Freelance Writing FAQ: Freelance Writing Payment Structures

freelance writing compensation

Q: How do you recommend getting compensated for writing for a blog or app…how should I structure the payment? Monthly retainer, per article, what?

A: I think it depends on what relationship you’re looking to have with the writer/company. I typically work with flat-rate assignments. Clients prefer it because they have a fixed, predictable cost they know they’ll have to pay for work and as a fast writer, I earn more money by leveraging my experience/speed.

I’ve worked on a monthly retainer before. What typically happens is scope creep…so maybe it’s $3,000 a month for 10 short articles a week. Slowly, it tends to become 15 articles for the same $3,000. Rarely, I’ve been compensated for 5 articles a week for the same $3,000, let’s say. Depending on the client’s needs, I guess this could work.

Some writers/clients prefer hourly payments. Since I’m a fast writer, this never works out for me personally unless there are a ton of interviews and/or revisions. Using a tool with a timer like Wrike can help to ensure that you get paid for what you’re actually writing, revising, and interviewing by having a timer that measures minutes. For instance, if I charge $40 an hour or $50 for a 500-word blog post, I’ll spend an hour on it either way.