Readers Respond: How Much Would You Write For?

Last week, I wrote about the growing controversy over crappy writing jobs that pay only a buck or two per article. I also published an email I’d received that complained about a job I ran that paid $9/hour. I then wrote, “Is $9/hour low-ball pay or is that a home-based wage you would accept? What do you estimate you are you currently earning per hour on your writing jobs?”

Below are your comments. We could not publish all of them, but we published a LOT! We have removed identifying information from those who were kind enough to share their rates/annual income with the rest of us.


Thanks to winning an honorable mention in your 24-Hour Contest a few years back and selecting The Well Fed Writer as my prize, I am today a full-time freelance writer. Admittedly, my husband’s business makes a lot more than mine at the moment and without him, I might not be making it, but my goal for this year is $40,000 and I think it is attainable if I can just keep myself on task….anyway.

By virtue of the fact that I’m no longer moonlighting as a freelancer (which I only did for a very short time) and this is now my only source of income, I don’t accept jobs at less than $35 an hour. I have a few clients who got in early on for whom I write on a per-word basis. One pays me $50 for a 500 word article and another pays me $70 for between 350 and 450 words. One of these, I got through craigslist and the other I found using the Portland Business Journal’s Book of Lists, a trick I learned from The Well Fed Writer. I live about 4 hours south of Portland in Oregon.

Also have one client that pays me $1500 dollars per month for unlimited writing and design work. So far this comes out to no less than $45 an hour. If it ever drops below $35 per hour for the time I’m giving them, I will look to renegotiate or discontinue that contract

So I guess the shorter answer would be, no, I wouldn’t work for $9 per hour. I agree with you though. It depends on the person’s geographical location and situation. I really don’t think anyone can fault you for listing what’s out there and letting writers choose for themselves. It’s still worlds better than the idiotic “per-click” pay at which I scoff and bite my thumb.

My writing is good enough to command high pay and no client have ever blinked at $35 an hour. In a few years, I may begin charging $45. If I lived in NY or CA, I would charge $65.

Writers have only themselves to thank or blame for whatever pay level they choose.

my thoughts,