What’s a word worth?

After crowdsourcing rates, the writers of Bushwick coworking space Study Hall have set up guidelines for freelance pay.

Study Hall is in session.

(Courtesy photo)

Information asymmetry is the animating force of labor exploitation. Am I replaceable? Will other people work for cheaper?
So the writers over at Bushwick’s Study Hall undertook a project to crowdsource information on how much other freelancers were paid and how much time people waited before following up on pitches and getting paid. The results are in and Study Hall has published a document detailing the answers, What’s Writing Worth.

“We believe the independent writing marketplace is too disparate and diverse to push for stringent standards of pay across publications,” the report states, “but by providing some guidelines, we hope to encourage writers to argue for better pay and encourage publications to be more transparent with the writers they work with.”
Still, it did offer some guidelines:

  • Every article should have a minimum fee of $150
  • Blog posts and opinion pieces: minimum of 20 cents a word
  • Personal and lightly reported essays: minimum of 30 cents a word
  • Reported news and essays, research-intensive blogging: minimum of 50 cents a word
  • Deeply reported news, investigative reporting, features: minimum of $1 a word

Read the full report

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