How Much to Charge for Writing Services: A Guide for Indian Writers

So you have made forays into the big, not-so-bad world of freelancing, but “how much to charge” still remains a dilemma, doesn’t it? Being the million dollar question that it is, there is no precise answer to this one. However, that will not stop me from trying. Once you are done establishing a freelance writing business, you will soon receive queries from prospective clients asking for a “quote”. A quote is essentially includes the following:


Rates charged for a particular service: this may be on a per-word basis for individual articles, per-article basis for long-term projects, per-page basis for editing/proofreading assignments or a flat cumulative rate for a bulk-writing project.

The tasks included in the cost: Do you offer free revisions for your work or do you charge extra? Will a change in instruction on part of the client change the final cost of the project? Does a quote for an editing assignment include one or two rounds of edits. It is important to discuss terms and conditions with the client so that there are no unpleasant surprises later on.

The mode and distribution of payment: Let the client know well in advance as to how you would prefer to receive payments (Paypal, bank transfer, cheque etc) so that they may make appropriate and timely arrangements. It also gives you and the client an opportunity to discuss and come up with something that is mutually convenient.

How Much to Charge?

The pay rates in the Indian writing market are highly variable and can range anywhere between Rs.0.10 – Rs.3 per word. While you can do little to negotiate on company or publication projects, you can certainly have your say as far as individual clients go.

Print and online publications in India typically pay Rs.1/word or a flat rate of Rs.1000 for a 800-1000 word article. From personal experience I can say that small-scale, lesser known and niche magazines pay better (Rs.2/word) than their more popular cousins. Extremely popular magazines like Woman’s Era and magazines from the Time’s group have surprisingly low pay rates (less than Rs.1/word) but they make it up by the kind of exposure they offer. Besides, big-shot names do look good on a portfolio. Online publications follow a similar pattern for payments but the processing is faster (some print publications can take months to dispatch a petty amount).

Editing and Proofreading: Now I am not sure what other people charge, but I do have a rate-sheet for editing and proofreading projects that roughly goes as follows:
 Only proofreading: Rs.100/300 words (counted as 1 page)
 Editing and minor rewriting: Rs. 150/300 words
 Heavy editing and rewriting: Rs. 200/300 words
These rates include two complete rounds of edits and finishing.

Blogs can be quoted at $7-15 per post (250-300 words or even longer) depending on the complexity of the subject, research involved, creative skill and subject expertise (on some occasions I have gone up to $20/post).

Copywriting assignments can be placed anywhere between Rs.2- Rs.3/word depending on the size and scope of the business you are writing for.

Any more inputs would be highly appreciated.

Until next time……

96 comments:

  1. Great Post Shuchi! You covered it all. One point worth adding though is that lots of international clients will pay you in USD and it helps to be ready with a quote in USD. Something like 1USD per 100 words or so?

    Good work.

    PS: You are also doing a great job with the writing gigs that you send out to the group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i looking for a content for my web (related advertising)

      total 8 page (may vary 1or 2 pages) let me know how we work together

      pradheesh08(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
    2. Dear Pradheesh,

      Please send me the brief for the website and industry you are from.

      My flat charges are 130 per words includes 2 edits and proof reading .

      My email id rejimuralidharan@gmail.com

      Regards

      Delete
  2. yes Sanjay....that's indeed a very relevant point. Thanks for sharing and keep visiting :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI SUCHI YOU BLOG HELPED I JUST WANTED TO KNOW THAT IS THERE A SCOPE FOR A HIGH SCHOOL PASS STUDENT TO EARN BY FREE LANCING PLEASE REPLY
      REGARDS

      Delete
  3. Your blog helps me a lot always..I actually started with 70INR per 500 now it has gone up to 100INR per 500..how do you convince client you are worth more??

    ReplyDelete
  4. the only way to prove your worth is experience! you alone can decide how much you are worth :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I disagree completely with your statement that print publications pay Rs 1-2 per word. I have found that most pay Rs 3-4 per word, and some pay as much as 6-10 per word. The problem is that most Indian freelancers are scared to ask for more money. If you are a good/experienced freelancer, there is no need to settle for low rates just to get "exposure". It's our willingness to write for peanuts that allows editors to treat us like monkeys.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well that's really good news!! Would you be willing to share the names of the publications?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Elle pays Rs 10 per word, Grazia ( part of the Times group) pays Rs 3-4 per word depending on experience, Mint/Hindustan Times pay Rs 3 pwd, Caravan (Delhi press) pays Rs 3.5 per word, I've heard that Femina and Marie Claire pay Rs 4-5 per word if you negotiate, www.trendylicious pays Rs 800 for 400-500 words........

