Happy Friday fellow creatives! This is a money question for all the freelancers/consultants on here - specifically writers/ journalists...

but all professional freelancers are welcome to share.

How do you set your day/hourly/fixed rate? Which of these methods works best, if any?

Also, what's a fair day/hourly/fixed rate for a writer with about 2-3 years of writing experience, a degree in journalism and a masters in marketing?

I know money is tough to talk about so I appreciate your transparency in advance (optimism is alive!).

Thank you,


  • I'm really rubbish at this so I'm just going to share resources that I think are helpful in choosing your rate!

    Creative recruiters publish annual salary surveys - here's Major Players:


    And here's an anonymous form that makes for interesting reading:

  • @Alessandro Novelli absolutely makes sense! It's all about the value you bring to a client. Of course, the more experienced you are - the more leverage you have, I imagine. Grazie mille per la tua risposta :)
  • I ve recently made the shift from day rate to project rate. I have seen that with day or hour rates projects have the tendency to never end, always adding stuff, etc, or overall I felt wasn't great to trade life time for money. Now I moved everything on putting a price on the kind of challenge the client needs/wants to overcome, so basically giving a prize to the value I can give. Sometimes in just a couple of hours you can solve a problem that is costing your client thousands of $, while if you day rate or hour rate it you go back home with just the money to pay your electricity bill... hope it makes sense. A.
  • Thank you for the details @Tanel S, the fantastic resource @Fi Forrest and the very useful info @Simon Bainbridge.

    Marketing copy is the focus for now but I also appreciate the editorial/journalism numbers too, as I do a little bit of everything :)

  • Journalists and editorial writers are generally paid per word.

    In my last job (an arts magazine), we paid £180/1000 words. That rate hadn’t changed in at least a decade, and I always felt it was too low, so I was surprised to learn many well known magazines and platforms paying (sometimes much) lower.

    I’m doing done freelance writing myself at the moment, and I’m finding a rate of £300 for 1000-1500w common. The people I’m writing for are established arty magazine brands with small budgets. I’d expect to get at least 25p/word if I was writing for more mainstream titles.

    If you’re writing for commercial clients, or doing marketing copy, or advertorial (for want of a better word), then day rates seem to be more common, starting at around £125/day for someone with just a few years experience.

    But obviously, there are no fixed rates. If you were writing for the financial services industry, for example, rates are probably much better.

  • @Tanel S
    This is a really good resource to give you an idea.
    Tend to be London rates, but shy bairns get nowt! Also, I have reduced rates for Dots members.

  • day/hourly/fixed/weekly/monthly - I use all of these.
    I think that as a freelancer my goal is to close client. Whatever makes them happy and keeps me compensated.

    Monthly - I use when another agency or company wants to hire me for longer project. I don´t mean full time however like 3 days a week for 3 months. Doesn´t happen very often.

    Weekly - Basically same as previous however just short term = project less than 2 months.

    Day rate - Probably best. When I work with day rate it mean I work 5 max 6h for this client. However it has one big problem. As an example if I agree to do project with day rate and there is change. Someone is sick, client meeting is postboned, project is canceled or changed or paused it means that it is hard to get paid for time coming up.
    In most cases day rate in my case is bit similar to fixed price. I try to agree initial roadmap how to move. Same time there have been projects with unlimited days or what continue until everything is ready for development.

    Hourly rate - I have quite many clients who need regular updates. Usually micro managing and project planning and roadmaping would be too complicated. There is trust between me and clients and hourly just works.
    With hourly rate I use 2 steps. Half an hour and full hour. 31 minutes = 1h of work.
    There is also extended version of hourly rate what I use. Basically I sell NN-amount of hours to one client every month. Lets say NN = 40h. I have fixed hourly rate agreed and I know that I will get paid minimum 40xmyhourlyrate. And I make sure that I can offer at least these hours. If I work 30h I will bill for 40h and basically win 10. If I work 50h I send invoice with 50h.

    There are some extra details. Like how many days do I have to react when project is sent to me. So it can´t happen that they ask everything in last week. Same time it may. It may require some long days and nights. In my case it works. It depends how structured is freelancer and how crazy is client. If you want to keep the client probably sometimes you have to flex a bit.

    I don´t know about writing exactly. What I would say. Day rate works when you need to invest 40h+ for a project and it is not really urgent.
    Big problem with day rate in my opinion is that if I do work and send it to client. There are revisions or feedback. Even if everything is ok you have to prepare print files or do developer handoff. Last two steps usually don´t take full day however with day rate logic it should be billed as +1 day. So for smaller projects it may increase budget so much that client is not happy to pay.

    Fixed price. I have burned my fingers here also I have earned huge proffits. I think it is risky for freelancer. You really have to set the scope. Also even if your scope is strong it still gives client some freedom to ask revisions. If you don´t do these then you deliver something what client is not really happy = low customer satisfaction. Bulletproof scope needs a lot of work beforehand and still I am 100% sure you can not cover everything. I would say that fixed rate works when project is fairly small.
    As an example. I have designed newsletters for fixed rate. Sometimes it is 4 chapters other time just 1. I have designed html5 animated banners with fixed rate. You have full media plan. There is fixed cost for master banner and then fixed price per size. I would say that in writing it could work too.

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