainer agreement wherein the client commits to a monthly recurring payment for a defined set of deliverables. For instance, charging $3,000 monthly for four 1,500-word blog posts. This model is favorable for freelancers as it ensures a steady and predictable income.

While it may pose a higher risk for the client, convincing them to adopt this pricing structure might be more challenging. Nevertheless, if you consistently deliver exceptional work, it typically proves highly beneficial for both parties.

How to Determine What to Charge as a Beginner Freelance Writer

Determining what to charge as a beginner freelance writer involves considering several factors to ensure fair compensation for your skills and time. Here are key factors to weigh:

1. Evaluate Your Skills and Expertise

Assess your writing skills, understanding of grammar, and overall proficiency. Consider any specialized knowledge or expertise that could add value to your writing services.

2. Research Industry Standards

Investigate typical rates for freelance writing in your specific niche or industry. This research provides insights into what clients might expect to pay and helps you establish competitive rates.

3. Consider Your Location

Be mindful of the cost of living in your location. Rates for freelance writing can vary based on geographic regions, so take into account the economic conditions of your area.

4. Understand the Scope of the Project

Analyze the complexity and scope of the writing projects you undertake. Longer or more intricate assignments may warrant higher rates due to the increased time and effort involved.

5. Set Realistic Income Goals

Determine your desired annual income as a freelancer. Break down this figure into monthly or hourly rates to create a realistic benchmark for your freelance writing rates.

READ ALSO: Mastering the Essentials in Writing: A Guide to Effective Communication

6. Assess Client Budgets

Consider the budgets of your potential clients. While it’s essential to value your work appropriately, understanding client financial constraints can help you tailor your rates to attract a broader range of clients.

7. Factor in Research Time

If your writing projects require research, factor in the additional time spent gathering information. Complex or specialized topics may require more extensive research, impacting the overall time commitment.

READ ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Memoir: Finding Your Story

8. Offer Competitive Rates

While you may be a beginner, aim to offer rates that align with industry standards and reflect the quality of your work. Competitive rates can attract clients while ensuring fair compensation for your efforts.

9. Consider Your Overhead

Account for your business expenses, such as software, subscriptions, or other tools necessary for your freelance writing. Make sure your rates cover both your time and any associated costs.

Do you want to learn how to write memoirs? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Memoir: Finding Your Story

How To Charge More For Your Freelance Writing Services

Now that you’re charging based on the ROI of your writing services, here are a few different methods to make more money as a freelance writer.

1. Work With High-Quality Clients

If you work with higher-quality clients, you’ll be able to produce a higher ROI and therefore charge higher rates for your services. 

2. Implement a Retainer Pricing Model

After securing high-paying clients, adopting a retainer pricing model becomes the subsequent strategy for boosting your earnings. This pricing approach has proven to be the most lucrative, enabling the consistent generation of recurring revenue.

While numerous clients express a desire for prolonged collaboration with freelance writers, budget constraints and disruptions in workflow can lead to delays or cancellations of content projects. Consequently, freelance writers often experience income volatility, which can be both stressful and unfortunate.

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3. Reposition Your Services

One unfortunate aspect of freelance writing is that many business owners view content writing as a commodity. Consequently, you may encounter a limitation where a substantial number of clients are unwilling to pay higher rates for content writing services.

For example, if you’re already charging $500 per blog post, many freelance writers have a hard time raising their prices more, as $500 is definitely on the higher end for freelance blog writing.

4. Create Your Own Marketing Funnel

Now that you have experience driving the strategy of a content marketing agency, the next step is to create an inbound marketing funnel to have a steady stream of inbound clients.

To begin your content marketing strategy, write a blog post that outlines your process and the methodology behind your approach to content marketing. This will immediately establish you as an authority, as the client can see how you think about marketing. As a result, it will be easier for potential clients to trust you and select you over competitors who don’t provide insight into the thought process behind their strategy.

READ ALSO: 10 Steps To Mastering Writing Feedback As A Freelancer

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make? 

The typical hourly earnings for an average freelance writer amount to approximately $29, and the standard freelance writing rate per word varies. For beginners, it falls within the range of $0.05 to $0.10 per word, while intermediate writers charge between $0.30 and $0.50 per word. Experienced writers, on the other hand, command rates between $1 and $1.50 per word.

Research conducted by Jasper shows that, on average, freelance writers charge anywhere from $50 to $1,500 per project for long-form articles.

FAQs On How Much To Charge For Freelance Writing Rates

What factors should I consider when setting my freelance writing rates?

Consider your experience, expertise, project complexity, market demand, and your financial goals. Additionally, research industry standards and your target clients’ budgets.

Should I charge per hour, per word, or per project?

The choice depends on your preference, the nature of the project, and industry norms. Per-hour rates provide flexibility, per-word rates offer predictability, and per-project rates can simplify billing for both you and the client.

Are there industry standards for freelance writing rates?

While there are general benchmarks, freelance writing rates can vary based on factors like specialization and geographic location. Researching rates in your specific niche and region is crucial.

How can I communicate my rates effectively to clients?

Clearly outline your rates in your communication with clients. Provide a breakdown of the services included in the rate and any additional charges for special requirements.


Ditch the 9-to-5, new freelance writer! Freedom and opportunity await, with endless doors begging to be opened. Before diving in, nail down your rates to ensure fair pay. Then, explore WritersGig, your launchpad for exciting writing projects. Set your rates, build your profile, and land gigs that ignite your passion. Welcome to the world of freelance writing, where every day is a new adventure!


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