Freelance writing has changed my financial circumstances and my life. Without it, the past nine years would have been far more stressful and far less fun than they were.
So the main question is: How much can a freelance writer make?
There’s a wide-ranging answer to that question, which I’ll explore below. But know that I started out doing projects for $50 a pop and writing blog posts for as little as $0.04 a word. Today, I do projects for 100s of dollars at minimum and 1,000s in most cases. While avoiding priced-per-word tasks, I average in the $0.75/word territory. I made about $30,000 in my first year freelancing, which was in addition to income from my full-time job. And my freelance writing business made more than $100,000 in my highest-earning years.
It’s all variable. But the best part is that there’s no average salary to hold you back. You earn as much as you want to earn and can earn when you take on new clients and deliver writing services. The sky’s the limit for freelance workers, especially writers, if you’re willing to put in the work.
And now, continue reading for a more in-depth answer on how much you can earn as a freelance writer.
Average Price Per Word for Freelance Writers
The amount a freelance writer can make depends on the freelancer’s unique characteristics, including experience level, skill set, industry, and work type.
As a general rule of thumb, freelance writers can expect to earn anywhere from $0.10 to $1.00 per word for writing projects. However, some experienced writers may earn more than this, while others may earn less.
Other factors that can affect a freelance writer’s earning potential include the work frequency, the project’s complexity, and the number of clients they work with. Additionally, writers specializing in a particular niche or industry may command higher rates due to their specialized knowledge.
Freelance writing jobs can be highly competitive, and building a reputation and a steady stream of clients may take time and effort. However, with dedication and hard work, freelance writers can earn a comfortable income and even scale up to running their own successful writing business.
How to Increase Your Rates
Over your freelance writing career, you should continually find ways to charge more. There are several things that a freelance writer can do to increase their earning potential and rates. Here are some tips:
- Specialize: One of the best ways to increase freelance writing earning potential is to specialize in a niche or industry. By becoming an expert in a particular area, a writer can offer unique and valuable insights that command higher rates.
- Build a writing portfolio: A strong portfolio of writing samples can help showcase a writer’s skills and attract higher-paying clients. Freelance writers should take the time to create a portfolio that showcases their best work.
- Develop a solid online presence: A robust online presence can help you build your reputation and attract new freelance writing clients. Freelance writers should create professional websites, blogs, or social media accounts to showcase their work and connect with potential clients.
- Network: Networking is vital in any industry, including freelance writing. Job boards and freelance writing sites are fine, but attend industry events, contact colleagues, and participate in online writing communities to connect with other writers and potential clients.
- Learn new skills: By continually learning and expanding their skill set, writers can offer more value to clients and boost their freelance writing income. Freelance writers should take courses, attend workshops, or read industry publications to stay up-to-date on trends and techniques.
- Negotiate rates: Finally, freelance writers should quickly negotiate rates with clients. By presenting a strong case for their skills and expertise, writers can often secure higher rates and increase their earning potential over time.
- Do great work: Great work begets more great work. If you serve your clients well, you’ll find that your schedule fills up with high-paying clients. It works like magic.
One last tip: Be selective in the freelance jobs you’re willing to take on. More than half the time, you should be saying “no.” Not all opportunities are created equal, so leap at the best ones and leave the rest behind. Many writers fall into the trap of saying “yes” too often, and it leads to predictable results.
Related to No. 1 in the section above, it’s best to specialize in a specific topic or niche. For example, don’t just be a freelance blogger — be a freelance blogger for B2B SaaS companies (which is a specialty that I’ve found success with).
Freelance writing niches that pay the most can vary depending on several factors, including the writer’s experience and expertise, the market demand for content in a particular area, and the type of writing projects. However, here are some niches that generally tend to pay higher rates:
- Technical writing: Technical writing requires specialized knowledge and skills, such as writing clear and concise instructions for complex products or software. Technical writers can command high rates due to the specialized nature of the work.
- Medical writing: Medical writing requires specialized knowledge of medical terminology, research methods, and regulatory requirements. Medical writers can command high rates due to the technical and specialized nature of the work.
- Financial writing: Financial writing requires an understanding of economic concepts and terminology and the ability to write clear and persuasive content for financial products and services. Financial writers can command high rates due to the specialized knowledge required.
- Legal writing: This requires understanding legal terminology and research methods and writing clear and persuasive legal documents. Legal writers can command high rates due to the technical and specialized nature of the work.
- Copywriting: Copywriting involves writing persuasive marketing materials, such as sales pages, email campaigns, and product descriptions. Copywriters who can write compelling copy can command high rates.
It’s worth noting that while these niches can pay higher rates, they may also require specialized knowledge and skills. Therefore, freelance writers should consider their strengths and interests when choosing a place to specialize in and the market demand for content in that area.
The Inverse Relationship Between Freelance Rates & Freelance Problems
When I started freelancing, I thought that the clients who paid the most would be the most difficult to work with. After all, if they were paying premium rates, they must have high expectations and demanding requirements, right?
But as I gained more experience as a freelance writer, I realized that the opposite was often true. In my experience, the clients who paid the most were typically the easiest to work with, while those who paid the least were often the most difficult.
Why was this the case? It comes down to a few factors. First, clients willing to pay premium rates often have more resources and a bigger budget. This means that they are more likely to have a clear vision for their project, and they are more likely to be able to provide the resources and support that a freelance writer needs to do their job well.
On the other hand, clients who are paying rock-bottom rates often have tight budgets and limited resources. This can lead to several challenges, such as unrealistic expectations, poor communication, and a lack of support for the freelancer.
Of course, there are always exceptions to these generalizations. For example, I have worked with clients who paid high rates but were challenging to work with, and I have also worked with clients who paid low rates but were a pleasure to work with. But in my experience, there is an inverse relationship between freelance rates and freelance problems.
As a freelance writer, being selective about my clients is essential. I prioritize clients who value my work and are willing to pay fair rates, but I also look for responsive, communicative, and easy-to-work-with clients. By finding the right balance between pay and ease of working, I’ve built a successful freelance career and enjoy my work.
How Much Do You Get Paid?
I never thought much about how much money I could make as a freelance writer. I enjoyed writing and was happy to be earning some income from it, but I didn’t think of it as a particularly lucrative career path. It was meant to supplement my day-job salary with a little more money.
That changed when I researched how much other freelance writers were earning. I was surprised that some writers made much more than me, even for similar writing projects.
At first, I felt a little discouraged. How could I compete with writers earning so much more than me? But as I dug deeper, I realized that there were a few things I could do to increase my earning potential.
First, I looked at my portfolio and realized I could showcase my best work more effectively. So I took the time to curate a portfolio highlighting my most impressive writing samples, and I kept it up-to-date with my most recent work.
Next, I started to network more actively with other writers and clients. I attended industry events, joined online writing groups, and followed up with potential clients promptly and professionally.
Finally, I started to negotiate my rates more confidently. I realized that I had been undervaluing my work and could charge more for my writing services. By presenting a strong case for my skills and experience, I secured higher rates and increased my earning potential.
Overall, I’m grateful that I took the time to research how much other freelance writers were earning. It gave me the confidence to charge more for my writing services and to pursue higher-paying projects. As a result, while freelance writing can still be competitive, I am more equipped to navigate it and build a successful career.
So, with all of that in mind, how much money do you make? Transparency from freelance writers can help others make more money. So, let us know what you make in the comments section below, or contact us.