What freelance copywriter rates look like in 2017

November 29, 2017


One of the biggest issues as a freelance copywriter is rates. Setting your rates. Knowing what rates other freelance copywriters are charging. When to reveal your rates to clients. How to negotiate rates. GAH! It can be such a minefield.

Which is why survey’s regarding freelance copywriter rates always catch my eye. They’re a health check on the industry, because so often as a freelancer you’re isolated in your own little business/client bubble. And I’m not being funny, but writers are notorious for being crap at discussing money.

That’s why reports like the recent Copy Hackers Annual Freelance Salary Survey are so important. It reminds us that we work to earn and that it’s important to discuss how, as an industry, we do this so it’s fair to us as well as our clients.

Read the complete Copy Hackers 3rd Annual Freelance Salary Survey here.


Key findings of freelance copywriter rates

The survey was posted in some copywriter groups I’m a member of, so contributed my own thoughts and feelings. The questions were pretty broad, asking how many hours I work as freelancer, all the way through to client acquisition and why I choose to freelance.

The key findings from the survey that really caught my attention were:

  • That many of us believe the demand for copywriting services have increased (huzzah, more work is on the horizon!)
  • Many of my peers prefer to charge by project, rather than per hour or by word (thank goodness, because per word is the worst possible way to set your freelance copywriter rates!) 
  • Freelance copywriters per hour rates have increased since 2016, with 73% of respondents charging between $50 and $149 USD per hour (excellent that copy and content writers are charging more of what their worth).

Despite this, what a copy or content writer can expect to earn in a year is still below $50,000 USD. Personally, I feel this still falls short of what our skills are able to bring to a business or brand.


Review your freelance copywriter rates, regularly

As your career progresses, it’s important to keep an eye on your freelance copywriter rates. Increasing costs as your skills grow and you can clearly show you’re a shiz-hot copywriter, is normal.


If you continually do good work for your clients and get the results they want (or go above and beyond the results they were after), then you should absolutely reflect your successes in your rates and get paid what you’re worth.

Are you freelancing?

What are your thoughts on the Copy Hackers Salary Survey results? Do you think they’re a fair reflection of our industry, or are your personal experiences different (like, do you find low-paid writers are constantly undercutting you)?



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