How to Calculate Your Freelance Writing Rates
By Ritika Tiwari / January 11, 2016 / Comments: 0
Your freelance writing rates don’t have to be synonymous with your permanent job. In fact, keeping your rates similar to your office desk job could end you up in a loss.
I already did an article on how much you should charge for freelance writing assignments, but this article is about how to calculate your freelance writing rates so that you can afford to live exclusively through your freelance writing income. This calculation is very important because if you don’t do it right, you might just be working more and getting paid less.
Assess the benefits you get from your job
Here are some of the benefits I used to get from my permanent job
- Salary apart from all the taxes that were already deducted
- A 10 lacs health insurance cover + 5k payment for any medicines or medical treatment
- Life insurance
- Paid Medical Leaves+ Casual Leaves
- Leave without pay for more than a year
- All the equipments and stationary I needed for work
- Reimbursement of any technical certificate or training I did
- Free coffee (I haven’t forgotten that at all)
- Food coupons with tax redemption
- Free of cost Holiday homes (If I could book it)
- I worked at TCS so I got discounts at all of Tata’s companies including Tanishq, Tata motors, Westside and of course, Star Bucks
- Corporate discounts at almost all the restaurants I ate at
Now, as you can see, I might be getting paid way less than what I am getting paid right now but I had a lot of other benefits through my permanent job and I am guessing that you do too. So just assuming that you need to earn exactly same from freelancing as you do from your office job is absolutely wrong. You got to earn more than that to become a full-time freelancer so that you can pay for all the other benefits.
Things you would need to pay for as a freelance writer
- Laptop, internet and their maintenance cost
- Health Insurance (I still don’t have that)
- Life insurance
- No paid leaves or sick leaves
- TDS (Tax deducted at source) , if you are working with a Pvt. Ltd
- Service Tax, if you are earning more than 10 lacs a year from Indian clients
- Any phone bills involved
- All Starbucks coffee
As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be done when you are doing it on your own as a Freelance Writer. But just setting up a fixed rate is also not enough. If you have been doing this a long time, you will know some projects require way more time than others. Some clients would ask you to find images and upload them on WordPress as well. If you do that, make sure to charge them extra for it since you are not just writing.
I would say, calculate your fixed-job salary and then add all the extra things you would have to pay as a full-time freelancer. The final number you get is the minimum amount you should be earning every month. Divide that final number with the total hours you would be putting every month, and that is your hourly rate.
All of your other estimations and your rates should be based on this rate.
How do you decide your freelance writing rates?