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What affects how much you can earn as a Freelance Journalist

There are a number of factors that can affect how much you can earn as a freelance journalist. Obviously, the most important is the rate of pay offered by the publications you chose to write for. But, there are a number of other things you need to take in account when you are thinking about earning your living as a Freelance Journalist. Some points you need to consider are:

  • how many hours you choose to work – how much money you could make as a freelance journalist is affected by how many hours you choose to work. Some freelance journalists work full-time, putting in as much effort as they would for any other full-time job. Others choose to work only a few hours for some extra money. So, the bottom line is – you’ll get out what you put in

  • how often you submit work to publishers – if you can submit five pieces every week you are more likely to get work published and will probably make more than a journalist who only submits one article a month

  • how often your work is accepted – the more work you send out the more likely you are to get it accepted. So, it’s best to send out as much work as possible each month to ensure a steady income stream

  • what you choose to write about – your area of specialism may only have two or three target publications, which means you may only be able to submit one or two articles per month. Then again, if you choose to write about topics that are often revisited, such as dieting, your articles could be published on a regularly basis

  • how experienced you are as a freelance journalist – more experienced journalists, with a healthy portfolio, may get more work accepted, be commissioned to write articles or even asked to write a regular column. They will also be paid more for their work

  • how experienced you are in your chosen specialism, if you have one – if you are highly qualified or very experienced in an area, even if you are not a very experienced writer, you may get a better rate of pay


It may seem like there are many factors affecting what you can earn as a freelance writer. But careful, thorough market research and planning will ensure you target the right publications to maximise your income.

To learn more about freelance journalism request a prospectus for the Writers Bureau Freelance Journalism Course.


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Cathal Coyle

"My short-term intention is to continue combining writing for newspapers and magazines with my current job. I'm enjoying my writing 'sideline' but I may find as time goes on that I want to make the transition to full-time writer."

Cathal Coyle


Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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