Industry Standards Rates

Industry Standards Rates

Freelance Writing

If you are a freelance writer or perhaps you wish to commission a freelance writer, you may be wondering how much to charge (if you are a freelancer) or how much you can expect to pay (if you are the commissioner). I do go into this aspect of writing much more extensively over on the McRae Communications Consultancy site, but since you’re here I’ll provide a brief overview.

Freelance rates of pay vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the type of company or person commissioning the work and of course what level of professional input is required from the writer.

There are writers who also have degrees in marketing and/or advertising, so it makes sense these writers would be as comfortable creating strategy and messaging as they would writing copy. If that’s what you need as a business – a writer that can just take the project and run, then you would expect to pay more for that level of expertise.

If you are a freelancer you will make decisions based on how much you want the work – let’s face it – some projects just don’t make the heart sing. You might have to consider how long the project is going to take or any additional factors that make your job easier or harder. 

When all’s said and done, the freelancer and the commissioner both have to come to the party, ready to discuss in detail the Brief / Scope of Works and Timeline. Only once the full facts if the project are known can a realistic budget/rate be set.

Please note that these rates are applicable to short-term, one-off freelance writing projects only. They are not intended as a benchmark for continuous periods of writing (as would be the case with ghostwriting a book for example). I generally set Project Prices for writing that is going to span more than a few weeks.

The latest data (2019) from the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) sets the following rates:

  • Standard Rate per Word 95 cents (Base MEAA rate)
  • Overall mean rate being achieved 71 cents
  • Maximum rate being achieved $1.91
  • Per day $896.00 (based on 8 hours)
  • Per half day $597.00 (2/3 day rate)
  • Per hour $219.00

Cancellation fee: In the event of a late cancellation of a commissioned piece, a cancellation or “kill fee” to the writer also applies. The reason for this is because the writer has to do a lot of work/research in advance (brand/voice/positioning/getting up to speed with products or subject matters) even before words are on the page. Added to this the writer will have put off other projects to schedule this one.

If you are interested in commissioning, or working across freelance writing, editorial and copywriting projects for corporate or publishing please head over to mcraecomms for further details.