1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What to charge per word/hour

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by swingline, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    I contacted the editor for a university produced magazine, letting him know I'm open to freelance assignments to report on engineering research (which I did at a previous stop). He wrote back asking what my rate per word is for a 2- to 3-source story of about 1,200 words.

    Because I believe my work has value, I don't want to sell myself short. On the other hand, I don't want to price myself out of the equation, either.

    Is $1 per word reasonable? Too high, or too low? How about $75 an hour? Keep in mind I have a job right now — I'm hired! — but my workflow has slowed in the last week, so I need something to bring money home.

    What say ye?
  2. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    I would think $1/word would price you out of any university publication.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I wrote a few times for my law school university's alumni mag and got paid about $700, as I recall, for 400-500 words. I lost my contact there and I didn't really pursue it further, but it was good money for one- and two-source stories.

    They fact-checked and line-edited the shit out of stuff, though.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Nope. That's probably underselling. They pay A LOT.

    Start at $1/word. They're not going to say "fuck you, get out of here." At most they'll say "that's a little steep" and you can come down.
  5. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Really depends on the university and the publication; freelance budgets can vary widely even between units in the same school. But I generally agree with LTL, there's usually good money out there in academia (where you'd be amazed how few people can write a coherent mass-audience story).

    When I was a full-time freelancer, $1 per word was my standard. I'd take 75 cents per word if the gig fit into my calendar. For 50 cents a word it had to be something pretty darned fast and easy.
  6. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Agreed with LTL and company. Start at a buck a word.
  7. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    I need to work with richer universities.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    They got plenty of my money first, FWIW.
  9. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    I spent less than $5000 on my undergrad and grad degrees. I went cheap.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    You're the poster who doesn't believe in evolution, correct?
  11. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    You get what you pay for.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page