If you’re part of the fascinating freelance journalism discussions happening on the Freeline google group – you’ll know that the whole What should I charge? question comes up again and again.
Short answer: Most decent publications pay experienced senior journos upwards of 80c per word. Content writers and corporates pay $80 – $150 an hour plus. But there’s lots of hobbyists out there who are happy with 25c a word.
The verdict from the pros?.. Leave the cheap jobs to the hobbyists. If you’re good and you’re experienced and you can meet a brief to deadline, you should be able to command a professional rate.
Here’s some good resources that will give you a feel for going rates:
- Show Me The Money Survey 2014 – Over on Rachel’s List the annual survey of more than 400 freelance writers, editors and various other publishing peeps gives lots of info about freelancing – her infographic shows that
- In 2014: journos and writers charged between 50c-70c / word [43%] or 70c-90c / word [23%]
- About 40% of sub-editors surveyed charged $40-50 / hour
- 13% of copywriters charged $100-$150 / hour
- Pay The Writers Australia – Though it hasn’t been updated for a year or so, you might find this Tumblr with various reported rates useful if you’re thinking up a pitch …
- MEAA 2016 Recommended Freelance Rates [Oh dear – it’s a members-only link! Hope they fix it] The MEAA calculated the rates that journalists would need to charge to earn the same as a J5 graded journalist on a Fairfax Media or News Corporation metro daily newspaper: Per Day – $986.00
Per half day (2/3 day rate) $657.00 Per hour $246.00
1000 words or less – $1001.00 – then 93c per word
- MEAA 2016 Freelance Rate Tracker [Another members-only link] Self-reported rates for publications in Australia
- Contently Rates Database – This international list gives a good feel for rates in US-based and international publications
- Australian Writers Marketplace – for more than a decade, the Queensland Writer’s Centre has produced this monumental tome which contains outlets and pay rates for writers around Australia. $50 a year — but just one published piece and you’ve earned your money back and then some!
- Freelance Creatives – Ad News This page is pretty old now but will give you some idea of the rates that freelance creatives were charging back in 2013, according to a Loop survey