Online/digital media / Writing and research

The following are rough guide rates for work commissioned for first publication online. Rates and terms vary widely, however, often depending on whether the client originated in book or magazine or newspaper publishing, broadcasting, public relations, or as a new media start-up.

The suggested rates

* Read me first!  Online/digital media / Writing and research: advice

* See also: notes on negotiating rates for this work

* See also: reported rates, to compare: Online/digital media / Writing and research

* Know a better rate? Tell us!

* Find a freelance

Please note that the suggested rates below are minima; that rates for copyright works are for limited licences; and that VAT is not included.

Writing and research
1000 words - intense research or background required GBP 400.00
1000 words GBP 300.00
Researching links, per day GBP 250.00
Resarching and compiling a database, per day GBP 180.00
Writing, per day GBP 175.00


  • Fees for specialist copy written by an expert should include a premium of at least 10 per cent extra.
  • The freelance may wish to throw in a little very basic markup - some of us use HTMLin letters to friends - but the above rates do not include design, detailed markup or structuring a database - see Online and digital media - Editing+Production.
Find a freelance

Browse a selection of NUJ freelances with relevant skills through the Freelance Directory:

More advice and links...
* Uploaded 09/06/2323: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.