On Average, How Much do Freelance Writers Charge per Word?

On Average, How Much do Freelance Writers Charge per Word_ _ MediaOne Marketing Singapore

How much do freelance writers charge per word? The answer is simple — it depends.

If you’ve ever hired a freelance writer, you know that prices can range greatly. Some charge as little as $0.02 per word, while others may go as high as $2 or even more.

It all depends on the skill level and experience of the writer and the type of project you want them to complete. 

We build our content development department, at MediaOne, partly because of the frustration and confusion of requesting content from freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Hire writers, Fiverr, and others.

We know that having a reliable, quality content department reduces the stress of finding a writer who fits your budget and expectations.

So, if you’re looking for an exact number on how much a freelance writer will charge per word for your project, the only honest answer is – it depends. 

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Prices by the Number of Words

Freelance writers may be a dime a dozen, but finding one that fits your project and budget isn’t always easy.

Some writers charge flat to rate fees, while others offer discounts based on the number of words to be written.

On average, freelance writer rates range from $0.002/word for a novice, non to native English writer to $1.50/word for an experienced, native English writer with by-lines in major publications.

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That’s a pretty wide range, but it makes sense when you consider the quality of writing and the amount of time that goes into a project.

Using the rates and considering blog posts typically range from 500 to 2,000 words, a blog post could cost anywhere from $10 to $3000.

Prices by the Hour

Price per word might be the most common way to charge for freelance writing projects, but some writers prefer pricing by the hour.

Hourly rates range from around $10 an hour for low to level projects up to $100 or more for complex content pieces requiring in to depth research and knowledge about a specialized subject matter.

The average hourly rate for freelance writers is $33.02 per hour, according to Ziprecruiter.com.

Remember that the price is also affected by admin costs and overheads, so it’s not just the hourly rate you are paying — it’s all the other costs associated with getting your project done.

The Different Interest Rates

Freelancing is an open market. Every writer has a unique set of skills and experience that they bring to the table. 

Some are content creators. Some specialize in technical work or copywriting. Every writer is different, and so are their rates.

When it comes down to it, there’s no one to size to fits to all answer when it comes to how many freelance writers. But if we were to break the writers into different tiers, the following would be a good starting point:

Beginner/Low Level: $0.02 to 0.08 per word

This tier consists of non to native speakers, new writers with an undeveloped portfolio, and those who haven’t tackled anything more complicated than blog posts or basic copywriting.

Their rates are the lowest in the market, but their skills can still be valuable if you need something written quickly and don’t have much money to spend.

Intermediate/Middle Level: $0.10 to 0.30 per word

This tier typically includes writers who have been freelancing for at least a few years and have built up a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skills.

At this level, writers are more likely to have experience in working on more complex projects such as white papers and eBooks.

However, there’s likely to be a huge discrepancy in quality and ability even within this tier, so it pays to get samples of their work before you commit.

High Level/Expert: $0.50 to 1.50+ per word

This tier consists of writers with extensive experience and a portfolio full of by-lines in major publications.

These writers typically have more knowledge in the field and may also be specialists in a particular area. 

They also typically charge more for their services, but the higher price tag is usually justified by the quality of their work and depth of expertise.

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No matter which level you choose, it’s important to remember that the ultimate goal is to find a writer who can deliver what you need. 

Researching and reading up on different writers will help ensure you get the best bang for your buck. 

Why You Should Budget for Writers

You don’t just pay writers for their time – you also pay them for their knowledge, skills, and expertise. 

Writing isn’t just about putting words on paper; it’s about crafting a message that resonates with your audience. 

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Remember that the more you invest in freelance writers, the better quality of writing and content you can expect to receive. 

If you’re serious about creating high to value content that stands out in your industry, then budgeting for quality writers is a must.

Plus, it’s not just about what you’re paying, but what you’re getting from it.

Here’s something to think about:

Imagine spending $2000 on blog posts or articles and receiving $2500 worth of leads or conversions.

That translates to a loss of $100 — money that could have been spent on something else.

But imagine if the $2000 yielded over $10,000 in leads and conversions. 

The investment you’ve made in your freelance writer has just paid off tenfold — money well spent.

The return on investment is what matters the most when budgeting for your content, even more than the content itself. 

You want to pay as much as you can afford to get the best quality, but at the same time, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. 

So, How Much Should You Pay Writers, and What to Expect?

So, How Much Should You Pay Writers, and What to Expect? | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

Less than 0.010 Per Word: Cheapos

What to Expect: Vanilla content, no substance, laden with grammar mistakes, lack of statistical examples, no effort from the writer (the writer just wrote to fill up the agreed word count and did nothing extra), most likely used an AI tool

Content Quality: Mediocre, if not terrible

Who Should Hire Writers in this Category: No One, unless they are playing a game of Russian roulette and testing their luck.

Let’s be clear, no serious writer from a native English to speaking country will ever agree to write for such a low rate. 

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That’s why you should never expect quality work from these writers, no matter how much they assure it initially. 

