One of the biggest questions for anyone looking to start up a freelance career is how much will they get paid? Of course, there is no short, guaranteed answer to this question. Mostly, this is because there are so many different kinds of freelancing work and each has a different level of pay and compensation structure.
Freelance writers who are focusing on print publications like magazines and journals can expect a higher rate of pay. This must be balanced with the fact that these print publishers will contract for a greater amount of rights for each piece of work. This means it will be difficult to resell the piece, limiting the money that can be made on it. Newspapers allow for simultaneous submissions since they do not share an audience with each other. The pay will be good, but not as high as a magazine article or column. Writing for the Internet has a wide range of pay scales, depending on the client. Most of the time the pay is minimal but there is more work to be had for online clients than for print ones.
Instead of giving a pay range for each of these types of freelancing, it is best to break down the different methods of payment that are typically used for freelance writers.
Paying per word is how most print publications operate. Magazines vary with pay scales. National magazines will pay as much as $0.10 to $0.20 per word. For smaller, local publications, you are looking at $0.30 to $0.40 per word. Freelancers can always check Writer’s Digest for the print publications pay rates in advance.
There are a couple of ways that writers can get paid by the hour, but many clients shy away from this method of payment. Online freelancing sites like Elance and Odesk offer clients a way to monitor the work in progress so that they can ensure the writer is only charging for hours worked. Always, hiring a freelance writer onto staff is another way they could be paid per hour.
This method of payment is fairly common across all clients. Offering a flat rate for an article is typical. For example, a client could say I’m willing to pay $30 for a 400 word article. The actually pay will vary from client to client and from article to article. This is where a freelance writer will have to use their negotiation skills and obtain a contract for the work.