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What is a good hourly rate as a freelance writer?

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You’ll hear a lot of people suggest that you work out a good hourly rate as a freelance writer. This is certainly a good way to get started with setting project rates. The question for many is what would class as a good hourly rate as a freelance writer?

I’ll be honest and tell you that I can’t say what will make a good hourly rate for you. I can tell you that for me, I’m happy making $25-$30 per hour as a writer. That’s the rate I have in mind when it comes to setting my projects. At least, that’s my bare minimum, and that is in Canadian dollars. For you, it could be a completely different rate.

When I lived in the UK, $25-$30 Canadian wouldn’t have gotten me very far. I needed £25-£30 per hour in Sterling. So you can see how things change when it comes to places we live.

What’s the point in my post, then? I’m going to help you figure out what will be a good hourly writing rate for your current and future situations.

Setting a good hourly rate with these top tips

  1. Start by looking at what the liveable wage is for your country, your state/province/etc., and city. You want to be at least at this point when it comes to setting your writer rates*.
  2. How much are your medical bills going to be? If you’re quitting a job with benefits, you need to make sure you add to the hourly rate to cover your needs.
  3. How many hours are you actually going to work? Right now, you may do 30 hours of paid work. Those 30 hours aren’t all going to be billable when you’re a freelance writer. You need to figure out the number of hours you’ll need to cover in the day to ensure your project rate averages out hourly as expected.
  4. Do you want the same standard of living? Just because you can survive on $15 per hour, doesn’t mean you have to! Think about what you want to achieve in your career.
  5. How much time do you want to take off each year? I like to have two weeks in the summer and two weeks at around Christmas and the New Year. I know some people like to take off the whole of the summer. It’s going to be up to you, but you’ll need to think about this so you can work out the hourly rate you’ll need on the days you are working.
  6. How much do you want to put in savings? It’s not just about living for today. You need to save for the future. I have multiple savings accounts for different goals. What are your goals like? Make sure your hourly rate gives you money to put away for the future.

This Freelance Rate Calculator is a great place to start for your own needs.

MORE: How to make sure you get paid for your writing

What works out as a good hourly rate for you? What questions do you have about becoming a freelance writer? Share in the comments below.