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9 May 2012

In this newsletter:

New Service: SEO Keyword Research
The Writerfind Survey of Rates of Pay
Results of Survey of Work Sourced Through Writerfind

NEW SERVICE: SEO KEYWORD RESEARCH, being big on words, gives a high priority to SEO (search engine optimization) practices. A key component of effective SEO is the use of keywords that people are likely to use when searching for the information, product or service you are offering.

If you are the DIY type and want some guidance on how to do SEO keyword research for yourself, this article, “Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research”, will provide some good advice for novices to SEO:

If you would prefer someone else to do your keyword research, we can provide you with a list of keywords and phrases to include in your text at no extra cost, if you order a Writerfind Profile ($99/year). For more information on this new service, please email with “keyword research” in the subject line of your email.


This survey was intended to get an idea of the average earnings of self-employed freelance writers and editors.

Survey participants (67 in total) came from a range of countries, including Australia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, UK, Canada, Ghana, Philippines, Jamaica, USA and New Zealand. The majority were New Zealanders and Americans, with quite a few from Australia.

Full results of the survey can be viewed at

The vast majority of participants were highly experienced, most having over 5 years' experience in professional writing, and many having over 10 years’ experience. Though formal qualifications were requested (and are included in the full results), quite a few did not mention any formal qualifications, but instead mentioned their extensive work experience (which obviously does count as a qualification, albeit not a “formal” one).

Many also described themselves as 'generalists' in regard to the type of writing work they did, with many participants covering the spectrum of writing-related work—including editing, journalism, business writing and technical writing. Because we asked participants to break down their report of their rates according to the types of writing they did, we were able to obtain the differing rates that many writers apply to differing kinds of writing and editing.

Participants provided both hourly rates and rates by the word, piece or project.

The full survey results were divided into five categories:
1/ Journalism, Article Writing, Content Writing, 2./ Business Writing (including ad copywriting and public and media relations writing), 3/ Editing and Proofreading, 4/ Technical Writing, and 5/ Ghostwriting.

Here are the results in summary, organised by category:

Journalism, Article Writing, Content Writing
Sample Number: 39
Most Frequent Hourly Rates: $50 (6) and $75 (4)
Per word or per piece rates were varied and no summary can be given.

Business Writing
Sample Number: 25
Most Frequent Hourly Rates: $75-85 (4) and $90-$100 (4)
Most participants provide per hour rates only for this category; per word or per piece rates, when given were varied and no summary can be given.

Editing and Proofreading
Sample Number: 38
Most Frequent Hourly Rates: $70-80 (8) and $50-$60 (6)
Most participants provide per hour rates only for this category; per word or per piece rates, when given were varied and no summary can be given.

For technical writing and ghostwriting, there were too few participants to give a summary, but the full results are posted for them these two categories at

And here are some of the most noteworthy comments that came along with the survey:

"I don't usually state my rates, and I just accept what the company/person is offering."

"Whenever possible, I quote by the project, not by the hour....I often give a 10 percent discount for contracts that include multiple projects and I add a 20 percent surcharge for rush work. I require 30 percent in advance with the balance due on receipt of the draft."

"I rarely charge by the hour; much prefer by the piece or project."

"Nationals and corporate clients have larger budgets than start-ups, local publications and non-profits."
"Since I do more than one type of work, the charges are based on the oomplexity of the project; hourly rates in government contracting range from $85-$135 per hour; some involving more consulting work may be as high as $175 per hour; certain long-range projects based on estimated hours range from $60-85 per hour or could be a flat fee with built-in parameters to cover extra work that may arise or be required. In these cases I give an estimate after the principal has provided information on the scope of the work."
(If you would like to link to this survey from your own website, the link is


From a recent survey of writers and editors who have profiles (listings) on Writerfind, we gained information about what kind of work they have been obtaining via Writerfind. Work recently obtained included book editing, biography and life story ghostwriting, copywriting of business documents and letters, magazine article writing and web writing.

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