This page is a filter: It sends everybody fleeing into the night if they can’t afford my rates. I like it best that way. More on how I do business these days as a B2B technology content marketing writer is at Verb Nerd Industries:
The rest of this page is from 2013. As Igor said to Dr. Frankenstein, the rates have gone up.
These are my basic rates for marketing copy. Each project is negotiated separately but these offer ballpark figures:
- Blog post writing: $150 to $400 per post.
- Blog post editing: $75 to $200 per post.
- White paper writing: $1,000 to $4,000 apiece.
- White paper editing: $500 to $2,000 apiece.
- Web copy writing: $200 to $400 per page.
- Web copy editing: $100 to $200 per page.
- Press release writing: $200 to $400.
- Press release editing: $100 to $200.
You pay premium rates for marketing copy because you’re not buying words — you’re buying leads. Typically you’ll get your money back with the first paying customer and never pay a dime for any leads the article generates after that, so these rates are a steal (they’re also a substantial discount from marketing agency rates).
Why Do Freelance Rates Seem so High?
Even if you’re not paying premium rates for marketing copy, freelance rates can seem pretty steep. To understand these rates, you need to understand the economics of an independent storytelling business. You’re not just paying me to write or edit your stories; you’re paying me to manage my business. Why should you pay my management expenses?
Because you’re getting:
- Exclusive use of my time. When I’m working for you, I can’t work for your competitors.
- Exclusive use of my talents. I apply my skills precisely to your needs. I’m not getting farmed out to another department for some executive’s pet project.
- All the rewards of my 25-year storytelling career and none of the risk of being stuck with me if things don’t work out.
- Only as much work as you actually need. With permanent workers, you always have to worry about keeping them occupied when the workload wanes. Staying busy is my business, not yours.
What I Need to Stay in Business
I have to spend about half of my workday managing my business, so my writing and editing time needs to yield at least $50 to $75 per hour to cover household expenses, save for retirement, pay my health insurance premiums and earn a respectable profit that I can reinvest in my company.
I know what you’re thinking: Nobody outside of management makes that kind of hourly rate in our office. Why should I be making more than you, or even your boss? Well, here’s the reality of full-time employment: Salaries are low because the owner pays for the workers’ vacations, holidays, healthcare and goof-off time.
Freelance rates are high because I pay for all that stuff. But there is substantial upside: You never pay me to take time off and if you run out of work for me to do, we can part ways and you don’t get stuck with the tab for my unemployment benefits.
Which is better: hourly rates or project rates?
I have a few clients who pay me strictly by the hour. When I start on the assignment, I turn on a timer and leave it on till the work’s done. Other clients pay me by the project or by the individual piece of content.
Every payment method has pluses and minuses. Hourly pay encourages me to be thorough but you never know exactly how much you’ll be billed. Project and piece-rate pay encourages speed and efficiency but you always know exactly how much you’ll pay.
Usually, project and piece rates work best for clients and freelancers alike. We know how long it will take to write a blog post, edit an inexperienced writer and interview experts for a magazine article; you know exactly what you’ll pay to get it.
What I do: