Rates Report

We’re Compiling a List of Freelance Rates, and We Need Your Help

By Jordan Teicher September 19th, 2014

One of the most popular questions we hear from freelancers is “Who pays what?” And that’s been a question we’ve been trying to answer—with some difficulty.

Over the last few months, whenever we reached out to the top digital and print publications to ask about rates, we were either rejected or ignored.

I understand the aversion to discussing compensation for freelancers, since putting out concrete figure sets up expectations and limits the amount of leverage these publishers would have in negotiations. But, the fact remains, all of these outlets operate with concrete rates. Freelancers understand these rates differ depending on the person and level of experience, but there is a baseline figure editors work with when they accept a pitch.

It’s time we all know what those figures are. And to get there, we’re going to need your help.

Starting today, we are compiling a database of freelance pay rates that will live on The Freelancer. We’re interested in the outlets you worked with, how much you were paid, and any other relevant aspects of the job (i.e. Were you offered a flat rate? Per word? Per photograph? Was it for print or digital? Was it web-sourced or reported?)

And don’t worry: Any rates or details you report to us will be kept completely anonymous. After all, we don’t want to put your relationships with your editors at risk.

I’ll give you an example. A writer who worked on a reported piece for The Freelancer could fill out our ​rates form to let us know he or she was paid a flat rate of $300 to write a 600-word article that required speaking to several sources.

When we post the list, here’s how the entry would show up:

The Freelancer: $300 flat rate for an online reported piece

It’s that simple. No names, just the vital details. Transparency is very important to our mission, and we believe this financial information can empower freelancers and make it easier for them to do their jobs. We’re interested in hearing from all freelancers, including writers, photographers, videographers, infographic designers, illustrators, and more.

If you’d like to participate, please fill out this ​Google form. You can send multiple entries. And if you have any additional questions or comments, please email rates@contently.com.

Image by Kevin Terrell