How Much Do Freelance Writers Make Per Word?

Ed Pronley


May 21, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

hands typing on a keyboard, a cup of coffee sits next to them

One common way to pay freelance content writers is for every word they write and submit. It’s an easy way to measure the amount of work completed. But what exactly is the best freelance writer rate per word? After all, you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality for what you pay.

What Are the Freelance Writer Rates Per Word?

At the time of writing this, the rates per word for freelance writers vary, on average, from $0.07 per word to $1.00 and above. But that really depends on the skill level of the freelance writer you want. Generally, writers with more experience and a larger portfolio charge higher prices closer to the $1.00 mark. On the flip side, beginners often don’t mind working for a few cents per word, especially if they’re still developing their skillset and resume. But to know who falls in which category, it’s important to determine the quality of their work before officially hiring them.

Does Higher Pay For Freelance Writers Mean Higher Quality?

You may think only writers with more experience and skills charge more for their services. But does that mean that all freelance writers follow those guidelines? No. And that makes it hard to know the exact level of quality you’re receiving until after they’ve completed an assignment. Peak Freelance conducted a survey in 2022, where they asked them what they charge for their services. Here is a snippet of that study:

Image via Peak Freelance

As you can see from the image above, most beginner writers earned less than $30K per year. That means they probably charged for their services in a way that reflected their level of experience. But that didn’t stop some beginner writers from charging more for their services, helping them earn over six figures. Though more experience doesn’t always mean better quality, it’s not always easy to tell what skills or knowledge writers are bringing to the table.

Some writers might charge for their services in different ways, like per hour or per project completed. These methods make it even harder to find out what cost you’re paying for quality. For instance, on freelance hubs like Upwork, the median hourly rate for content creators ranges from $15 per hour to $40 per hour. That’s a major price difference between writers with no actual proof of their skills, experience, or knowledge. It’s the difference between spending 6 cents and 16 cents per word for a 500 word, two-hour project.

Not to mention that some freelance writers try to get the job done as quickly as possible, so they can start a new one. Though this might help with your deadlines, it’s not as great for content quality. That can significantly affect your brand development and marketing goals.

Related: What You’re Actually Paying for When You Hire a Freelance Writer

Tips for Hiring Freelance Writers

If you’re hoping to hire freelance writers for your content marketing campaign, what matters most is understanding their skills and experience. Here are a few tips to help with that:

Ask for a Portfolio

Portfolios of past work offer a glimpse into what the writers are capable of. But just knowing that the writer can write isn’t always enough. Do they have experience writing for your industry? How do their past works fit the tone of your brand? If the writing doesn’t automatically fit your marketing campaign, it might take some additional coaching and time from you to help them get it right. Or, you could keep looking for someone else with more niche experience.

Contact Previous Employers

Contacting the previous employers or clients of the freelance writers can help you understand how they worked with a content marketing campaign. This can give you insight into how the writers will work with you and the benefits they’ll bring to your team. Some significant questions to ask previous employers include:

  • How long did it take the writer to finish the project?
  • What was the quality of the result?
  • How was the writer’s communication with you and your team?
  • Did the writer work with you to make sure the content fits your brand?

Assign Test Pieces

Test pieces are an excellent way to judge the quality of a freelance writer before you hire them. They can also help you narrow down your list of writers to find the best candidates for the job. If you’re unsure which writers might be a good fit for your brand, send out test pieces to each one. Then, compare their work with each other and with your existing content. This can also help you train your writer in their ability to write for your business.

Choose The Professionals

Even with these tips, there are pitfalls to working with freelance writers. Though some have the skills and expertise you need, it often involves hours of sifting through bad profiles, resumes, and test pieces to find just one talented writer. Instead, work with a company that already has a team of expert writers, editors, and quality assurance specialists at its disposal.

We don’t charge our clients per project, per word, or per hour. We charge based on delivery (with a content minimum in place that allows us to focus on crafting quality for your marketing campaign). Our writers pay close attention to a style guide we craft specifically for your brand so that each piece of content works with your tone and image.

CopyPress offers a wide range of content writing services we shape and hone to fit your brand’s tone and style. When we create content for a new client, we work with them to better understand their business and the content they want to produce. This culminates in a well-crafted style guide we hand over to our team of content creators to ensure every piece of content we make meets the goals of your marketing campaign. Schedule a call with us today to connect with our team of content marketing experts.

Author Image - Ed Pronley
Ed Pronley

CopyPress writer

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