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well..i did stumble onto a good site. good one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just a point on rates.

    Copywriters can charge anything from INR 10-15 per word for marketing and advertising work while authors charge from INR 1-8. Or if you don't want to be slotted in either category, you could work with staggered levels of charging i.e.
    < 100 words = INR 10/word
    101-500 = INR 8/word

    Also, a lot of the times (this is mainly for advertising and marketing communication like print ads, brochure etc. and not articles), you have to look at the cost of an Idea. You may end up writing anything from 4 to 4000 words, but if there is a brilliant idea or concept in your work, you SHOULD be charging for it.

    In this regard, I agree with Kavitha - sometimes the lot of us are just scared to demand our worth! So good luck guys and do remember, you're only as good as YOU think you are!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for pitching in Raj....I actually forgot to include ad copywriting in the article and yes, it pays a whole lot more.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just went for my first round of interview to become a content writer.. this article was helpful in clearing my query about how much companies pay for content.. and its pretty cool to know you hate light bulbs.. (god i despise it's invention) and yes i'm addicted to care products too :)
    Happy writing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi,i am getting paid INR 120 per article (500 words. I write fairly well but I am a newbie here, so not very sure whether I get paid right. Do you think this amount is worth the efforts? What should be the ideal amount? I produce about 30 articles a week.

    ReplyDelete
  13. priyanka maheshwariMay 28, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    Hi,I am a graduate and interested in freelance writing...i haven't written anything major as of now but i write well and plan to pursue a distant learning course in freelance writing from LONDON SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM.Is this good to begin with?Can u please suggest how should i go about starting a career in freelance writing?

    ReplyDelete
  14. well i like your post . .the information in your post is quite good;) . .nice work .. Thanks a lot keep sharing:)

    Dissertation Writing Services

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell me what you do and about your qualifications please. grace of paul(at)gmail(dot)com no spaces

      Delete
  15. Hi,to all the people out there exchanging their pool of practical knowledge i am a newbie i have just joined writer bureau to hone my skills to be a published writer as i am writer since my childhood as writing was only one thing which keep calling me back.
    i want ask how to Approach and search the market.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very informative post! And that applies to the "comments" section too :)

    - Bhakti

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a real good information for someone like me who is entering into the world of freelancing. I hope this piece of information will be of great help to many newbies..

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't even know if I'm asking in the right
    Area-but i have been approached
    To write the content on a website including
    The business plan, mock internet page.
    I have provided and implemented many ideas as well as wrote a very creative and unique "about us section" that took
    Me 4 days to research and provide a final draft, but I have no idea what to charge for my work, especially for my ideas. Can somebody give
    Just a gage? I don't want to under sell my hard work and time invested.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Shuchi, I would like to be an active part of your writer's team. Please revert back me:- dipakvjain2008[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just can't believe about the rates you are quoting. I am writing for last one year. Now started for one American client but rate is too cheap, compared to this. anyhow, it is my first contract and so i accepted it. thanks for this information

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi , I have been writing freelance articles but the rate is very low as compared to this. I do not deal with the client directly. I get writing assignments from a middle man. i would like to know how much share am i getting. Is there any way i could know how much money and profit are they making. Am i being paid too less for my hard work?please help!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. if any one needs writing job just let me know.......i have a lot of writing work........i will pay 70-80rs per 500 words....contact me at ishpreetsingh11@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Shuchi
    thanks for a great post!
    I want to ask you how can I find freelance opportunities for Print-online publications? Please let me know at writing81@gmail.com

    regards
    Dharmesh

    ReplyDelete
  24. hi shuchi..
    do u knw about e learning prjcts? how dose the freelancer charges for such projects? Please i need ur help

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, I stumbled upon your article and I would like to know if you have an idea the salary range (per article) for projects or articles that can be published in well known business newspapers? I'm an HR practitioner and we're trying to recruit freelance writers from India. We prefer those who has at least 3 years work experience in doing press releases. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Shuchi, as many agree here, this is wonderful post and glad to see the responses from many freelancers. I have experience writing for the corporate world but now want to do it on freelance. Recently hit upon an opportunities to write for the web. How do you/experienced freelancers hers, advice me as to the charges? The content building is for the beta stage of the website.
    Thanks in advance!
    Srivatsa

    ReplyDelete
  27. Really informative post not only for the content writers but for the newbie publishers too. Thanks a ton Shuchi.

