Mar 13, 2023

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make in 2023? (+ impact of generative AI on writer's salary)

Priya Jamba, Content Marketer
Priya Jamba
How Much Do Freelance Writers Make in 2023? (+ impact of generative AI on writer's salary)
Priya Jamba, Content Marketer
Priya Jamba
Mar 13, 2023

How Much Do Freelance Writers Make in 2023? (+ impact of generative AI on writer's salary)

Curious about how much freelance writers earn in 2023? Our comprehensive guide explores the latest industry trends and factors influencing writing rates.
How Much Do Freelance Writers Make in 2023? (+ impact of generative AI on writer's salary)

Table of contents

As the “working ecosystem” continues to evolve, more and more people are turning to freelance as a way to make a living. Freelance writing, in particular, has gained massive traction among people in recent years as it offers better control over their careers and empowers them to work on their own terms. A freelance writing business can be a lucrative career in terms of monetary benefits, but it can also be unpredictable. Now, the key question is - “How much do freelance writers make.” Let us find the answer in this post. Along with that, we will also understand how a recent disruption called generative AI has impacted the freelance writer salary. 

How much do freelance writers charge?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. After all, freelance writing rates can vary greatly from person to person and also depend on a wide variety of factors. But in this section, we will still decrypt and understand how much can a freelance writer make per article or project, per word, and per hour. 

How much do freelance writers charge per project?

In a study, it was found that experienced freelance writers on average charge the following for different kinds of projects - 

  • Guides and ebooks — $5,500
  • Website copy — $3,200
  • Landing pages — $2,175
  • Sales letters — $1,750
  • Ads — $1,050
  • Case studies — $870
  • Blog posts — $550

Many freelance writers charge per project. It involves getting a lump sum fee according to services required to complete the tasks. The earning potential in this is quite high, especially if you are more experienced and efficient. This is also easier for clients, particularly those looking for one-off jobs or if they have a strict budget. Most copywriters charge per project as it is convenient to track and get better return on the invested time.

Want to improve your copywriting skills and charge higher rates for your services? Learn how to achieve this in our beginner’s guide - How To Learn & Master Copywriting Skills? (+ resource list)

How much do freelance writers charge per word?

According to, the average per word rate for freelance writers can range anywhere from $0.01/word to $2/word. The upper spectrum of this range is usually charged by those with sufficient experience in the field. 

Charging by word is convenient for content pieces with a strict word count. For instance, many clients might need multiple SEO blogs with varying word count. Paying by word for all these articles might be easier as it is simple to calculate without any disputes. Charging by word can also be helpful for those content that might be harder to quote, such as emails and long landing pages. 

How much do freelance writers charge per hour?

According to Payscale, freelance writers, on average, charge an hourly rate of $24.79. A survey conducted by confirms this claim. It states that a median of $25/hour is charged by freelance writers in the US. It is not common for content writers to charge on an hourly basis. 

Hourly contracts are beneficial when there are various writing tasks to complete. Instead of figuring out how much time each individual writing piece will take, you can simply track the overall hours spent on the task.

Factors that affect how much freelance writers earn

The average salary for freelance writing jobs is never fixed because it is dependent on several factors that vary from one freelancer to another. Here are five such key factors - 


Yes, the industry in which you work can have a huge impact on your earning potential. Some industries, such as finance or tech, pay really well because they are evergreen industries. They always have a high demand for specialized writing skills and will pay more for high-quality content. On the other hand, industries such as travel or real estate might not pay that high because the availability of writers is more than the demand. 


Again, the niche within an industry can also impact your earning potential. For example, if you are someone who specializes in writing about a particular field of finance, such as investments or personal finance, you may be able to ask higher rates than someone who writes on a wide range of financial topics.

Years of experience

This is a given. Like every other industry, the more experience you have, the higher your salary you can expect. This is because experienced writers have, over the years, honed their writing and research skills and might be able to offer more value to the clients than newbie writers. Besides, they would have already established a good reputation within their industry, which can help them attract higher-paying clients.

Personal brand

If you have taken the effort to build a strong personal brand and have created a solid online presence, you may be able to charge more for your services. Ideally, you should have a good website highlighting your services and portfolio. Along with that, you must be posting valuable content on your social media accounts that can help establish your expertise and credibility. This can make you more valuable to potential clients.

Type of work

The last factor is the type of writing work you are involved in. For instance, if you are someone who spends a lot of time writing long-form content such as white papers or ebooks, you may be earning more than someone who writes shorter blog posts or social media content. This is because long-form content requires a lot of expertise and effort from the writer when compared with its shorter counterparts. 

What are the benefits of being a freelancer?

There are numerous benefits to being a freelancer. And this is probably the main reason why you can see many people leaving their 9 to 5 jobs and selecting this career path. Here are some of the top benefits you can enjoy as a freelancer - 

  • Flexibility: One of the biggest benefits of being a freelancer is the flexibility you get to enjoy in your work. You not only get to choose your work hours but also decide your monthly schedule. The flexible work hours are particularly attractive for those with family obligations or those with a penchant for travel as they can explore places during day time and work at night. 
  • Autonomy: As a freelancer, you also have the freedom to choose which projects to work on and which clients to work with. You have complete autonomy on this. You can pursue projects that align with your interests and passion. This will also help you build a strong portfolio in your desired niche.
  • Unlimited earning potential: Unlike salaried professionals, you have the ability to set your own rates and work for any number of hours in a day. This means you have the potential to earn as much as you want in a month.
  • Variety of work: You also get the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects and with a variety of clients. This helps in gaining rich experience in multiple areas and building a wide portfolio.
  • Location independence: Freelancers can work from anywhere. All they need is an internet connection. This means you can work from your home, while traveling, or even from a co-working space.