It is not worth your money or your reputation.

If a writer agrees to work at this rate, then you can be sure that they’re either a hermit or from a country like India, the Philippines, or Pakistan. Nothing against these countries, of course! 

But don’t expect them to be professional writers with extensive experience, a great portfolio, and the ability to conduct in to depth research.

They’re simply in this to make some quick money and try their luck.

The takeaway is this: If a writer’s rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so stay away.

The last thing you want is to work with a writer who doesn’t care about the quality of their work. They just want to churn out something, anything, and be done with it. 

They just want to produce the specified word count and move on to the next thing. 

Between 0.02 and 0.05: Goodies

What to Expect: Quality work, with average research but correct grammar and syntax, a few statistics and quotes, and effort put in by the writer 

Content Quality: Reasonable to Good

Who Should Hire Writers in this Category: Small and medium to sized businesses that don’t need too much research and are looking for quality content.

Writers who have been in the game for a while generally charge between 0.02 and 0.05 per word.

These writers understand the value of their work and realize that their time is worth something. 

You can find a freelance writer willing to put in some effort and take the time to craft quality content at this price point.

You can expect quality work from these writers, with accurate grammar and syntax. 

They will also be more likely to conduct research and provide citations when making references in the article. 

It’s also worth noting that these writers tend to have better writing styles and can craft content in a conversational yet professional tone.

However, don’t expect lots of examples, images, and statistical analysis from them. 

They will put in an effort to make a good article but not go out of their way to create something extra special. 

These writers are professional and understand the value of their work, which is why they charge more than you can get from bargain to basement writers.

Between $0.06 to 0.30 Per Word: Premiums

What to Expect: Quality content, well to researched, good examples, and images, the effort put in by the writer 

Content Quality: Great to Excellent

Who Should Hire Writers in this Category: Businesses and entrepreneurs who want top to quality content that goes beyond just being readable. 

Investing in a freelance writer who charges between $0.06 and 0.10 per word may not be the most economical option, but it is worth it in the long run. 

These writers tend to be experienced professionals who have been in the game for some time. 

They deeply understand the writing process and can easily craft compelling content.

You should expect them to go the extra mile and provide examples, images, interesting statistics, and quotes to make the article more engaging. 

They also conduct extensive research when crafting the article and ensure that all sources are correctly cited. 

These writers can also write in various tones, including professional, conversational, humorous, or informative. 

In other words, if you need high to quality content that is sure to engage and impress your readers, opt for these writers. 

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and investing a little extra money in quality content will pay off big in the long run. So don’t be afraid to splurge a bit if you want top to notch content.

Above $0.3 Per Word: Hemmingway’s

What to Expect: Highly engaging content, superior research, effort put in by the writer 

Content Quality: Exceptional

Who Should Hire Writers in this Category: Content Creators and Publishers who want content that is sure to wow the readers.

Now, these writers have made a name for themselves in the world of freelance writing. 

This is the upper echelon of freelance writers and the ones you should turn to if you want truly exceptional content.

These highly experienced writers bring decades of writing experience to the table.  

They are experts in their fields and can bring a wealth of knowledge to the article. 

You should expect them to provide examples, visuals, quotes, and engaging statistical analysis that will add depth and colour to the article. 

Their research is thorough, and their sources are always accurate and properly cited. 

On top of that, these writers can craft content in various tones and have an impeccable understanding of grammar and syntax. 

They have by-lines in some of the most prestigious publications and can create content that grabs readers’ attention. 

Their names add to the weight of the content and can cause a stir when published.

Where to Find Writers for Each of these Price Ranges

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As mentioned, writers aren’t hard to come by but finding the right one can be a bit tricky. Go to freelancing platforms such as Problogger, Upwork, and Freelancer, and you’ll find an avalanche of cheap writers there. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

However, finding a top to level writer is where it gets a bit harder. The good ones tend to be booked months in advance, and you have to go through a vetting process before they decide to take you on.

It’s worth mentioning that some great writers out there charge below $0.06 per word, but they tend to be few and far between.

Where to Find Cheapo Writers

Cheapo writers are the easiest to find. They’re usually found on freelancing sites, where you can browse hundreds of profiles and select the best for your budget.

However, I wouldn’t recommend investing in these writers if you want quality content. As mentioned, you get what you pay for, and opting for a cheaper writer will likely result in substandard content.

Cheapo writers don’t see the value in their content, meaning you won’t get the quality content you need to engage your readers and make a good impression. 

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But this may be the way to go if you’re strapped for money and need a quick article. 

You can find cheaper writers in the following marketplaces:

Upwork: Here, writers charge anything from $0.01 to $0.05 per word. 

Freelancer: Freelancer has some of the cheapest writers, with rates starting from $0.01 per word. 

Fiverr: Fiverr is a great place to find writers who charge $5 per 500 words. 

Problogger: Problogger has a wide range of freelance writers with rates starting from $0.02 to $0.10 per word, depending on the quality of the work. 