    I am looking for a content writer who can write articles for one of my educational portal; indiamba[dot]co[dot]in ;targeted towards Business Management courses in India. Though we are newbie, we are ready to pay as per industry standards and it would be a long term project. Interested candidates can drop a mail at abledeveloper[at]hotmail[dot]com with their past experience and quote.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't believe the rates some people out here are quoting. Writing well is not an easy job, and charging some of the very low prices I've seen here - some that sink under Re 1 a word - probably means you're being taken for a ride. Like any other job, if clients want good work, they should be ready to pay for it. If this was for charity, I might as well do it for free.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Excellently amazing and exciting too.I am happy that at least somebody gave this subject an attention.Thanks for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Greetings to everyone. I have an exerience of editing for about 14 years across various platforms — newspapers, magazines and book publishing. I did some freelancing with a few economic think-tanks and research organisations in the past 4-5 years. Though I never quoted anything to the clients, I remember I was paid @ INR150-180 per page till, say 2010. Is this rate justified for an experienced editor or should it be more? Waiting for feedback...thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a Management Post Graduate wiith a work experience of over 25 years - also a certified instructional designer and trainer

    I write on a variety of topics – Academic / Non-Academic / Management .

    I also develop content for e-learning and behavioural training topics.

    I usually charge Rs.500/- for a 500 word article

    Anyone interested in utilising my services can reach me at vthyagarajan[at]gmail[dot]com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need a person, who can do copy-editing work for our blog post. He should have very good writing skill. The work is to find out the mistakes in an article and making necessary correction.

      You can earn handsomely with less time.

      drop me a mail at teamasbm@gmail.com

      Delete
    2. Hi,

      I tried sending you an email on the email id you have mentioned above but it has bounced. Kindly provide an alternate email id if you are still interested.

      Delete
    3. ur email please

      Delete
    4. Hi ,

      I never knew that i could actually generate some revenue for myself editing blogs !! And yes Sir/Madam ..i would be supremely interested in copy editing .

      The term copy editing is technical..but if i have to draw a metaphor..its like someone who has been so much immersed in music and its nuances that even a single note missed doesn't escape his ears..those errors self magnify themselves for him..and that happens to me ...well to my eyes and senses.....perpetually..while i read..books..blogs..anything textual..anything visual with words ..and i get that supreme urge to rephrase the sentences..the words..the tonality..

      I truly believe that i can do a fabulous job...i should be tried once..!!


      Delete
    5. Hi ,

      I never knew that i could actually generate some revenue for myself editing blogs !! And yes Sir/Madam ..i would be supremely interested in copy editing .

      The term copy editing is technical..but if i have to draw a metaphor..its like someone who has been so much immersed in music and its nuances that even a single note missed doesn't escape his ears..those errors self magnify themselves for him..and that happens to me ...well to my eyes and senses.....perpetually..while i read..books..blogs..anything textual..anything visual with words ..and i get that supreme urge to rephrase the sentences..the words..the tonality..

      I truly believe that i can do a fabulous job...i should be tried once..!!


      Delete
  32. Hi, Can someone please tell me how much a freelance copywriter should charge for a half page print ad in a leading news paper?

    ReplyDelete
  33. anybody interested in article writing or blog writing and having good exposure to health industry. I can pay 70-80 INR per 250+ word. contact me at support@couponsndealstores.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i looking for a content for my web (related advertising)

      total 8 page (may vary 1or 2 pages) let me know how we work together

      pradheesh08(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
    2. Hello there, I have sent you a mail along with sample. Please respond.
      Saumya Verma
      saumyaverma28@gmail.com

      Delete
  34. This was amazing! Thanks so much :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi,

    We are one of the leading homework help service providers to the students of US, UK and other parts of the world, now we are looking for English, Psychology, Sociology and Business Management writers who can support our customer in academics. Interested please email your updated profile to kpoopening1@gmail.com

    would be awaiting for your response to proceed further.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  36. is there any blog related to freelance translator blog fon indian where on can get all the info related to translation, current rates etc.??

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi,

    Priyanka this side, I am a professional content writer. Presently, I am writing content on latest technologies & different topics such as Software Development, Web Development, SharePoint, Mobile Apps, SEO Services, Java Development, Cloud Computing, Dot NET development and on many other services. I also develop not-technical & SEO based content for different services.

