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I am Dale King, a specialist dental copywriter. I love to share my knowledge of working within the dental niche with other like-minded individuals. 

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Freelance Dental Writer – How Much Should You Really Charge?

So, you want to become a freelance dental writer?

If that’s the case, then a question I’m sure you’re dying to ask is “How much should I charge?”

If you’ve already downloaded my free guide, you’ll know that when I first started freelancing, my very first project was for 1 cent per word. Yep. I know, I’m not proud of it. 

That’s beyond chicken feed, right?

The thing is, I didn’t have a clue what I should be charging. Instead, I was just happy that someone would actually pay me to write.

However, as I quickly found out, the problem with charging peanuts is that it simply isn’t sustainable. Sure I was working on projects, but I wasn’t making any money, and that sucked.

I don’t want you to fall into the same trap.

So, today, we’re going to answer the question..

How Much Should I Charge As A Freelance Dental Writer?

If you’ve yet to write for a client, it’s easy to think that you need to submit a quote lower than most other freelancers to land a paying gig.

On the contrary, because you’ve positioned yourself as a dental content writer, you probably have a unique knowledge of the dental industry that most generalist writers don’t.

What’s that worth to you?

More importantly, how much is that worth to a dental business or company?

Does a specialist clinician charge more than a general dentist?



Because they have a unique skill that a general dentist doesn’t, therefore, patients expect to pay more for their services.

It’s the same with writers.

Companies and businesses are happy to pay a fair level of compensation for industry expertise because they know they won’t get fined big bucks by the ADA, AHPRA, or GDC (depending upon where the dentist is based) for false advertising claims.

Freelance Dental Writing - The Other Side Of The Coin

the other side of the coin

On the flip side of that, and despite what other writers, marketers and online gurus tell you, you can’t charge $250 per 500-word article immediately with zero client experience. You could, but you’d be relying on a client taking a massive leap of faith.

Unfortunately, those are few and far between unless you’ve had some proven writing experience.

Instead, if you want to land clients fast and are just starting, you must pitch yourself at the right level. So the million-dollar question is…

How do you know what the right level is?

The answer is a figure that falls in line with the following:

  • The type of business you’re pitching to
  • The type of work you’re asked to create and,
  • How much time you’ll be trading.

Let’s address each part in turn:

Firstly, The Type Of Business

Naturally, within any industry, and dentistry is no exception, you have your multi-billion dollar companies (think Invisalign, Nobel BioCare, Straumann, Henry Schein, etc.) These are your big-business organisations.

Then, you have your large enterprises or companies (think multi-national dental chains – Heartland in the US, MyDentist in the UK and Clove Dental Group in India)

Finally, you have your medium, small and micro-sized businesses (think, anything from dental equipment manufacturers to single location dental practices).  

Each may need content but varying budgets dictate how much they will be willing to pay.

With this in mind, it probably isn’t a good idea to go pitching $250 for a 500 word blog post to a medium or small sized business because they won’t have the budget.

Whereas you probably could charge more to a big-business corporation if the means are justified.

The Type Of Work You’re Asked To Create

The next factor in defining what to charge as a freelance dental writer is the type of work the company is asking you to do.

For example, a dental practice may require a handful of optimised articles on teeth whitening to boost its presence in the search engines.

Alternatively, an organization may require persuasive sales copy designed to sell a particular product or service.

While SEO articles can be written by most people in a relatively short space of time, good sales copy turns products and services into the next must-have thing.

The latter takes a special skill that not everyone has and is why copy commands more money than SEO articles.

So, what about blog posts?

Most dental practices need blogs and quality posts have the ability to position the practice owner as the go-to dentist in their area, while at the same time, building trust with readers.

While they don’t typically command as much per post as a one off sales page, a series of well-crafted blog posts can engage readers and drive traffic to the practice website

For these reasons, rates for blog posts typically fall between $40.00 and $100.00

Now I’m not saying you can’t charge more; if you think it’s justified, you should. However, from experience, this is the general scope of pay for a newbie dental writer looking to land their first paying dental gig with zero experience.

But there’s one more factor that determines how much to charge as a freelance dental writer and that’s your time.

At the same time, you also need to consider how much your time is worth because that is what you’ll be trading.

Freelance Dental Writer - Trading Time For Cash

trading time for cash

Let’s say you see a dental project you know you can write about. It’s on a subject you know well. In other words, you know enough about it to be able to give a 5-minute talk on the topic to friends and family.

