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What do you charge for freelance work?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JNEWFIFTY, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. JNEWFIFTY

    JNEWFIFTY Member

    I'm about to enter the wonderful world of freelancing and being I really don't have a clue, what is a suitable amount to charge a website/publication for your time and effort?

    I have a number in mind, but I think I may be low-balling myself.

    If it matters, for this first assignment, I am being provided with all the contact information for the subjects I will be writing about.

    Thanks for the help folks.
     
  2. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Oh, man....
     
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You don't charge, JNEW. You accept the crumbs and beg for more.

    Oh, and I wouldn't accept an assignment without first agreeing on a price, personally.
     
  4. JNEWFIFTY

    JNEWFIFTY Member

    Agree on both points and I was going to just go with whatever they offered me, but this guy is asking me what do you charge and as I stated previously, I have no clue what to say.
     
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    In my opinion, it depends on the kind of assignment you're getting.

    I've done a few newspaper/online stories for $50 a pop. I got $75 for one story. But then again, I haven't gotten as many assignments as folks who do freelance work regularly.
     
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's a tough one, JNEW.

    For example, I might pay someone between $50 and $200 to cover a live event, depending on how long it will take, how complicated it is, how desperate I am.

    Some places pay by the assignment, some by the word, etc. A lot of websites don't pay at all.

    So I would try to figure how much time it would take and go from there. Since you already seem to have the assignment, I would start with a higher number and see if it flies.

    For example, if it will take you a week to complete, what's a week of your time worth? $100, $500, $1,000?
     
  7. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    I have been asked by more than one newspaper what I expect to get paid for a freelance assignment. I think we are all entering new territory here. More writers are looking for freelance work. More newspapers are looking for freelancers to assign stories to. Some papers pay me $50 a story, some $100. Some pay mileage, some don't. I have been paid up to $400 for magazine stories. It depends on the publication and the story. Always negotiate high and work down.
     
  8. ringer

    ringer Member

    Rules of thumb:
    * Features pay more than game stories
    * Magazines pay more (and usually by the word) than newspapers (which is usually a flat fee or by the inch)
    * Websites can pay more than newspapers but usually less than magazines

    Possible bargaining chips:
    * If you have unique access to athlete/story
    * Complexity of the story
    * Years of experience as a writer
    * Years of experience covering that beat
    * Your accuracy record
    * Turn-around time (espcially if it's a feature and they need it right away)
    * Experience writing for major national publications

    Non-factor:
    Whether the editor supplies the contact info (unless it's some sort of exclusive)

    Hope that helps

    p.s. Unless you're just out of college (or writing for a tiny paper), you should not be writing substantial stories for less than $100.
     
  9. WoodyWommack

    WoodyWommack Member

    I lived off freelancing for a year after graduating in May 2008. I just recently took a job at a daily paper. I never took less than $50 per story but the way I always saw it was any money is good money. There are plenty of ways to make money as a freelancer, even though it's competitive, you just have to be willing to hustle.
     
  10. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Honestly?

    Whatever they'll pay me.
     
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