If you’re a beginner freelance content writer, deciding what to charge your clients can be a daunting task. If you have no or limited experience, it’s hard to gauge what your content writing rates should be.
4 factors to consider when choosing your content writing prices are:
- Your experience level
- The work you’re doing
- Who the client is
- Extra services you can offer
Below, we’ll go through each of these factors in more detail to help you decide what rates to charge your clients. We’ll also discuss average content writing rates and compare prices across different industries.
4 Things To Consider When Setting Content Writing Prices
1. Your Experience Level
The first and most important factor to bear in mind when setting your prices as a freelancer in any niche is your experience level. The same applies to any job really, as the more experienced you are, the more you tend to get paid. While you might have this decided for you in a 9-5 job, the onus is on you as a freelance content writer to decide what you’re worth.
If you’ve been writing for 5 years, you’re likely able to charge much higher rates than someone that has been writing for 5 months. And if you’ve got 20 years of experience in the niche, you can likely charge more than someone that’s been doing it for 10 years. However, it’s not just about how long you’ve been writing in the space.
It goes without saying that you’re probably a decent writer if you plan to become a freelance content writer. So, assuming you have the basic writing skills down, it’s worth remembering that “experience in the niche” doesn’t necessarily mean experience writing in that niche.
For example, perhaps you spent 5 years working for a digital marketing agency. This probably provided you with some decent writing chops. But it’s also valuable experience that gives you knowledge about the industry that someone who has been writing (but not working) in the digital marketing space for the same length of time may not have. Hands on experience is often worth more than hands off experience.
The more experience you gain, the more knowledge you tend to build up that other people don’t have. Clients will often pay a premium for this, making experience level a key factor to consider when choosing your content writing rates.
Content writers often charge per word, so it may be worth having a look around online to see what other people in your niche are offering. Look at their background and experience, and past work as well if you can, to gauge if they’re about your level or above/below to help you get an idea of what appropriate content writing prices look like for your level of experience.
2. The Work You’re Doing
Next up, consider the nature of the work you’re doing. Is it long form content that requires 3 hours of research per 1000 words? Is it a batch of short blog posts for a business’ website? Are you producing technical pieces that require narrow expertise?
You need to factor in how long it takes you to complete the work from start to finish. Don’t just include the writing time, as you’ll likely spend a big chunk of your time researching and planning the content. You’ll also be applying your expertise in this respect, with regard to knowing what to research and how to properly plan and lay out the content. All of this is worth charging your clients for, as they will know it’s not just the words on the page that they’re paying for.
How To Charge Clients
You’ll also need to consider how to charge your client. The most popular methods are by project or by word count. Word count is a popular way to charge for smaller projects, and it’s a very common way clients on sites like Fiverr and ProBlogger prefer to price projects. However, it’s not always appropriate.
It will largely depend on your preferences and those of your client. Charging per word is an easy way to get started, but it doesn’t take into account the time spent researching, editing, and adding images for example (more on that in a moment). Obviously, you can adjust your rate per word to account for these things, but it’s often simply easier for both parties to define a budget for the project.
Also consider what this work is for. Are they using it for a product landing page on a website? Are they using it for other forms of marketing? Is it informational content that will hopefully help them rank in the search results? It’s likely that the content you’re writing is designed to earn the client money in some way, which they’ll see as a return on their investment.
If the 500-word piece of content is likely to generate them thousands of dollars in sales, it makes sense that you should charge more than $20 for it. But if it’s content that’s going to go on their personal blog’s About Us page, which is unlikely to be seen by too many people or directly convert any readers into customers, you probably won’t be able to charge $500 for it.
Clearly, there are a lot of nuances to consider here. So, one of the other main factors to consider alongside the nature of the work is the nature of the client.
3. Who The Client Is
Clearly, if you’re marketing your services to high-ticket clients, such as big enterprises with a lot of money to spend, you can demand higher prices than if you market them towards small business owners. The difference in these price ranges could be an order of magnitude, so it’s key to understand who your clients are before you set your prices too high or too low.
If you offer writing services for small blogs, it’s unlikely that the blog owner has much spare cash to spend or the blog traffic to justify spending hundreds of dollars for 500 words of content.
