How Much Do You Get Paid For Articles? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-08-2008, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Literary Mamas

I was just wondering how much any of you get paid for your articles... and how many words the articles are for that amount? Does it vary a lot? What do you consider an acceptable and worthwhile amount?

Thanks for your input.

Anthea.
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#2 of 8 Old 02-08-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Hi Anthea,
I've been freelancing just over two years. When I started I wrote for a couple of online sites and regional parenting pubs and made between $25-$125 for stories that were 400-800 words long.
For the past year I've been writing parenting and general interest stories for national magazines. The standards are different, I need to know how to find an interview experts and a cross-section of sources but the pay is $1-$2 a word.
I also write travel stories and those are normally 900-2000 words and pay anywhere from .30 to .60 cents a word plus photos.

I'm not sure this helps - but basically, if you learn how the industry works, turn in professional work and make sure you don't get trapped in a cycle of working for free or near free, you can make a good income.

As far as what's worthwhile - it depends on your goals. I took lower pay for the first few months to get a few clips. But the whole time I was querying the higher pay mags. As soon as I got my first good assignment I dropped a lower paying client and worked my way up.

I will still take less money though if it is a story I really want to write or includes a trip I really want to take.
Diane

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Originally Posted by Crystal Pegasus View Post
Hi Literary Mamas

I was just wondering how much any of you get paid for your articles... and how many words the articles are for that amount? Does it vary a lot? What do you consider an acceptable and worthwhile amount?

Thanks for your input.

Anthea.
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#3 of 8 Old 05-20-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ceilydhmama View Post
I also write travel stories and those are normally 900-2000 words and pay anywhere from .30 to .60 cents a word plus photos.

I will still take less money though if it is a story I really want to write or includes a trip I really want to take.
Extremely intrigued by the potential of travel writing. Would be particularly interested in a sampling of the publications and handling of finances (i.e. is the publication generally picking up the tab, is the destination extending a gratis stay for the publicity, etc.)? Also, do you generally travel as a family, or solo?

Thanks in advance for any input here; it is greatly appreciated!

Kim
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#4 of 8 Old 05-20-2008, 02:29 AM
 
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Yup, I'm insanely curious about the travel writing thing too!

Crystal Pegasus: I recently started web writing for Suite101, which works on a revenue sharing model. As a result, I've so far made about 33 cents per article. Hopefully that'll improve soon, though! In the meantime, I will watch this thread with interest, not unmixed with envy...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#5 of 8 Old 05-20-2008, 08:07 AM
 
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I write at Suite 101. Based on my revenue when I started writing in December, I will be earning around $23 every year per article (not counting my seasonal articles). They generally range 400-600 words. In talking with other writers at Suite 101, some articles will continue to pull that amount that amount for several years, others that may be more time sensitive and drop off.

Beginning in June, I plan on exploring print mag publication. The magazines I have ben looking at range anywhere from $200-$500 per article, often around 1000 words.
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#6 of 8 Old 05-21-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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I missed the travel writing questions...

"Extremely intrigued by the potential of travel writing. Would be particularly interested in a sampling of the publications and handling of finances (i.e. is the publication generally picking up the tab, is the destination extending a gratis stay for the publicity, etc.)? Also, do you generally travel as a family, or solo?

Thanks in advance for any input here; it is greatly appreciated!"

Mmm - it's a bit of a huge topic, but I can share my path

My first travel clips were about trips and activities we did as a family, which were typically close to home. I searched through the newstand and the free mags at the library and outdoors stores and then hunted down their writer's guidelines for info on how to pitch the stories. For those first stories I footed the bill (they were trips I was doing anyway) - very few mags, except the top tier, offer expenses. My first pay tended to be in the $100-$500 range for a story - so not a way to get rich, but it usually covered the cost of whatever we were doing.

After I had a few travel clips I went to the Travel Media Showcase in the US and joined our national travel writing association up here. That opened a bunch of new doors - now I have a group of mags I write for and my family and I are invited on trips quite often. My daughter and I just went on a luxury train ride through the Rockies then spent a long weekend in Calgary - our share of the expenses was one meal that wasn't hosted and our airfare home (about $200 - and I'll earn about $2000 for the story and pictures)

While the perks are awesome and it sounds great - it is work. I need to produce and sell the stories - in a very competitive industry. I have a couple of niches and specialties and tend to steer away from the traditional travel format. But the effort to learn the industry has been worth while - I've taken my family on some amazing trips (and done a few dream trips on my own.)
Diane
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#7 of 8 Old 05-22-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ceilydhmama View Post
- now I have a group of mags I write for and my family and I are invited on trips quite often.
Thanks so much for sharing your travel writing experiences Diane! One follow-up question: when you are invited on trips, is the invitation generating from a publication, your association, or the destination resort/train/experience?

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom; hope to be able to return the favor to fellow MDC writer mamas someday soon!

Kim
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#8 of 8 Old 05-22-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Trips work a variety of ways. I prefer individual trips vs group press trips - so typically I read press releases etc from destinations, then pitch stories that appeal to me - when I have an assignment I approach a tourism board or PR firm and ask for assistance putting together a trip.

Press trips are a bit different - I'm on the list of several PR firms now and they send me invites for group tours they think I may like and if they work I take them - for these I typically find a story to sell after I've been to the destination.

I know the lingo and method are all confusing - it took me about a year of really trying to understand how it all worked to feel like I *got it*
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