How Much Should You Charge for a 500-Word Blog Post?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

A question I see pop up quite a bit is how much you should charge for a 500-word blog post. And the truth is, it really depends on the project and how you want to set up your rates. Because there are several different ways you can go about charging clients.

I know that’s probably not exactly what you want to hear. So, let me break down some of the things you should consider and an example of how much I would charge.

Keep in mind that every freelance writer is different.

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What to Consider Before Committing to a 500-Word Post

The reason why experts shouldn’t tell you exactly how much you should charge is because there are simply too many variables in play.

Everything from how fast you type to the amount of research going into 500 words can influence setting your rates. So, you want to consider all of the possibilities before committing to a set amount.

Things you should consider before accepting a job to write 500 words include:

Type of Rates

What kind of rate do you want to stick with as a professional writer? Of course, you don’t have to commit to a single type. You can be flexible on how much you charge depending on the client.

  • Per Hour
    Some experts will charge per hour of writing an article. Usually, they’ll base it on a formula of billable hours in regards to how much they need from the perspective of an annual salary.
  • Per Word
    Charging per word is probably one of the most popular formats for freelance writers. It’s how I determine rates for most projects.
  • Per Project
    Setting a rate for each individual project is also a popular method amongst writers. In this format, you’d want to take into consideration every aspect of the piece.

You can also determine a price for specific clients. For instance, I give some of my clients a much cheaper rate because it’s so easy to do the work.

Sure, I get paid less per word, but I can crank out the articles so fast that I actually make more money per hour when compared to other clients. 

Does it Require a Lot of Research?

Research

Even something as small as writing 500 words can require a great deal of research. And as a freelance writer, your time is extremely valuable.

When determining a good quote, consider the amount of time you’ll spend researching any given project. Because it will slow you down, and you want to make sure you’re being compensated for your time.

I have a few clients that I charge far more per word because of the sheer amount of research that goes into each piece.

How Long Will it Take You?

Although you might charge per word or per project, the length of time it takes you to write 500 words should be in mind. This is because if you charge $20 for that article, but it takes you 7 hours to complete it, you’re only making about $2.86 per hour versus a traditional job.

And that’s really not enough to sustain yourself. You’d make more working the register at Walmart.

I use a spreadsheet to keep track of every single piece of content I create. Whether it’s for myself or clients, I can see how long certain projects take me and can adjust rates that way.

Now, I’m not saying that you absolutely need to track your time in a spreadsheet, but tracking your actual work is very beneficial when determining your rates.

Do You Have a Lot of Experience?

Experience Matters

In many industries, experience matters, which is why a lot of experts want you to become a niche writer. If you’re experienced in any particular field, you can set rates higher and are more likely to land certain gigs.

Personally, I am exceptionally good at a variety of subjects. I am more of a generalist because I am very flexible when it comes to topics. This is mostly due to the fact that I am good at researching.

Will the Client Need Images?

If the client needs images, you can include those within the price for writing a 500-word blog post. In fact, I know of a lot of freelancers who have stock photo accounts for this specific purpose.

Screenshots, header images, infographics…they can all be included in what you charge for any piece of content.

In some cases, you can probably use royalty-free image sites, such as Pixabay. But, the selections are often limited and widely used on the Internet.

If you can create the images yourself, meaning you have a camera and a good handle of Photoshop, you can probably charge even more. This is because unique images are more ideal since they exist nowhere else.

What I typically Charge for 500 Words

For clients on content mills like Textbroker, I usually charge between $0.021 and $0.037 per word depending on the client. In the private world, the rates are much higher.

Especially today, when I already have a full day without adding more work to my plate.

Privately, I typically charge around $0.25 per word. So, a 500-word blog post would run a client around $125. But, this covers the research time, images, proofreading, SEO-focused content, and compensation for my time.

And to help put things into perspective, it roughly takes me about 30 minutes to write this shorter piece of content. That’s because I keep track of all content I write, and I usually average around 1100 words per hour.

Not to mention the fact that I have over 9 years of experience and have completed almost 10 thousand pieces of content for thousands of clients around the globe. So yeah, I am confident in my pricing.

Now, not everyone is going to pay this amount. And, I am open to negotiation. However, I still need to make sure that the article I’m writing is worth my time.

Because if I’m writing for a client, that’s less time I’m doing something like making a YouTube video or working on my own blogs.

If someone says it’s too high, then I say, “Sorry we couldn’t work something out.”

I’ve seen too many writers accept any job that comes their way, even if they wind up making pennies per hour. Have confidence in your abilities, and don’t settle for anything less than what you’re worth.

There are a lot of clients out there who will literally throw money your way if you’re:

  • Easy to work with
  • Very respectful of the client’s wishes
  • Good at communication
  • Able to bring something unique to the table
  • Have experience in what they need

If you line up a few of these clients on a weekly or monthly basis, you can pretty much write your own checks.

A 500-Word Post Isn’t Really All That Long

In reality, 500 words really isn’t a very long blog post. In most cases, it would take me under an hour to complete depending on the topic. But the money I charge is what my time is worth to me.

Like I said before, every freelance writer is different with unique circumstances. You may need more or less. But if there is anything you take from this article is that your time is valuable.

Create a competitive rate, but make sure you don’t undercharge. The purpose of working is to make enough to live on.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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