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Here's How to Find Out How Much Publications Pay Their Writers

Here's How to Find Out How Much Publications Pay Their Writers

Have you ever wondered what your favorite magazine or website pays their writers? I bet you have, especially if your ever thought about pitching them an article idea. There are several ways you can investigate their rates. Here’s how.

How much do magazines pay writers? It depends!

How much do magazines pay writers? It depends!

Writer’s Market

Writer’s Market has been around for decades and give writers a detailed inside scoop on rates, submission guidelines and editor contact information. I got my very first copy when I was just 16 years old. You can get the Writer’s Market in book form, or you can join their online site for a fee.

There’s also a deluxe version where you get access to the online database and you get the book, if you want ultimate convenience. From Amazon:

Writer's Market Deluxe Edition 2019 includes everything you expect in a regular copy of Writer's Market, PLUS a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com. With it, you'll gain instant access to more than 7,500 listings for book publishers, magazines, contests, literary agents, and more--with daily updates.

Beyond the listings, you'll find all-new material devoted to the business and promotion of writing. Discover the secrets to ten-minute marketing, how to make money covering live events, and seven steps to doubling your writing income. Plus, you'll learn how to do video effectively, create a business plan for success, and so much more. This edition includes the ever-popular pay-rate chart and book publisher subject index!

You also gain access to:

Lists of professional writing organizations

Sample query letters

A free digital download of Writer's Yearbook, featuring the 100 Best Markets: WritersDigest.com/WritersDigest-Yearbook-18

Contently’s Rates Database

Contently has a database where writers can add how much a publication paid them, along with any notes on the editors. This database is free to anyone who’s curious. It’s updated often and you can add information anonymously, too. Here’s some of the latest updates:

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One of the best things about this database is you can find out which publications are deadbeats and don’t pay on time… or at all. You can view the Contently Rates Database here.

Contently’s Freelance Rate Calculator


This is another Contently tool (no, I’m not getting paid to write about them) and a very useful one. If you don’t want to go searching around databases you can use this rate calculator to find out how much you would be paid through a certain publication automatically. You just enter the word count, format, the publication and topic and the calculator does the rest.

I have a list of 20 High Paying Magazines Looking For Pitches, but I want more. For example, I wanted to see how much a Forbes article with a 1,000 word count would pay. Here’s the result:

freelance rate calculator.JPG

Find a publication that you like and that pays well? Read this next article on how to pitch magazine articles to editors.

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