Setting your fee



As a rough ballpark figure, we really should be aiming to earn at minimum US$0.25 per word, with our journalistic work. Some publications offer fees of US$1 per word, or more. Content marketing work often comes out of a marketing budget, rather than an editorial budget, so can be even more lucrative, depending on the client, the industry and so on.

Over the years, I estimate I’ve commissioned 1,500-2,000 stories over past 10 years, paying out 500-750k USD. That works out to around US$300-350 per story. 

As soon as you go down to US$0.10 per word, you place yourself among the masses of people on Upwork and other non-specialist freelance sites, who often live in places where the cost of living is low, and have no qualms about driving down the market for the rest of us. I’ve even seen one freelance writer claim to never argue with a client on price – he simply reduces the quality of his work as he sees fit, depending on what the client is willing to pay.

That just results in a race to the bottom, as far as both fees and quality are concerned, so I strongly advocate staying strong, working out what you want or need to earn each month, and sticking to that fee range.

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