How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Freelance Writer?

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This blog post has been updated from its original version. It now includes a link to my rates page. You can also click on Rates in the menu above to go to the same place. But read the article first, because you totally need a break. Right? Enjoy.


It was time to get a decent pair of shoes for once. I was working at the AT&T retail store in Muncie, Indiana. The job had me on my feet all day. I was tired of having to replace my dress shoes every few months when the heels wore out.

I told the shoe store salesman, a tall gentleman in his early sixties with a warm smile and bright eyes behind grandfatherly glasses, that I wanted something durable.

Before pulling anything out of the stock room, he measured my feet. Then he watched my gait and told me I tended to put more weight on my right foot, which explained why my right shoe heel was always the first to go.

He picked out a pair of black dress shoes and inserted a wedge under the right sole at the heel to reinforce it.

I put them on and took a stroll across the lobby and the floor turned into marshmallows and gum drops. These shoes were not only durable; they were some of the most comfortable I’d ever worn. A perfect fit.

Then it came time to ask the question. How much?

“A million dollars,” he said earnestly.

Then he laughed. “The price never sounds so bad when you start at a million dollars,” he said.

He’s right. Once I’d experienced the value of these magical foot pillows I didn’t think twice about spending what I did.


Buying the right pair of shoes is like hiring the right writer. It costs far less than a million bucks to make you feel like a million bucks with a comfortable fit and strong performance over time.

Buying the wrong pair of shoes is like hiring the wrong writer. You’ll be groaning after a few months when you realize you can’t get the mileage you need out of what you’ve got. Sore from trying to make an uncomfortable situation work, you re-enter the marketplace to buy another throwaway brand …

Or make a greater investment in one that will take you the distance.


You can find shoes at $5 a pair and writers at $5 per page. Neither will get you very far before folding under the demands you place on them.

When you invest a few hundred bucks in a pair of shoes, you can reasonably expect you’re getting materials that will stand the test of time. (Or your money back.)

The same goes for writers. You know you’re making a strong investment in quality if:

  1. You can guess the rate per hour or per page they build into their quotes has two or three digits in it, never just one. Some top writers charge $1 or more per word; that’s the only time General Washington should be involved in the conversation. (Unless you need copy about U.S. history, I guess.)
  2. You can tell by client testimonials, sample work and by talking with them that they have substance. Professional writers worth the investment will be interested in you enough to ask questions, make suggestions and increase your comfort level. You should be able to imagine having them on staff.

I know what you’re wondering now.


You guessed it: $1,000,000. Just kidding. I have published rates for the most common project types here.

Take a look at my portfolio and client testimonials. Then let’s talk about your project. Maybe we can work out a discount. How about we knock it down to $999,999?