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What are the average freelance writing rates?

When you begin freelancing, it can take a long time to gauge the standard rates for different jobs. You can find yourself missing out on roles for pitching your bid too high, and you can miss out for pithing your bid too low! Knowing how much to charge is the key to getting those first roles, and to staying competitive. But what are the standard rates?

Article Writing

The rates for writing can vary depending on the role. For example, if what is required is an informative article, that has well-written but non-academic content, then the rate can range from a low of around $1 per 100 words, to a high of around $3 per 100 words. Although this seems a little low, because these kinds of jobs do not require a great deal of research and reference, they do not take huge amounts of time.

Academic Writing

For academic writing, you should be looking to bid a little higher, in most cases. Academic writing requires more research, and also requires a more formal, more technical prose. On top of this, you will usually be expected to reference, and therefore to have a knowledge of various referencing styles, such as MHRA, HR, or APA. Estimate, depending on the work you think it would take, around $2 - $5 per 100 words here.


The rates for editing are roughly the same as that for non-academic writing, and can sometimes be a little lower. Many freelancers would estimate anywhere from $3 - $15 per 1000 words, so, from 30 cents to $1.50 per 100 words.


Proofreading and editing are almost identical roles; when you proofread, and find errors, you are expected to change them. The rates, therefore, are pretty much identical, and you should pitch anywhere from $3 - $15 per 1000 words. The top end is high, and will be paid only in exceptional cases, where your knowledge and skills are a perfect match for the role, and where you can professionally add to the work.

This market is highly competitive, and some writers will undercut others and work for lower rates. However, these prices should act as a rough guide when making your pitches and proposals. Remember, when the price suits you, you will feel more motivated to work well.


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