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How much can a freelance writer earn?

October 24th, 2012

How long is a piece of string? No really – it’s that difficult to say simply because there are so many factors affecting how much each freelance writer may get paid for a job. These factors include:

– the size of the publisher – if the publisher is a little local newspaper it’s likely that they’ll not be paying as much as a large glossy magazine
– how experienced you are – if you are a novice writer, you are not likely to be paid as much as someone with years of experience
– how complex the research and writing of the text is likely to be – if the subject requires huge amounts of research it’s possible this will be reflected in what you are paid for the job
– how often you work – if you only write a couple of days a week, you’ll probably not earn enough from your writing rely on it for your daily monetary needs. To earn a full-time wage, you’ll have to put in full-time hours.
– how often your work is accepted – even if you do send work out on a regular basis, it may not always be accepted
– the size of the market – you may be a great writer and have wonderfully interesting article ideas, but if the market you are aiming at is only three magazines, it’s likely you’ll be rejected quite often simply due to lack of space

See, I wasn’t joking when I said there are lots of factors that can affect what you earn. However, whilst it’s difficult to give any kind of accurate figures, even average figures, it is possible to see what some real freelance writers are earning. These figures can be found on the National Union of Journalists website in their Freelance Fees Guide (www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?language=en&country=UK&section=Welcome). Working freelancers very kindly post who they worked for, what they did and how much they were paid. Whilst it does not answer the question of how much freelance writers can earn, it certainly will give you a good idea of what a real life writer can achieve.

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