    I usually charge Rs. 1/word (For instance: 700 for an article or blog, word limit: 700)

    I am looking for new projects. If you have any requirement for freelance writing, you can mail me on my id: priya2dec_shah@rediffmail.com


    ReplyDelete
  38. looking for a content writer for a research project in urban planning..is anybody interested..more assignments to follow..thanks
    please reply resatyen@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi im am looking for people who can rewrite simple maths and science question papers in bangalore. If anyone interested pls email me chockidorji@hotmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Excellent post. I am happy to see an *India-specific* post, for a change -- and something that does not shy away from citing actual figures. Thanks, Shuchi, for all the info. I also thank the others who have added several useful nuggets to this trail.
    For freelancers (and for those seeking freelancers), it appears that oDesk is a good site -- think of it as an eBay for services. You can also take the free online tests there to prove your mettle.
    Thanks,
    Nandita (Nanditasr@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Looking for someone who can help me in writing a book on medical practice management. drsahni@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. can you help me unique content writing approx 15-20 page pls suggest price my web site wwww.adventurerafting.in

    ReplyDelete
  43. Writing in long form requires an almost Herculean ability to delay gratification.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am looking for writers.I pay Rs.200/500 words. Send in a mail at contentwriter48@Gmail.com
    Payments are made weekly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am interested. You can send me all details. My email: chatterjee.bhaswati@gmail.com

      Delete
  45. Expert professional writing services across the globe are looking to hire freelancers. Great job Shuchi, for emlightening us with statistical information on freelancing

    ReplyDelete
  46. hey suchi and kavita

    can you please guide me through how to contact Elle or Femina or any of these big mags... will sending a cover profile and couple of samples will do to get freelance work?

    sania

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi,

    This is a good page every freelance writer should go through, very informative. Wish we had a uniform pricing structure to help each other and a common site to help each other with new ideas/projects/jobs/procure outsourced projects etc.

    Please share your thoughts on this, my email is jacoommenatgmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi!! Totally new in content writing, basically software reviews. Doing it part time. But I write well, that confidence I got after I started researching and came across really bad quality articles even on very popular software review sites. Now I have delivered to my client over 9000 words and at the end of the month my pay stands to only Rs. 1100. Am I being under-payed? I was offered Rs. 60 for every 500 words, which I accepted as I had nothing to refer to, neither I myself was sure of my worth (frankly speaking, but seriously after going through whats published on popular sites and incomplete information being posted I now know I write way better. So experienced writers kindly advise, whether I am being paid too low? What is the standard rate in general for say 300 or 500 words?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are into apparels business and have an existing ecommerce site (www.stitchtosize.com)

      We are looking for someone who can write blog for our website, we will give you the reference blog posts and keywords which need to be included in our blog.

      We are looking for around 40 blog posts now and going forward we will keep on adding around 10 posts a month.

      If you are inclined towards fashion blog writing please contact us at hello@stitchtosize.com

      Delete
    2. Hi pradip kumar,

      If you are interested in writing gigs. Ping me at linkxchangeblogs[@]gmail[.]com. I can offer Rs.25/150wc unique articles. It will be long term process.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  49. Hi,

    I have 12+ years of experience in news/content writing and editing. My expertise is international political affairs, regional and sports.
    Also writes stories for children.
    Currently, looking for work from home opportunities. Anybody likes my profile, contact me at anuja.shrivastava@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm looking for an editor for my new site www.ympost.com. If you are interested, pls contact me support@ympost.com.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dear all,

    We, Walkin Wordz, are a Professional Editing House.

    We provide editing and proofreading services at an affordable price. We also have Express Editing offers; we can deliver you the edited manuscript of up to 10,000 words within 24 hours.
    You can reach us at -

    Walkin Wordz – The Ultimate Literary Editors
    Email: walkinwordz@gmail.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WalkinWordz
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkinWordz
    Website: http://walkinwordz.in/

    Regards,
    Walkin Wordz

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wow, such a great blog to read and very interesting method you told but there is also very easy way to get an anonymous email address in 30 seconds and you can receive emails on your primary email and just need to give everyone fake email id so no one can judge your real email id anonymous email for facebook

    ReplyDelete
  53. Dear all,

    We are into startup business and have an existing ecommerce site (www.avdigiforum.com)

    We are looking for someone who can write blog for our website.

    We are looking for around 5 to 8 blog posts, article, reviews, social media, game etc a month.