But if you plan to market yourself towards big brands or websites that see hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, you might be able to charge these kinds of prices. Plus, high-ticket clients that are looking for high-quality work will expect to pay high-ticket prices – within reason of course (remember your experience level matters too).
4. Extra Services You Can Offer
This factor will vary in importance depending on what your main service is. But if you can offer anything above and beyond for the client, you can usually raise your prices accordingly. The best way to explain this is with a few examples.
Blog Post Extras
Let’s say you offer blog post content writing. If you can source images – be they stock images or your own photography – you might be able to charge extra by offering to include them in the content. This can save the client time in finding their own images, and if you can put together bespoke photos or graphics for a post, they’ll usually expect to pay extra for it.
Infographics are also a popular choice, especially for long form content. Another “extra” service could be search engine optimization (SEO), although many clients may expect that as standard. Perhaps you also offer internal linking within your content, meaning you’ll find some of the client’s relevant content to include – although many clients will provide you with links to include from the start.
You may also charge for ghostwriting rather than having your own name attached to the content. By not putting your name on a piece of content that’s going on a website for example, you’re unable to claim it as your own in your portfolio, and you’ll lose out on a potential opportunity to get a link to your profile. So, if a client wants to be able to use your content writing under another name, you may consider charging extra for it.
Your extras will depend on the nature of your work and the clients themselves, illustrating once more that all of these factors are intertwined. But to give you a better idea of how to set your content writing rates, let’s take a look at some industry averages.
Average Content Writing Rates Per Word
The average content writing rate per word varies from about $0.02 per word for beginners and more simple projects, to $1 or more per word for more complex projects that require specific expertise. A decent starting rate for beginner content writers would be around 5 to 10 cents per word.
Like most freelance careers, content writing is one in which the majority of people don’t make 6 figures per year. In fact, a large proportion of freelance writers earn less than $30,000 per year. This is likely in large part because many freelance writers do the work on top of working part or full-time in another job, but it’s not hard to imagine many writers struggling to make a decent 5-figure income solely from their writing.
On The Low End
A lot of this comes down to writing for very low rates per word. It’s not uncommon to find jobs for $0.02-$0.05 per word as a beginner, especially on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. But that’s largely because the nature of the work offered on these platforms requires minimal expertise and the projects are generally simple in nature.
As we mentioned earlier, the rate you charge largely depends on the nature of the work. If you can bring expertise to the table that offers real value to the client, a good starting rate per word is something like $0.05 to $0.10 per word. However, you can definitely command more than this for the right clients, and $0.20 per word isn’t unachievable for freelance content writers in their first couple of years.
What Is A Good Rate?
But even $0.02 isn’t a bad rate if you find the work enjoyable and you can write enough fast enough to make a decent living. For example, if you can write (and edit etc.) 1500 words per hour at this rate, it translates to $30 per hour – not bad by any means.
But if the project requires half an hour of research and another half an hour of image or graphic creation, your hourly rate is cut in half to $15, which may not be enough for you.
Obviously, the better you are at writing and the more value you can offer your clients, the higher the rates you can charge. If you have expertise and proven writing skills, you can certainly earn 50 cents or even a dollar per word at the very top level. However, few freelancers will reach this level, and you need to find high paying clients to start commanding these rates, regardless of how much experience you have, and that can be a challenge in itself.
Average Content Writing Rates Per Word On Fiverr
The average content writing rates per word on Fiverr hover around $0.02 to $0.10 per word. Some freelancers will offer writing services for higher rates, but these will generally be specialist content writers with a lot of experience and expertise in that given niche.
If you’re a freelancer looking to make your start as a content writer on Fiverr, the rates you charge will depend on all the factors discussed above. However, the important one to consider in the case of Fiverr is the client. A lot of buyers use Fiverr specifically for the abundance of low priced services on the platform.
You will likely need to start off charging lower rates than you’d like until you gain experience and reviews on the platform to move you up the search rankings. You’ll also move up the seller ladder, gaining access to different benefits along the way.
