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 1,400 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: