How much should you pay your freelance content writer?

One of the most important questions my clients have while negotiating for my content writing services is, how much should they pay me as their freelance content writer? In this blog post I’m going to talk about “serious” clients who know the importance of content marketing vis-a-vis their businesses and hence, totally understand that there are going to have to pay for quality content. So the question here is not whether they can get cheapest content or not, the question is, how much they should pay for quality, result-oriented content.

This blog post on Clear Voice has a nice infographic explaining how you should pay your freelance content writer according to the demands of the assignment and the expertise of the content writer you are working with. The Clear Voice blog post/infographic has been prepared according to their work model – the content writers working for them charge per minute or per campaign. Although I’m open to the idea, I have never charged my clients per word (although sometimes I quote per 100-word-bracket) because then, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, the clients begin to get bogged down by the number of words they need or don’t need. Hence, for many years now, I have been charging per page, per blog post, per email campaign with an average word range of 400-700. If research is also needed, I charge an hourly rate because you cannot quantify research-based writing.

So how much should you pay your freelance content writer?

Again, as described in the above-linked blog post, it depends on your content requirement as well as the expertise you require. Anyway, since I’m writing this on my own blog under my own content writing and content marketing website is, you must be wondering how you should pay me.

My current rates are at this link.

As the cliché goes, these are not written in stone. I keep changing them according to different clients but in most of the cases, I stick to these numbers because otherwise working becomes a constraint. I should feel appropriately compensated for the effort I am putting in. Just imagine, if you are not interested in paying me fairly, why should I be interested in writing content that helps you generate more business? It works both ways.

I haven’t arrived at these numbers by referring to another website or by talking to other content writers – these are the numbers I have arrived at after having worked for multiple clients under multiple conditions, for many years. These are the rates, I feel, currently, my clients are comfortable with.

Having said that, clients would like to get more content, more quality content, at lesser rates. I would like to charge a higher rate or at least maintain my current rate while maintaining my quality-level.

Some clients are determined to pay me a lot less than what I quote. How do I deal with those clients?

I don’t like turning my clients away. I know that my content writing can help you get more business (if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t write for you). There are 3 reasons some clients don’t want to pay me what I ask for:

  1. They don’t understand content marketing yet
  2. They don’t believe in their own business (and hence, unsure whether they should be spending money on getting quality content)
  3. They believe in their business but they are genuinely short of funds

After an interaction of 5 minutes (or exchange of a few emails) I can make out whether a client believes in his or her own business or not. Once I get this feel, without wasting time, I let it be known to the client that I’m not interested in his or her work.

For type 1, I either try to convince the client by providing data and relevant information or I let him or her go.

For type 3, if I really get a strong feeling that the client is serious about his or her work and the lack of funds is holding him or her back, I agree to work at lower rates.