Overall, Fiverr can be an excellent place to get started as a freelance content writer. However, it can take a long time to build up the credibility on the platform to be able to charge more lucrative rates.
Also note that Fiverr takes a 20% cut of your earnings, so you will need to adjust your content writing rates accordingly.
Average Content Writer Hourly Rates
The average content writing hourly rate varies depending on the niche and the experience level of the writer. However, you can expect to earn anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour as a beginner, and this can increase to $50-100 per hour for more experienced content writers with greater expertise.
Arguably the most important factor that’ll affect your content writing hourly rate is your niche. Below is a table of some of the average hourly rates of different niches, to give you an idea of the kind of money you can make as a freelance content writer.
Content Writing Rates By Niche
|Niche||Content Writing Rate|
|Finance||$20 – $40 / hour|
|Home & Lifestyle||$15 – $30 / hour|
|Medical||$25 – $50 / hour|
|Science & Technology||$20 – $35 / hour|
|Travel||$15 – $30 / hour|
|Ghostwriting||$30 – $100 / hour|
These are estimates based on the niches, and clearly you will be able to find jobs in each niche outside of these ranges. Clients may not offer an hourly rate in these niches and instead charge per project, meaning your hourly rate is affected by the rate at which you complete the work.
The higher paying niches tend to be the more technical ones, or those that require more authoritative expertise (such as finance or medicine). Depending on your level of expertise, you can charge rates well above these estimates.
How Much Should You Charge For 500 Words?
How much you should charge for 500 words as a content writer will vary depending on your niche, the service you offer, and the client. But if you’re an absolute beginner, expect about $0.05-$0.10 per word, making about $25-$50 for 500 words. If you’re more experienced, you might earn $100-$200.
500 word articles likely fall into one of two categories of content: short blog posts or short pieces of marketing content. In the former case, expect to be able to charge lower rates, and for the latter, expect the rates to be much higher.
In the case of short form blog articles, the return on investment for the client is likely quite low. They can monetize the content with ads and affiliate links perhaps, but it’s not likely to be a massive revenue generator. You need to remember that as the writer, and so you might only be able to charge less than 20 cents per word (often less than 5 cents for beginners and for very simple blog posts).
But a 500 word piece of marketing content could serve as a business’ landing page for a specific product. You might be applying your own marketing expertise and insights and it may take you several hours to perfect it. The business is also likely to generate decent revenue from that marketing material, which allows them to pay more for it knowing they’ll get a faster return on investment than with a blog post. This means you may be able to charge closer to 20 cents or more for 500 words.
How Much Should You Charge For A 2000 Word Article?
How much you should charge for 2000 words as a content writer will vary depending on your niche, the service you offer, and the client. But if you’re an absolute beginner, expect about $0.05-$0.10 per word, making about $100-$200 for 2000 words. If you’re more experienced, you might earn $400-$800.
2000 words is more likely to be a long form article, unless it’s 2000 words of smaller posts charged in one go. For the sake of this section, we’ll assume it’s a 2000 word blog post or other piece of website content. For this, you’re likely only going to be charging on the lower end of the scale. You won’t find many clients willing to pay more than $0.15 for this kind of post unless it’s heavy on the expertise requirements.
You could also be writing 2000 words of marketing material or some other content that is designed to convert readers into customers. In this case, you can usually charge anywhere from $200 to $2,000 if you’re an expert in the field.
How Much Should You Charge For A 5000 Word Article?
How much you should charge for 5000 words as a content writer will vary depending on your niche, the service you offer, and the client. But if you’re an absolute beginner, expect about $0.05-$0.10 per word, making about $250-$500 for 5000 words. If you’re more experienced, you might earn $1,000-$2,000+.
For 5000 word posts, it’s vital that you consider how long it’s going to take you to plan, research, write, and edit the content, not just the number of words. This length of article may require hours either side of the writing process to add enough value for the client, so make sure to factor that in to the rates you charge.
Deciding what content writing rates to charge clients can be tough as a beginner, but the most important factors to consider are your skills and experience level, the nature of the work, who the client is, and whether you can offer any additional services. You can increase your rates by becoming a better content writer!