You can use this freelance hourly rate calculator in two different ways: both as a basic freelance rate calculator to find out the minimum fees you need to charge to reach a set earnings goal, or an advanced freelance hourly rate calculator to account for more factors such as savings goals and living expenses. This freelance writing rate calculator is designed to help you calculate the minimum freelance writing rates you have to charge to reach your goals. Don’t forget to add a premium when appropriate to account for your experience level, skills, specialty, target market, and other credentials.
Before Using the Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator
- By using the simple form below, just enter your goal yearly salary (or your dream salary — feel free to play around with it!). The calculator will then help you figure out your yearly billable hours and the hourly rate you would need to charge for those billable hours to reach your income goal.
- If you’re more interested in figuring out the bare minimum freelance writing rate you would need to charge to cover expenses and other needs, click the “Advanced Freelance Rate Calculator” link at the top of the form. There you’ll enter expenses and other information to figure out the minimum annual salary you’ll have to earn, including the hourly freelance writing rate you’ll need to charge to get there. To go back to the simple version just click the link at the top again. If you enter billable hour information in the simple version and then switch to advanced, it will keep the information you already entered.
Note: Do not enter commas in the fields (ex: enter 70000 instead of 70,000). Entering commas in numerical values will interfere with the calculations. The form may save your information if you re-load the page. To clear the fields, click the “clear fields” button at the bottom of the freelance writing rate calculator.
Desired Yearly Income
|Type in your desired salary here — find out what you have to charge to reach your fixed income goal or dream income!|
|How many days do you work each week?|
|How many of your daily working hours are billable?|
|Only include time spent on client projects — what you actually bill for. Marketing, administration, and related time doesn’t get factored into your hourly billing rate.|
|How many days off do you need for holidays, sick days, and personal days each year?|
|Don’t include weekends. (A week off equals your total days worked per week — ex. 5 days.) Here are some resources to help you figure out the number of official US holidays and UK holidays.|
|How much vacation time do you want each year?|
|In DAYS. Don’t include weekends. (A week off equals your total days worked per week — ex. 5 days.)|
|Total number of billable hours|
|General monthly business expenses.|
|Include things like office rent, business utilities, Web hosting, payments to contractors, etc.|
|Other (yearly) business expenses|
|Include a YEARLY total for non-monthly business expenses such as estimated business taxes due, domain name renewals, your yearly marketing budget, etc.|
|General monthly personal expenses your income must cover|
|Include any monthly personal expenses your freelance writing income has to cover including rent / mortgage payments, health insurance, car insurance, car payments, home utilities, fuel, groceries, etc.|
|Other (yearly) personal expenses|
|Include a YEARLY total for non-monthly personal expenses such as your annual vacation budget, non-monthly insurance premiums, etc. Do not include savings and investments here.|
|Total amount of expenses|
|How much do you want to contribute to retirement savings each month?|
|How much do you want to earn for tuition or educational savings each month?|
|This includes monthly tuition you’re paying for current schooling as well as money you want to set aside for your (or your child’s) future education.|
|How much do you want to have available to put into basic savings or investments every month?|
|If you want to start saving for a car, trip, etc., you can include that in this section.|
|Total amount of other|
Don’t bill using hourly rates?
That’s okay! No matter what kind of freelance writing rates you choose to use for billing, hourly rates make the ideal base rate. They can be converted into any other freelance writing fee type. Here’s how to convert your hourly freelance writing rate to:
- Per word rates: Just determine how long it takes you to write 100 words in an average project (or how long it takes you to write a 500 word article if that’s the service you offer for example). Then convert that into hours. If it takes you 60 minutes to write a 500 word blog post (500 words per hour), and your hourly rate is calculated to be $75 per hour, you just divide that $75 by 500 words you can write in an hour and you get a per word rate of $.15 per word.
- Per page rates: Similarly, determine how many pages you can write per hour in an average project (NOT assuming top speeds of cranking things out at a stressful level — based it on how long it takes you to do your best work). Divide your hourly rate by the number of pages you complete per hour. If it takes you 4 hours to write one page of compelling marketing copy (factoring in the research and client consultation), you would divide your $75 hourly rate by .25 pages per hour and get a rate of $300 per page of marketing copy.
- Per project rates: Let’s say you complete projects where hourly, per-word, and per-page rates would be inappropriate. You could charge by the project instead. Through your experience, you should know how long on average a certain type of project takes you. For example, let’s say it takes you 20 hours to complete a 10 page white paper (factoring in client consultations, research, edits, etc. on top of the writing — full project time). You would take those 20 average hours and multiply by your hourly rate of $75 to get a white paper project rate of $1500.
Note: Keep in mind that these conversions are based on averages. Sometimes you’ll make out better and sometimes you’ll make out a bit worse. It’s about finding the right balance. Also note that you’ll want to incorporate any extra work into a quote separately (such as if a client wants more than your typical number of edits allowed, they’ll require more research time than most, etc.). If you advertise these rates, make sure clients know they’re base rates, and that you might have to adjust the quote a bit when you get their full project details.