Survey provides insights on how much freelancers should be paid
Ask any good freelancer, and he or she will tell you that understanding how much to bill for an assignment is an eternal struggle. Bill too much? You risk alienating a potential client and losing an opportunity. Bill too little and you end up working too hard for a lot of work.
Of course, freelancing is a two-way partnership. Clients have the same concerns, but just look at them differently. No client wants to overpay for freelance work, but they are often happy to pay a fair rate for quality work from an experienced freelancer.
Rather than continue with the eternal freelance wages guessing game, ClearVoice decided to do something about the problem and issued an invitation to more than 500 freelancers in an effort to gather one of the most educational freelance surveys available. Here are a few of the highlights of what we found:
It’s a (wo)man’s world
Nearly half of all female respondents (48 percent) said that they are either professional or expert freelancers, meaning they had seven or more years of freelance writing experience. The opposite is true for men. In fact, nearly 3 in 5 of male respondents (59.4 percent) said that they consider themselves to beginner or intermediate freelancers, meaning they have between 0 and 7 years of experience.
You get what you pay for
More than 30 percent of beginning freelancers charge between $0.01 and $.10 per word. To put that into different terms, for a 500-word assignment, roughly a third of beginning freelancers charge between $5 and $50. Conversely, more than half of expert freelancers said they charge $1 or more per word. You can do the math, but for the 500-word assignment we just mentioned, clients are paying a significant amount more.
You get what you pay for (part II)
Though many freelancers charge by the word, others bill hourly instead. Despite this different method of billing, the finding that clients pay more for more experienced writers holds true. About 1 in 4 (25.7 percent) of beginners bill between $1 and $20 per hour. Roughly 2 in 5 (40.8 percent) of expert-level freelancers say they bill more than $100 per hour.
The survey asked writers which types of channels for which they write. The results show that freelancers are writing for more channels than one might expect. More than 90 percent of respondents said they write blogs or other articles — no surprise there. However, other popular forms of content include emails/newsletters (52 percent), social media content (46 percent), and print materials (26 percent).
One interesting item to note is that for most content types, the percentage of beginner, intermediate, professional, and expert freelancers who work on these assignments is somewhat similar. However, there appears to be a large difference in the experience level of writers who work on social media content. Whereas between around 40-50 percent of beginner, intermediate and professional freelancers write social media content, more than 80 percent of expert-level freelancers work on social media content.
See the infographic: 2018 Freelancer Pay Rate Study: Experience, Pay and Gender
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