I've been looking at some of the markets but I have no gauge of pay. Usually I look at what they charge to advertise for a full-page ad and that usually gives me a glimpse. If it's over $1,500 they can afford a few hundred an article. If it's something like $3,000, generally they can afford $400-$500, if not more.
What I have seen, though, is a lot of the same freelancers at several regional magazines. A slight part of me feels a little competition with these freelancers and a little bad for trying to dislodge them. But sentimentality doesn't exist in freelancing.
I had one editor tell me once that, "We have old freelancers we use and if we use new freelancers it's less work for them." I was like, huh? Are we in Mayberry? It was practically unheard of! And I admit I thought him a little foolish, too.