    Contact us at vik.jsr21@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. i am looking the freelance content writer for article writing, if u interrested then contact me
    8010510339

    ReplyDelete
  55. Every charge is based upon quality of writing and quantity of work done by the writer.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Shuchi I have had trouble with pricing for years. I just wonder how to raise the scale and not lose a client.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I got a job writing articles for an automobile website in India. The site is paying me Rs 100 for an article ranging from 500-800 words. Is it too low, should I risk asking for a raise?
    Please advice

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sign up with guru or elance. These are big freelance job hosting websites. I also currently finished a 5000 words assignment which fetched me a paltry sum of 1200.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi, I am a montessori teacher and been a content writer for about two years. This blog is great and got some really insightful tips from here. The renumerations provided to the writers are pretty pathetic thought I agree quality does count. However writing is not a cakewalk and requires a lot of patience, skills, foresight and toil. Thanks Suchi for such a great post. Anyone interested can mail me on itsriya2013@gmail.com for writing services. Thanks and God bless

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hey, I am getting paid Rs. 80 / 400 words and Rs. 160 / 800 words for press releases and web-based articles. After reading your article I really feel underpaid. How much does writers for press releases get paid? Any idea?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Great info Suchi it was highly informative .... @ Fatima Ansari.. Depends on where you are writing If its web based its okay and normal ( I get Rs150 for 700 wrds Press release and articles) but if you are writing for magazines and newspapers then I guess its less.. But again if its regular wrk you should charge Rs 1 per word for magazines .. I hope it helped...
    If anyone is looking for a writer .. this is my email ID ankitarao47@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanx for the info. Really of great help. I am also working as a freelance content writer from past 9 months. Check out my blog site and drop me a mail if i could be of any help.

    http://indianfreelancecontentwriting.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  63. Interesting post. I presume such writing involves heavy research. For instance 500 word book reviews might fetch you INR1500-2000. I started out at INR60 per 500 words and have moved to INR60 per 100 words for general content . Raise it any further without a powerful cover letter and native freelancers will undercut you. However I might contradict myself when I add that one of my clients pays me INR75 for 50 word articles. However this is more an exception.

    Oh by the way I work through Elance.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Shuchi,

    Do the rates hold good for 2014? Would love your inputs.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have stared my career as freelancer for commercial and non-commercial writing work .But yet getting acquainted with the approach right from the beginning.You have provided lot of information on freelance work and I would expect U to be informative on the latest trends on freelance writing work,

    ReplyDelete
  66. Suchi, nice write-up.
    One thing I would like to include here. The only reason why Indian freelancers are underpaid is we have huge competition. Truly speaking, everyone thinks he is a writer and he can write. And due to that reason, most of the freshers agree to write for peanuts. And those who are actually good and can produce quality, when ask for more, are neglected by the clients.

    One more reason here, Indian clients hardly look for quality, they look for quantity only. And therefore, they go with those freshers creating crap at cheap prices. Agree???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right!

      But I have also realized having good negotiation and convincing skills also help. I just rehashed content for a website (1,500 words approx) and did some proof reading and editing and I got paid Rs.9000 even though their budget was Rs.7500.

      Well besides, the content I provided was way better than the existing one. I guess, you have to decide what you're worth and convince the client on the same. As a value add I always suggest good business ideas.

      Delete
  67. I like this valuable concept..... Good Content writing services is the king in today’s hi tech world. It can completely change the views of a customer about the website.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Nice write-up! Being able to write creatively is something not all of us are capable of. Count yourself blessed because you have a talent. Getting into the mood in writing does not have a set of rules to follow. ‘To each his own’ is what people say; however, a list of suggestions wouldn’t hurt.how to write a memoir

    ReplyDelete
  69. Couldn't agree more. Currently, I am completing a meager $40 project (UK based) for 8 x 800 word articles.
    God I feel like crying.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I am looking for someone with creative writing skill for my Wedding Planning blog. Can you please let me know the charges per word for such online blog writers? You had mentioned that in USD...can you please mention the cost in INR ?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks for informative article about best writing service, i search this topic few days...

    ReplyDelete
  72. Need Freelance writer to rewrite the documents app 35000 words. Please send your quotation and time frame on hr.simran@rediffmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi, you have posted such precious and informative article which gave me lot of information. I hope that you will keep it up and we will have more informative and helping news from you. Thanks | Dissertation Writing Services

    ReplyDelete
  74. I can charge whatever fees depending on the season and reason. check out homeworksharks.com those guys are on top of the game

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thanks for sharing this good information about technical services.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I don't know about India, but I remember one of my friends was looking for Professional Freelance Writing Services and he found this guys here http://www.qualitycommunicationsolutions.com/. As far as I remember they did't charge him all that much. I think the also ofering diferent kind of services in this area - http://www.qualitycommunicationsolutions.com/

    ReplyDelete
  77. Since it's an old article, just wanted to know the current market standard for print and online publications.
    Can anyone please help ?

    ReplyDelete

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