As we kick off 2015, it’s a good time to take a look at what’s ahead. Content marketing has become the go-to marketing tool for brands big and small, and it looks like that trend will only increase in the coming year.
As demand increases, so does the need for freelance writers. To help you plan for the year ahead, we reviewed the increasing demand for content, looked at the size of the freelance writing pool and tried to answer the age-old question: how much should you pay a freelance writer?
Increasing demand for content
Demand for high quality content that turns a member of your target audience into a paying customer is on the rise.
A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute shows 94 percent of small business marketers use content marketing, with 75 percent planning to produce more content this year than last.
What kind of content are businesses producing? Here are the top five kinds of content, according to the study:
- Social media posts
- Website articles
To create this content, brands turn to freelance writers. Fortunately, the number of freelancers available is also climbing.
Freelancers are hungry for work
A new study shows 53 million Americans are working as freelancers, which accounts for 34 percent of the workforce. The term “freelancer” refers to “any individual who engaged in supplemental, temporary of project-based work in the last year.”
While the study pertains to a broad range of freelancers, it’s clear that more people are leaving the 9-5 cube farm in exchange for freelance work. This means you shouldn’t have any problem finding a qualified freelance writer to fit your needs.
Aside from a growing pool of candidates to pick from, the study shows the group is quite optimistic about the future:
- 38% of freelancers expect their workload to increase
- 97% of those expecting an increase in work say it’s a good thing
- 43% expect their wages to go up as they take on more work
Paying freelance writers in 2015
Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. How much should you pay a freelance writer in 2015?
What you’ll pay really depends on your goals and the features that you want. If your goal is to convert a certain percentage of readers to customers through your blog content and you want a freelancer to pitch ideas to you each month, maintain your content calendar, create articles, find images to go with the article and format it all in WordPress, your cost is going to increase. You’ll pay more, but you get a lot of additional features than just a basic 400-word blog post.
We know you’re looking for more concrete numbers, so here are some statistics you can use to set freelance wages.
Take a look at this chart from Writer’s Market. Depending on the project, writers average anywhere from $53 an hour to $97 an hour. This is just a snippet of the nine-page chart that lists specific tasks and breaks down rates. (It’s a great link to bookmark for future reference.)
The Professional Writers Association of Canada has a rate sheet that suggests $75-150 an hour for advertising material and $40-100 per hour for advertorials, or articles commissioned by advertisers.
The Editorial Freelancers Association suggests rates between $40-60 an hour for writers, and that was back in 2012.
Can you get content cheaper than these rates? Yes, but just like everything else, you get what you pay for. If your brand is one of the many that plans to increase content production, it goes without saying that your budget will increase too. Investing in a
qualified freelance writer with the skill set you need is the best way to achieve your marketing goals this year.