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“We will pay only $X for a 500 word article.” What? A measly $x for a whopping 500 words? “Okay, I will do it.” This is a conversation between a client and a new freelance writer. Is this  the way you work? Do you accept whatever a potential client offers you for your efforts and talent? If you are among those freelance writers who are ready to take the work at any cost or no cost, it is time to rethink and set rates for your freelance writing work. If freelance writing is not a hobby for you anymore, you should decide the prices you will charge for a particular type of work.  

Freelance writing rates

Strategies for freelance writing rates

Since it is a freelance work and you are going to work from your premises, it is not easy always to stick on to one formula to decide the rates. You should follow some common strategies to decide on rates. You can charge per word, per hour  or per project.  However, irrespective of the type of writing rates you are charging, you need to calculate for an hourly rate.  You need to set an hourly rate for your work. If you charge by the hours, you can easily give the numbers. If you charge by the project or by the words, you can find out how many billable hours you are going to put into completing the project or writing the certain number of words, (but it’s not about how fast you type.).

Billable hours or working hours

If you read carefully, I talked about billable hours for which you will charge.  All the hours you work are not billable for a project.   In fact, working hours are different from billable hours.  Billable hours are almost half the working hours. In practice, the working hours of freelance writers accommodate various activities including researching, writing, marketing and administrative duties. Hence, when you charge a client, you will charge for the hours you actually spent on this or her project. For instance, if you have 40 working hours in a week, there will be only 20 billable hours approximately.

Where to start

It is not easy to find out your hourly rate. For this, you need to set a goal for your earnings. In addition, it is also important to get an idea about pay structures being offered in the market for your niche. Once you set some yearly goal for your earnings, it will be easy for you to find an hourly rate. However, you need to bear in mind  that you won’t be working all the 52 weeks a year, there will be the days when you won’t be working , the days you won’t have any work to do and the days when work will be slow. For instance, if you work, say, only 45 weeks in a year, you need to base your calculation for those 45 weeks only.

Number crunching

If you work 45 weeks in a year and set a goal for $60,000, you will have 60,000/45= $1333. 33 in a week.

And if you are working 25 billable hours a week, the hourly rate comes to $1333. 33/ 25 hours = $ 53.33 per hour.

Now once you have obtained your per hour rate, you need to adapt it to fit into your pricing module. I will discuss about how to adapt this rate to meet your yearly goal. Stay tuned.