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A Guide to Pay as a Freelance Writer

Are you a talented writer slaving away at your job bored to tears, daydreaming about how great it would be to move on and start freelancing? You can make good pay as a freelance writer, but it may take a while to get there after you first take the plunge. If you are looking for standard freelancing rates though, you won’t be able to find any. explains that there really are no “typical” guides that show pay as a freelance writer, but you will definitely be able to earn more as you gain experience and develop a reliable client base.

Pay as a Freelance Writer

One of the hardest things about freelance writing is setting pay rates. Some clients pay by the project, while others pay by the word or hour; some freelancers are put on retainer and have to produce a certain amount of work per week, month or quarter. Know in advance that you will probably have to negotiate the fees when you first get new clients, unless they have set rates and are unable to be flexible. It can make sense to take on work that pays less than what you want to build up your portfolio; once you have established clients you can start looking for others.

Tina Morlock’s post on Medium points out that many people are willing to accept short writing jobs for $5 to $10, which is not high pay as a freelance writer. Better-paying work is much harder to come by, but if you are able to find a niche and build on that you have a decent shot at success. As a starting point, you can research what freelance writers average in different specialties, like blogging, copywriting and editing.

How Much do Freelance Bloggers Earn?

This is a very wide field and includes bloggers who earn pay as freelance writers directly through their blogs via affiliate marketing, sponsored blog posts and selling their own products and services. Blogs can be monetized through affiliate links and ads – clients can pay percentages of the sales made through these pieces. Successful bloggers also sell advertising space to businesses – you can establish a dollar amount for the type of ad, ranging from perhaps $50 up to $1,000.

With sponsored blog posts, a company or business owner pays freelance writers to publish blogs – they will supply you with content or pay you to write a post on your site. These can earn you up to $1,000 per post if your blog gets good traffic. You could even land a contract for ongoing pieces if things work out. Freelance bloggers also make money when their blogs promote their own goods; some even accumulate enough blogs to write an eBook or a full-length book to publish.

Do Freelance Copywriters Make Good Livings?

Freelance Writing agrees that freelancers can have a hard time getting new clients, and adds that they may be able to find copywriting work that pays higher than content factory pieces that pay $5 to $10. A well-composed home page for a website might pay from $200 to $500, and a long form sales letter might pay as much as $1500. White papers can earn you around $200+ a page, case studies $300+ and blogs $100+. Again, these jobs can be few and far between at first, but add them to your portfolio and keep searching for more work.

How Much Money Do Editors Make?

Companies need freelance editors too, so if you want to focus on this you might be able to land some jobs in this field to make the most of your talents. Reedsy posts that’s median pay for middleweight editors in publishing houses is around $55,491, and The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it even higher, at $63,400 a year. That second figure translates to $30.48 an hour. As a freelancer, you may have to charge less for your services; starting salaries in this field can also be lower.

According to Master Class, line editors work differently from copy editors. Line editors work “line-by-line,” fixing up sentence structure, syntax, word choice, overall pacing and flow of a piece. They pay attention to the writer’s style and bring all the words and sentences together, forming paragraphs, pages and chapters that are logical and appealing for readers. Copy editors are attuned to following standard English rules and house style guides; many editors do line editing, copy editing and more.

As an example, you might land a job editing a 70,000 page manuscript – this is about average for a full-length novel. If it were from a self-publishing author, they might pay $1,890 for line editing and another $840 for copy editing, totaling $2,730. A nice chunk of change for sure, but this is just one project. posts that freelance content editors average $25.70 an hour, and that can be based on an hourly, weekly or per-piece rate.

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