What are the drawbacks of being a freelancer?

While there are certainly many benefits to being a freelancer, there are also some drawbacks that you must consider before choosing this path. Here are some of the main challenges you may face as a freelancer - 

  • Inconsistent income: As a freelancer, you may have to constantly deal with variable income. There will be months when you will be earning thousands of dollars, and there will be times when there is a complete drought of clients, resulting in lesser earnings. This effectively means you cannot budget or plan for your future. 
  • Lack of benefits: Salaried professionals enjoy a lot of benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement contributions from the employer. No such perks exist in the freelance world, and you must provide yourself with these benefits, which can burn a hole in your pocket. 
  • Complex taxes: Freelancers are responsible for managing their own taxes. In case you have multiple earnings from different types of clients, it can get a lot more complex to calculate and file your taxes when compared to traditional employment taxes.
  • Isolation: If you are a freelancer, there are high chances that you have to work independently and remotely for your gigs. This means you will miss the liveliness of the office culture, and may also feel isolated. This lack of social interaction can be difficult to manage for some people.
  • Self-discipline: All successful freelancers have a common trait - they are self-disciplined. They also take complete responsibility for their work. So unless you can work without a boss or manager to guide you, you must stay away from freelancing. 

How to start freelancing as a content writer?

Here are eight essential steps involved in launching your career as a freelance writer -

Decide what type of writing you want to do

The first step is to finalize what type of writing you want to do. Is it content writing or creative writing, or technical writing? It could be blogs, social media posts, website copies, or some other types of content. Yes, you can also choose to create more than one type of content, but you will end up becoming a generic writer without any specialization. Remember, it's very important to pick a content type that you not only enjoy writing but also excel at.

Want to know what are the different types of writing you can adopt? Learn more in our blog: Creative Writing Vs Content Writing : What Is The Difference?

Identify your niche

Now that you know what type of content to write, the next step is to decide the specific industries or topics that you want to specialize in. This decision can be made either based on your education or previous work experience or purely based on your interest. Again like the content type, it is important to pick only a selected number of industries as it can help in targeting your digital marketing efforts and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Set up your profile

Create a solid online presence that is not only professional but also unique at the same time. Remember, there are thousands of freelance writers today, and you must stand out from the crowd by showcasing your writing skills and experience in an attention-grabbing way. The easiest option is to create a website that not highlights your best writing samples but also offers valuable insights to the visitors, even if they don't turn out to be your clients. 

Start networking

Start building relationships across your circles. It need not always be with potential clients. It could also be with previous colleagues or other writers because you never know from where you will get your first lead. You can network via corporate events, social media, or even online writing communities.

Pitch to your first client

Once you get your first lead, reach out to them with an engaging pitch that highlights your skills, experience, and how you are the best person for this project. As a proactive measure, send your writing samples and resume, if available.

Establish a payment policy and SOP for deliverables

Once you have successfully convinced the client to partner with you, develop a clear payment policy and standard operating procedures for the deliverables. This is one critical step that most rookie freelancers miss and can turn out to be quite costly. Payment delays, repeated reworks, and any other dispute can be avoided through a clearly worded SOP and payment policy. Lastly, it can also give you a professional image in front of the clients.

Set up retainer deals

Retainer deals are a win-win for both you and your clients. By creating a monthly retainer contract with clients who need ongoing content, you ensure that you receive a steady stream of income while the clients will be able to plan their budgets better. They will also be relieved to know that they don't have to keep changing writers for the same project multiple times.

Diversify your client base

The last step is to work with a variety of clients in relevant industries to ensure that you are always busy with work and gain rich experiences as a freelance writer.

How does generative AI impact freelancing salary? 

Generative AI tools have the potential to impact freelance writer pay. For starters, some clients are already turning to these tools to generate content instead of hiring freelance writers. This means increased competition for part-time writing projects, which could drive down the rates of freelance writers. But the negative impact on pay rates ends there. 

Generative AI tools can help freelance writers work more efficiently. Tools like Scalenut can generate outlines and even do research on behalf of the writers. This will improve their efficiency, increase their output, and save their time. This means they can handle more clients, which will increase their salaries. 

Also, freelance writers who specialize in using generative AI tools to create content for specific audiences might be able to command higher rates than those who don’t do it. For example, a freelance writer who uses generative AI tools to create blogs that are optimized for engagement will be preferred over those who write themselves. 

Want to know more about such benefits of generative AI on content marketing? Check out our blog on Top 10 Benefits Of AI Content Marketing Explained 

On the whole, the impact of generative AI on freelance writing salaries is likely to be mixed. Writers who will embrace generate AI tools and adapt to changes quickly may be able to maintain or increase their rates. Those who don’t change may face increased competition and pressure on their pricing terms.

Scale your freelancing business with Scalenut

Now that you have a fair idea of how much a freelancer writer must charge, it’s time to scale up your writing business. And the best tool to achieve that is Scalenut, which is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps freelance writers to streamline their writing process and improve the quality of their content. With Scalenut, you can save time by using its revolutionary features to generate ideas and outlines and even write full-length articles. Sign up for a free trial now.

Priya Jamba
Content Marketer
ABout the AUTHOR
Priya Jamba
Content Marketer

Priya Jamba is a Content Marketer at Scalenut. She loves marketing technologies and believes that with the right combination of tools and creativity, every organization can build sustainable brands. She is on a mission to help marketing teams across the globe produce tangible results from their marketing campaigns. Currently, she is working along with the Product team to enhance the AI content quality through prompt engineering.

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