Moreover, because you don’t need to conduct research, you can quickly develop a well-formulated article of 500 words in 1 hour or less.

Therefore, you might decide to charge, say, $40.00 per article because, for you, this is a reasonable amount for 45 minutes to 1 hour’s work.

That said, your speed, skill and experience should be an asset, no a hindrance.

On the flip side of that, let’s say you’ve landed a project you know very little about. Even when you think you know dentistry, it happens!

Now, as well as writing time, you must factor in time spent researching the subject to familiarise yourself with it. This being the case, your initial $40.00 fee may not be enough because it will take you 4 hours to write instead of 1. So now you’ll be working for just $10.00 per hour.

Essentially, the fee you charge should be commensurate with the

  • scope of the project plus
  • your knowledge, plus
  • your worth.


Talking of worth, we need to address something that you’re going to come across from time to time and that’s:


Charging What You’re Worth

Talk to any other freelancer about pricing and they will probably tell you to charge what you’re worth.

Don’t forget to charge what you’re worth

Are you really charging what you’re worth?”

While I understand the sentiment, the reality is that this statement is about as meaningless as it gets.

After all, how much are you worth? Are you worth less than me because I’ve been freelancing longer?

Definitely not!

Instead, rather than charging what you’re worth, the statement should be

Charge your liveable rate”.

After all, only you know how much you need to live.

I’m not just talking about surviving, I’m talking about being able to pay your bills and have some money left over for things at the end of the month.

So how do you calculate your liveable rate?

Let’s take a look.

Start with your target salary – Let’s say you currently work and are looking at freelancing part-time. Do you at least want to match your salary so that you can quit and do this full-time at some point in the future? This will be your annual figure.

Next you need to….

Calculate any added expenses and overheads Remember you’ll have tax obligations, additional overheads such as electricity, heating for your office space, phone and internet bills. Later on you’ll incur costs from web hosting, invoicing software, promotion marketing etc as your business picks up.

What about vacations? Remember as a freelance dental writer, if you’re not working you’re not earning! What about sickness benefits, healthcare costs etc? Remember these might have been subsidised by an employer.

Once you have an annual figure, add these expenses to your target salary and now you have what’s known as your new adjusted annual salary.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you’d like to earn $50.000 and your added expenses come to an extra $22,000 per year, your new target salary would be $72,000.

Now you have your adjusted annual salary, the next step is to determine your billable hours.

Start with the figure of 2080 hours – This is 40 hours a week x 52 weeks a year

  • Then subtract, 3 weeks’ vacation  15 x 8 hours is 120 hours
  • Public holidays (let’s say 7)              7 x 8 hours is   56 hours
  • Sick days (we’ll allow 5 for this example) 5 x 8 hours is  40 hours

Total hours to take off  – 216 hours

Take 216 hours away from 2080 and you have 1864 hours

But hold on a minute!

This figure assumes that this is the total amount of hours you’ll spend working each year on client facing tasks. Remember that you’ll need to spend time marketing, billing, making phone calls, carrying out administrative tasks and much more.

With this in mind you should look to reduce this figure by around 25%

So, times 1864 hours  by 0.75 and you have a  new total of 1398 hours

This is the total amount of billable client facing hours per year.

Once you have this figure the next step is to…

Divide your newly adjusted annual salary into billable hours

So, $72,000 (your adjusted annual salary) divided by 1398 hours (your billable hours minus 25%) gives you an hourly rate of  $51.50

Round it up to $52.00 and that is how much your time is really worth – Yay!

The good thing is that once you know your hourly billable rate you can then use it to work out flat rates for projects, especially if you have a good idea of how long it will take you.

How Much To Charge As A Freelance Dental Writer – The key Takeaway

To sum up, you should be looking to charge a fee that’s

  • Commensurate with your knowledge
  • Is in line with the type of business you’re pitching to,
  • The type of work you’re asked to create and,
  • How much time you’ll be trading – You should by now know your per hour minimum


Get these aspects right and you can be confident to pitch the right fee for any project to any dental client.

If you want to find out more about becoming a freelance writer, download my download my extensive free guide on how to become a well-paid dental content writer with zero experience.

It walks you through every single aspect of how to become a dental writer from setting up your business to landing your first client. So go ahead and hit the download button and I’ll see you in the next blog.

Here’s to your success!