In this post, I’ll be sharing the result of my research on the average content writer salary in the US, India, Nigeria, and generally all over the world.
But first of all, I’m happy that we’ve started seeing content writing as a career and not just a side business.
It’s a great improvement and confirmation that digital technology is growing fast.
That’s between anyway.
My story started by also searching for the average content writer’s salary, but I didn’t get enough information to know what to charge or the salary expectation as a content writer.
Pricing your service as a content writer could be difficult. But the truth is, the ability to make more has more to do with your ability to bargain for a better price.
But what would come to mind if prospects ask for your rate or your salary expectation?
In my own case, I made mistakes at the beginning. Well, not really mistakes. They helped in shaping my skills.
But I started with peanuts. Neither am I there yet, but I have a good understanding of how the content marketing industry works.
So if you’re considering starting a new career as a content writer and thinking about what the salary expectation is, this is for you.
So let’s dive right in.
Average Content Writer Salary
There are a lot of things that dictate the salary of a content writer. Being a content writer could take different forms, the same as the salary.
Some of the things that determine the average salary of a content writer include the country, experience, industry (sometimes), and the types of content writing.
This figure is most valid in the US.
You can’t compare the average content writer salary in the US to that in Nigeria or India, especially if you’re working in-house.
Settling on this statement might not be accurate enough. So let’s dive into what would be healthy to expect as a content writer and how much you should ask for.
Let’s start from the beginning.
A Look into the Content Writing Industry
Taking a look at the content marketing industry is a good place to start. The content marketing industry is fast booming and it’s presently sitting at $412 billion dollars valuation.
In this case, there’s enough room for everyone who’s getting into content writing to fly and make moves.
In fact, there’s a shortage of content writers and marketers. To be exact, quality writers are very much needed.
And that’s because there are a lot of poor content writers that are only adding to the figures.
Although statistics claim that the average content writer’s salary is $49k, a lot of content writers are struggling to earn half of that per year.
But that doesn’t mean the statistics are wrong. They aren’t. It’s just that, it varies based on the job, experience, country (a major fact), and few other things.
How Much Do Content Writers Make, then?
Great question. In this section, I’ll provide a detailed answer to how much content writers make after looking into the factors included.
Content Writers Salaries Based on Country
As said earlier on, content writers’ salaries depend on the country you are working in or you reside.
Note: This pay scale is only valid if you work as an in-house content writer in these countries. But if you’re a freelancer, definitely, you’re not restricted to a country.
You could earn even more than the average pay because as a freelancer you work for clients all over the world. And you work based on your terms. More will be discussed later on about this.
First, let’s look at the average content writers’ salaries based on the writers.
Here’s a breakdown of the average salary based on major countries:
Average Content Writer Salary in the US
The average content writer’s salary in the US is $49, 000 per year (Estimate from GlassDoor).
The US has the best pay for content writers because of the high number of jobs you can get in the US.
Also, put in mind that a lot of Saas companies and digital companies are in the US. So that explains the reason for having a high pay for their content writers.
Another reason is the high standard of living in the US. In order to make content writing a career or a full-time job, the writers have to be paid well also.
Average Content Writer Salary in the UK
According to PayScale, the average content writer’s salary in the UK is £22, 266 per year.
And for the highest-paid writers, they earn above £30k per year.
Average Content Writer Salary in India
According to Glassdoor, the average content writer’s salary in India is ₹415,000 / yr. India agencies and companies have one of the lowest pay rates.
Doing the conversion from rupees to dollars, it’s close to $5640 per year.
However, as said earlier, this only holds true and valid if you work for an agency in India or work as an in-house content writer.
Even at that, there are still companies in India that pay their content writers very well. But they are fewer.
Average Content Writer Salary in Nigeria
I tried searching for valid statistics for the average content writer’s salary in Nigeria, but there isn’t much out there.
There are some statistics that claim the average content writer’s salary per year to be #3.66 Million Naira per year ( $9500 per year ).
Some claimed that the average annual salary of a content writer is a little over a thousand dollars (this holds true for an in-house writing job).
And the reason for this high gap is because the number of content writers in Nigeria is just on the rise.
So, finding a good number of candidates for a survey is a bit difficult.
Agency vs In-House vs Freelance Writing Jobs
These three have different earning potential and experience. As a content writer, you can either choose to work for an agency, work in-house in the marketing unit for a company, or work as a freelancer.
Here’s what to expect from each.
Working for an Agency
Working for an agency has a lot of benefits especially for an entry content writer. As a beginner, working for an agency is a good way of getting constant writing gigs.
You could either choose to work in-house for an agency or work as a freelancer for an agency. But most of the time, the constant jobs mean that you work as a full-time employee.
You are still an employee in this case.
The advantage is that you get to learn from experts and also acquire skills that would help you progress in your content writing career.
Working for an agency also means that you’ll pick up the strategies and also the guidelines for writing for big brands and publications.
For starters, working for an agency is a good idea.
But as you progress and have more years of experience as a content writer, the agency job might no longer be a fit for you.
Because of the growth, money-wise is slow.
As a beginner, you get good pay as a content writer. But as an experienced writer, it might not fit your experience.
