Many newer outlets offer fifty cents per word or more—sites like The Verge might pay a dollar per word—as do established publications, including New York‘s blog network and The Guardian. “You can expect that two hundred and fifty dollars is an ultimate baseline for anything that you do,” Kyle Chayka, a New York-based freelancer, told me. “No one is paying less than that. My own perception is that fifty cents per word is a fair going rate for an experienced freelance writer who’s writing something primarily for the web that’s been reported.” But still: Figure twelve hundred or fifteen hundred words per piece, and you’re talking closer to twenty cents per word. “That’s depressing math when you’re doing your budget,” Erik Malinowski, a freelancer writer, said.

From here, and utter bullshit. $250 per piece as the ultimate baseline? If only.

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