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This article was published on May 13, 2016


Who Pays Writers’ crowdsourced data reveals how much publications pay freelancers

Who Pays Writers’ crowdsourced data reveals how much publications pay freelancers
Natt Garun
Story by

Natt Garun

US Editor

Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She previously wrote for Digital Trends, Business Insider, and Gizmodo. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

For beginning freelancers, figuring out the right rate to ask for can be almost as difficult as landing the gig itself. Who Pays Writers is an anonymous, crowdsourced open data that lets writers report their rates from various publications for print and Web. Though it has been around since 2012, this week the site received a redesign to let you easily search and report your rates.

You can sift through the site for publications you’re thinking about pitching (or are simply curious about) or search by name. If there’s data for said publication, you’ll see a per word rate or a flat rate fee, along with the year submitted, a small description of what the piece was, and whether the writer had a relationship with the assigning editor going into the job.

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Remember to multiply the per word rate by words to get the actual fee.

This is important data to know, since you’ll want to use this to ascertain how those rates were determined. The site also details how soon a writer is paid after submitting the piece, and an emoji to depict whether the experience was good, questionable, or maddening. The site’s data does not take into consideration copy writing, advertorials, or sponsored-content.

If you’re curious to see new data when they’re added, you can also follow Who Pays Writers on Twitter or Tumblr.

It’s definitely interesting to look through if you’re a freelance writer, but remember that without tons of data, it may not be the best representation of what the publication typically pays. But if there’s a trend, at least you’ll know the ballpark to aim for when pitching a story. Good luck!

A transparency note that while The Next Web isn’t on Who Pays Writers (at least not yet, anyway), we have historically paid between $40 to $300 for stories ranging from short news pieces and on-site event coverages to opinion columns.