Freelancing Rates: Do You Know What to Charge?

For those of us who slid sideways into the freelancing life, it’s not always obvious what to charge for our services. If you look at jobs posted on sites like Elance, you might get the idea that freelancers are paid $1 per 500-word article. You can probably figure out your lower limit for pay, but how do you know the industry standard for what to charge?

A Rates Resource

A fellow freelancer recently pointed me to a terrific resource: the Editorial Freelancers Association’s list of common editorial rates. Despite the editorial slant of the name, this list includes rates for fact checking, indexing, writing for websites, medical writing, and more. Check it out!


If you write or edit on a freelance basis, how do you decide what to charge? Any other resources you’d like to share?

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  1. says

    I’ve used this resource and found it helpful. I have standard rates in mind, but sometimes they vary. For instance, I recently had an editing job that was going to include very tight deadlines and so I upped my usual fees a bit. I actually prefer a per-page or per-job rate to charging by the hour because the rate at which we work is so different.