How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Nonfiction Writing Freelancer?

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How Much Do Nonfiction Writing Freelancers Charge?

Writing nonfiction can be a lucrative career, and many writers choose to work as freelancers, selling their skills and expertise to clients who are in need of compelling, well-researched content. But the question that often arises is: how much do nonfiction writing freelancers charge for their services? The answer to that question can vary widely, depending on a number of factors. In this article, we will explore some of the key considerations that go into determining the rate for nonfiction writing freelancers.

Factors Affecting Freelance Writing Rates

Several factors can influence how much a nonfiction writing freelancer charges for their services. The first and most obvious factor is the level of experience and expertise that the freelancer brings to the table. Writers who have been working in the industry for many years and have a strong portfolio of published work are likely to command higher rates than those who are just starting out.

Another important consideration is the specific type of nonfiction writing required. For example, writing a long-form investigative article for a magazine or website may require a different skill set and level of expertise than ghostwriting a memoir for a private client. The complexity and depth of the project will often impact the freelancer’s rate.

The time and effort involved in conducting research and interviews can also impact a freelancer’s rate. Nonfiction writing often requires a significant amount of fact-checking and sourcing, which can add to the overall workload and influence the rate charged by the freelancer.

Typical Rates for Nonfiction Writing Freelancers

While rates can vary widely, depending on the factors discussed above, there are some general guidelines that can help nonfiction writing freelancers determine a fair rate for their services. According to a survey conducted by the Editorial Freelancers Association, the average hourly rate for nonfiction writing freelancers in the United States ranges from $50 to $100 per hour. However, many experienced freelancers charge rates that are significantly higher than this, particularly for complex or high-profile projects.

Some nonfiction writing freelancers prefer to charge by the word or by the project, rather than by the hour. Rates for these types of arrangements can also vary widely, but a common guideline is to charge anywhere from 50 cents to $2 per word for nonfiction writing, depending on the level of expertise required and the complexity of the project.

Negotiating Rates with Clients

When it comes to negotiating rates with clients, nonfiction writing freelancers should be prepared to discuss their reasoning behind the rate they are proposing. This might include detailing the amount of time and effort that will go into completing the project, as well as the level of expertise that they will bring to the table. It can also be helpful to provide examples of past work that demonstrate the quality and value that the freelancer can offer to the client.

It’s also important for nonfiction writing freelancers to have a clear understanding of their own financial needs and goals, and to factor these into their rate negotiations. Freelancers should be realistic about what they need to earn in order to make a living, and not be afraid to advocate for fair compensation for their skills and expertise.


In conclusion, determining how much nonfiction writing freelancers charge for their services can be a complex process, with many factors to consider. The level of experience and expertise, the type of writing required, and the amount of research and interviews involved all play a role in determining the rate that a freelancer will charge. While there are some general guidelines and averages that can be helpful, it’s ultimately up to the freelancer to negotiate fair compensation for their work. By understanding the factors that influence rates and being prepared to advocate for their value, nonfiction writing freelancers can ensure that they are fairly compensated for their skills and expertise.

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