writer survey

Freelance Writing Rates: What Hard-Working Writers Earn in 2020

2020 Freelance Writing Rates: What Hard-Working Writers Earn. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s the biggest question many freelance writers have: What should I charge? More specifically, what are going freelance writing rates for the type of project I’m doing?

After all, we don’t want to leave money on the table… or price too high and lose the gig.

If you struggle with pricing your work, it’s no surprise. Writing rates are all over the place, as there are so many variables that affect appropriate pay for a particular writing job. Those variables can include:

  • Size, age and reputation of the client
  • How important the writing is to client’s income
  • The level of competition in their industry
  • Complexity of the subject matter
  • How well you know the subject matter
  • Country and language used
  • Deadline
  • Volume of work on offer
  • Usefulness of these clips in your portfolio
  • How badly you need money right now

And more. See why the whole concept of ‘going rates’ is problematic? There’s also the question of your personal income goals, time available, living costs… all may factor into what you seek to charge.

What we can learn is what real writers are charging, for roughly similar work. I began investigating what writers earn last year, with the 2019 Writer Pay Survey.

It was a good start. But I only asked about rates on a couple of types of writing in last year’s survey — articles and blog posts, mainly. Writers asked for more.

So this year’s survey of nearly 600 writers asks more questions, about case studies, white papers, email marketing, and more. You can grab a downloadable version of all the data and my takeaways at the bottom of this post.

What are freelance writing rates these days? Are rates getting better or worse? Short answer: Some of each.

But I see lots of reasons for optimism in this year’s survey. In reviewing it, I decided it would be most useful to spotlight data from writers who earn primarily from freelancing — it represents 60%-100% of their income.

All the stats shown below are for writers in this more full-time freelancing category. Let’s dig into the data:

Tagged with: , , ,

Pay Survey 2019: What 1,400+ Freelancers Get Paid to Write

Get Paid to Write: 2019 Freelance Pay Report. Makealivingwriting.com

What do freelance writers really get paid to write for clients? This year, I decided to conduct this blog’s first-ever, major survey on writer pay. Over 1,300 writers participated (thanks to all of you!).

The results contain many interesting surprises. They reveal important changes in the marketplace — and point the way to the types of writing smart freelancers will pursue this year.

But the big takeaway is that rates continue to cover a broad range. Whatever you’re charging, often, you’ll see that a large number of writers are asking for — and getting — more.

To paraphrase The X Files, good pay is out there.

But way too many of you are still earning way too little, for your hard work. No way to gloss over that.

One clarification: I’m not trying to advocate for charging hourly rates. Charge project rates! And know what that works out to for you, as an hourly rate. Because hours are your most precious resource. But for purposes of the survey, since every writing project is different, boiling it down to hourly rates is the only way to compare apples to apples.

To get a better understanding of how writers find clients, what types of writing work are paying well, and what writers earn today, our survey data is displayed below in four groupings. Chart sets below show results for:

  • The study as a whole
  • New freelance writers in their first year
  • More established writers working for 2+ years
  • The highest-earning writers — full-timers who stated they earn above $76/hr.

Survey results went out to a handful of trusted experts in a variety of writing-related roles: a writing-craft expert, agency owner, top bloggers, writing coach, and successful freelance writers, too. Their reactions to the data are below as well.

Ready to unpack the numbers? Let’s get started:

Tagged with: ,

Why 200+ Writer Websites Failed to Get A Single Client

Last week, I asked writers to tell me about their websites. And boy, did they! I got nearly 500 responses in under a week. Wanted to share the data with you today because it points up some of the common …

Why 200+ Writer Websites Failed to Get A Single Client Read More »

Tagged with: , ,

Writer Survey: Who are You, and What Would You Like to Know?

I find it a little hard to believe, but it’s been two years since I wrote my very first blog entry, back when this blog was on my writer site. After blogging sporadically for a while, I committed to at …

Writer Survey: Who are You, and What Would You Like to Know? Read More »

Tagged with: ,