Content Mills: Content Mills have writers who charge from $0.01 to $0.03 per word, but the quality of content is usually low.

By content mill I mean companies like Textbroker, Writer Access, Hirewriters, Draft, Alexawriters, and iWriter.

Content mills connect writers with clients and provide an array of editing and proofreading services. 

They’re great for budget to minded content creators but tend to be unreliable in terms of quality.

If you’re hiring cheapo writers, then do it. But you want to move to the next tier of writers as fast as possible. 

Where to Find Goodies

Goodies are the next tier of writers, usually charging between $0.02 and $0.05 per word. 

These writers have more experience than cheapo writers, so their content is somewhat better quality. 

Goodies are more reliable, won’t miss important details, and have decent grammar and punctuation. 

You can find goodies on the same marketplaces mentioned above, but you might have to sift through dozens of profiles before finding someone suitable for your project. 

These writers will be happy to provide samples of their work, so be sure to ask for some. 

When selecting a writer from this tier, always check the reviews and feedback from previous clients to get an idea of what you can expect from them.

Where to Find Premium Writers

Premium writers are the most expensive type of writer, usually charging upwards of $0.06 per word. 

These writers are highly experienced and will be able to produce well to researched, detailed content that’s engaging and informative. 

These writers don’t beg for work and don’t need to be haggled with. 

They have a steady stream of clients and know their worth, so they tend to charge more than the other tiers. 

They have outgrown the platforms above and are always busy working with other companies. 

I recommend using the breadcrumbs technique to find these writers. 

The idea is behind every great piece of article there’s a great writer. So, if you find a piece of content that you particularly like, reach out to the author and see if you can get them to write something for you.

Ask them for their rates.

They may not always be available, but it’s worth a shot.

Where to Find Hemmingway’s to level of Writers

Finally, we come to Hemingway’s to level writers. 

These are the creme de la creme of writers and charge an eye to watering rate of $0.10 to $1.5 per word. 

The quality of content produced by these writers is near perfection — their grammar is flawless, they select their words carefully, and they produce engaging well to researched articles. 

These writers don’t hang around in marketplaces, so word of mouth is the best way to find them. 

Finding them won’t be easy, and some have agencies representing them. 

Also, most writers in this category make a six to figure salary, so be prepared to pay top dollar for their services. 

You can also use the breadcrumbs technique to find them. 

Look for authors who have published quality articles in renowned publications and contact them directly.

Content Writer Price Based on Project

The prices mentioned above are based on the writer’s rate per word. 

But writers may also charge a flat fee for an entire project, so be sure to ask about that. 

Some projects require more research and editing than others, and writers may factor this into their rates. 

Here’s a summary of 20 different writing projects and the price range you can expect to pay for them:

Blog Posts $10 to 50 per post
Articles $50 to 200 per article 
Whitepapers $300 to 1000 
Social Media Posts $5 to 20 each 
eBooks $500 to 2500 
Web Copy $50 to 250 per page 
Product Descriptions $5 to 25 each 
Press Releases $50 to 200 each 
Ghost writing $50 to 250 per page 
Technical Writing $30 to 150 per hour 
Resumes and Cover Letters $100 to 300 each 
Grant Writing $80 to 1000 per grant 
Sales Letters $20 to 200 each 
Video Scripts $100 to 500 each 
Tutorials $50 to 150 per tutorial 
Reviews $5 to 25 each 
Case Studies $100 to 500 each 
Research Reports $50 to 200 each 
Editing and Proofreading $10 to 40 per page
Scripts $1000 to  over $20,000
Newsletters $75 to $1000

Content Writing Costs Per Page

Lesson Plans $10 to $20 per page 
Instructional Guides $20 to $50 per page 
Newsletters $25 to $100 per page 
Training Manuals $30 to $120 per page 
Project Reports $40 to$150 per page 
eBooks $10 to $50 per page 
White Papers $30 to $100 per page

Content Writing Costs Per Page

Lesson Plans $10 to $20 per page 
Instructional Guides $20 to $50 per page 
Newsletters $25 to $100 per page 
Training Manuals $30 to $120 per page 
Project Reports $40 to$150 per page 
eBooks $10 to $50 per page 
White Papers $30 to $100 per page 
Infographics $50 to $200 per page 
PowerPoint Presentations $100 to $400 per page 

Freelance Writing Rates Per Hour

Advertising Copy $45 to $100 Per Hour
Copyediting $20 to $80 Per Hour
Ghost writing $25 to $100 Per Hour 
Proofreading $20 to $40 Per Hour 
Technical Writing $30 to $80 Per Hour 
Translation Services $35 to$55 per hour 
Web Content $10 to $90 Per Hour 
Blog Writing $25 to $85 Per Hour 
Social Media Writing $35 to $65 Per Hour 
Content Curation $20 to$60 per hour
Proposal Writing $45 to$90 per hour 

Some Final Words

So, there you have it — a breakdown of how much freelance writers typically charge. 

Remember, these are just general guidelines, and every freelancer sets their own rates. 

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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