How Much to Charge (Or Pay) For a 500 to 1500 Word Article
December 10, 2021 •DJ Team
One of the hardest things a freelance website content writer will do is to set their pricing. Ask too much, and you risk losing the work to other bidders. Ask too little, and you’ll be locked into a cycle of unprofitable work with that client.
Finding the right freelance writing rate is a delicate balance between the rate you want to earn and the market value of your work. It usually takes new writers a period of trial and error to find the right pricing.
How Much Do Content Writers Make?
Content marketing freelance rates vary depending on project size, time commitment, and whether you are charging by the hour or by the project. Your experience will also impact your content writing services pricing. Having an online portfolio of your work that represents experience for a variety of projects in different industries will make you more valuable to potential clients.
How Much to Charge for a Blog Post
Before you set your pricing, you need to understand your value. Ask yourself:
- How much experience do I have writing?
- Do I have expertise in a certain industry or niche?
- Am I providing any services in addition to writing? Some publishers may ask for SEO keyword research, content marketing strategy, image sourcing, or meta descriptions.
- What costs do I need to cover? Consider your home office, software, insurance, and self-employment taxes.
Let’s break down how much you could charge per word depending on your experience level and how you can calculate your hourly rate.
Hourly Rate For a Freelance Writer
Some freelance writers charge an hourly rate for their writing services. While this can protect you in the case of a project taking longer than anticipated or excessive edit requests, this model doesn’t allow freelancers to grow earnings as they get more efficient.
Once a freelance writer can estimate their time per project well and become more efficient over time, charging per word or per article is a better option.
Nevertheless, to calculate your hourly rate, follow this formula:
(Goal income + estimated freelance expenses) / billable hours you expect to work
For example, if you want to make $6,000 a month and work 125 billable hours a month with expenses of $250 each month, your hourly rate should be $50.
While you are first starting out, you may not be able to charge your ideal rate to find work and build up your connections and portfolio. Once you have a full schedule of work, however, you can ask for a raise or start to drop your lowest-paying clients in favor of higher-paying ones.
Per word rate
Freelance rates per word are a carryover from the journalism industry, where freelance article rates are determined by the number of words in the published article. How much should a writer charge per word?
Freelance rates can start as low as $0.05 per word for blogs or high-volume content sites, and range up to $1.50 or more per word or more for elite news sites or trade publications.
Calculate your per-word rate with this formula:
(Estimated time for writing and editing X hourly rate) / estimated word count
Be sure to research your target industry to learn what average rates are, and ask for a complete scope of work for each project to avoid surprise expectations.
Flat project rate
To simplify pricing for freelancers and clients, some freelancers use flat project rates. This model determines a flat rate for an article, usually with a predetermined length or scope of work.
What should I charge per article?
To know what to charge per article, you need to know the length and amount of research required. Below are a few guidelines for how to price your article content writing based on your expertise and industry.
Basic ($0.05-$0.20 per word)
Entry-level professionals or students building a portfolio, non-native English speakers. Clients may be nonprofits or small businesses.
Intermediate ($0.20-$0.70 per word)
Professionals with results to show and experience in the industry. Articles may include some research and interviews. Clients are more likely to be B2B or online publishers.
Expert ($0.70-$1.50+ per word)
Advanced professionals with expertise in a subject matter area. Articles may include extensive research and interviews. Clients may be an elite news site or businesses in tech, finance, or other niche specialty areas.
How much should I charge for a 500-word article?
All things considered, 500 words is a fairly short article length, appropriate for a short newsletter article or personal profile. A typical rate for this would be $75-$200, but it could range much lower or higher depending on the factors mentioned above.
How much should I charge for a 1,000-word article?
One thousand words is a typical length for a blog and are considered mid-length web content. For a 1,000-word article, a typical rate would be $200-$700, but it could range much lower or higher based on the factors mentioned above.
Now that you know your value, before pitching a potential client, consider the value of content writing to them. What goals will the content help them reach? Framing the conversation this way can help you propose higher rates because of the real impact that it brings to their organization.
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