The Price of a 100 Words

Published on Aug 25, 2020

I received my first gigs as a freelance writer between December and March, and it's an experiment I'll remember.

I made $3334 in 35 hours of work, so $82 per hour after taxes: being a technical writer pays 4 times more than being a web developer in France by the hour. Needless to say, it pays extremely well if you manage to find your writing niche.

My contract stated I was to be paid 30 cents per word and $25 per hour. It was ideal, because it meant I was paid according to my performance.

I publish at least 200 words every day. If I spend an hour a day writing and try to estimate the value of my work according to the conditions I just stated, I would generate $85 on any given day. It would compound to $2635 per month, or $31,620 per year. 

Writing every day is indeed a very lucrative activity if you know how to sell your services. But I decided to stop in April.

You'll probably think I'm mad, that I should be thankful to be in this kind of position at only 26 years old, and hold on to it. And you're probably right. 

I just don't think I enjoy writing for someone else about topics I'm not especially interested in. Money isn't everything, I love having my own creative freedom and being able to let it roam freely.

If money ever gets tight, I'll probably take some writing gigs again but I don't think it's something I can be passionate about without the right company (and there aren't many, unfortunately) or doing it full-time. I don't think this is something I can do as a part-time writer, because good writing takes time and involvement.

I'd rather propose web development services. It's much more straightforward, there is no room for subjectivity because code remains code. You still have the creative freedom to design things or bring elegant solutions to engineering problems, but there are clear performance indicators to follow.