Salary Expectation – $1000 – $5000 per month.
In-House Content Writers
In-house content writers in this case are writers that work for a company as an in-house employee to assist them with their content.
It doesn’t have to be an agency. It’s any company that employs you to handle their content marketing as an in-house employee.
It could be a popular publication, a blog, a Saas company, etc.
The disadvantage here’s that you need some experience to get this kind of job. Most of the time, you might have to handle more than just content writing.
And working for a company as an in-house content writer could mean that you have to edit your work sometimes. So, you might be loaded with more work than just content writing.
But about the pay, you get to enjoy a good mid-salary as a content writer.
Salary Expectation – $1200 – $5000 per month.
This is the category I love the most and this is where I do belong. As a freelancer, you work on your own terms.
As a freelance writer, you only do content writing most of the time. But sometimes, some clients might require you to upload and publish the content on their WordPress dashboard or their CMS.
Irrespective of that, you still get paid for whatever additional tasks you are offered to do. Your earning potential is only limited by how good you can bargain.
Also, you are not limited to the country you reside in.
Some freelancers earn five figures and some even earn six figures as a freelance content writer.
But to earn as big as six figures, it goes beyond offering content writing service.
You need to offer more competitive skills and position yourself as an expert. For example, as a content writer, having an in-depth knowledge of SEO and digital marketing will help you.
For example, having been featured on leading marketing publications has helped me in positioning myself as a content marketing expert.
Also, I have also gone from offering just content writing services to helping B2B companies develop content strategies, offer SEO services, and also generate leads with strategic content.
As far as crushing freelancing is concerned, you need to look into offering more services that your clients need.
You don’t need a bunch of clients to make five figures or six figures a year, you only need to leverage your current clients properly.
For one of my clients, I started with content writing as a service. Then I offered to design infographics for them as an added form of content.
I ended up even selling them some SEO services. A content writing client now ended up being a major client for me.
Something about freelancing is that there are different ways of billing your clients. You could charge per word, per hour, or per project.
Charging per word, you could start from as low as $0.01 to as high as $1 as a freelance writer.
But the more experience you have and value you can provide, the more you can earn.
Gradually increase your rate as you get more jobs and offers, that way you don’t have to spend more hours to earn more.
Salary Expectation – $500 – $10, 000 per month
Content Writing Types
The types of content writing you offer and the niche you write for is the last deciding factor on the amount you can earn.
Best of all, if you are a freelance writer.
Let’s get started with the different types of content writing services you can provide:
Blog Post Writing: Blog post writing is one of the most popular forms of content writing. It requires writing articles for blogs.
Writing blog posts requires you to write in a conversational and informal style. Having knowledge of content optimization is a must because most blogs are optimized to rank on Google.
The pay for blog post writing is quite moderate.
Copywriting: Copywriting is the act of writing content to sell. You write with the purpose of advertising and marketing.
Either way, you are writing to influence your readers to take action. Writing copies does not have your name attached to it.
You can write a copy for a web page or landing page. But unlike a blog post, no name is attached to it.
Ghostwriting: This requires you to write for someone without your name being attached to the content.
It could be a blog post, white paper, eBook, website copy, etc. But your name wouldn’t be attached. Instead, your client takes the glory.
As a ghostwriter, you are paid handsomely for your service because you won’t have any right to the content again.
Your clients are CEOs, Founders, Bloggers, etc.
Technical Writing: As its name implies, it requires writing on technical subjects like cybersecurity that requires more explanation and instruction.
Most of the time, clients prefer to hire a technical writer with experience in the field. If you’re not a programmer and you try to write technical content on programming, you might find it very difficult.
It’s essential that a technical writer has some experience in the field he’s writing about. It’s a MUST.
Email Writing: Writing emails could also be tagged as copywriting. But some set of writers specialize mainly in writing emails for companies and brands.
To write emails, you need to understand the act of copywriting and how to drive sales with emails.
Email writers aren’t paid per word, they are paid per project. Some are also paid on a retainer term.
Long-Form Writing: Similar to blog posts, I would say long-form content writing could also be put under blog post writing.
Long-form writing requires the ability to keep the flow while writing a few thousand words.
Some long-form content could be as long as 10,000 words. Some are even more than 20,000 words. It’s a rare skill.
Not every blog post writer is skilled in long-form content writing.
Research Writing: This requires a good research skill.
It’s the writing of academic papers providing analysis, interpretation and a solid argument based on research.
Because of how stressful this is, you get paid better than the average content.
Content Writing Niche
Here are some of the popular content writing niches that are very lucrative:
- Real Estate
The marketing niche still remains the most lucrative content writing niche but it’s competitive.
Finally, How Much Can You Make as a Writer?
Going forward, there’s no limit to the amount you can earn as a freelance writer.
Also, you are worth any amount you charge. Always remember that there’s no amount you charge that’s less than the value you provide.
According to Jahwad (professional freelance writer), become an expert in an industry and also follow the best writers in your niche.
Over to You
What’s your process in increasing your freelance writing rate?
What has worked for you in turning your freelance writing into a full-time job?
Do you have any advice to help when bargaining for an increase in pay? I would love to hear from you below.