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Infographic: The Huge Gap Between Digital and Print Rates for Freelancers

By Dillon Baker February 9th, 2015

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but today, the keyboard is mightier than both.

The transition from print to digital has affected everyone in the media world, and while most discussions focus on big-name media companies like The New York Times Co., Condé Nast, and Time Inc., what’s often forgotten is the impact on freelance writers.

Freelancing continues to be an increasingly viable occupation since the Internet has made it easier to work from the comfort of your own home. The Internet has also greatly reduced the cost of producing and distributing content, allowing for publications to move online and give freelancers more work.

Yet, even though there are more opportunities, those opportunities have driven down pay rates. Without successful subscription paywalls and healthy ad revenue, digital publishers haven’t figured out how to earn enough money off their content just yet, and as a result, they typically can’t afford to pay writers more than a few hundred dollars per article regardless of the length.

Using our freelance rates database, we took a closer look at how this transition from print to digital is influencing the freelance marketplace. Each graph or chart below features a short explanation of the methodology and results. Take a look, share with your freelance friends, and don’t forget to add your own rates to ​our Google form so we can keep providing more useful data.

Image by Pat Little
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