Many people begin freelancing, thinking that they have found the golden key to financial success, only to discover that it’s taking a lot more of their time and energy then it is actually worth. Anything that seems to good to be true, definitely is.
When considering how much to charge for your services, ask the following questions:
Why Am I Freelancing?
If you are in college and simply want to make a few dollars doing something that you love, then spending 2 hours for $5 may be something that you are alright with. However, if you are trying to pay some serious bills, quit your day job, or save up for a massive vacation, then $2.50 an hour is not worth your time (provided you live in the US). So before setting a price, ask yourself why you are freelancing.
What Do I Need the Money For?
Again, if it’s for fun spending money, then you may not care about how much you make. However, if you need to make $100 a day to cover your bills, then working for $5/hour is not going to work (do the math).
How Much is My Time Worth?
Are you an experienced marketer, healthcare professional, or socialite who can make $25-$50/hr doing other work? Then take that into consideration. Charge for your education and experience. If you deliver what you promise, people will be willing to pay you a premium.
How Much Experience Do I Have Doing This Specific Task?
If you are a doctor, but a terrible writer, then you probably cannot charge $100/article – even if that’s what your time is “worth” in the professional field. Therefore, most freelancers start off with a lower rate and charge more as time goes on. Once you a stable $5 job, start looking for a $10 job, etc. Slowly move up as your experience and skills improve.
Am I Including The Cost of Finding Clients in My Fees?
Maybe you’re thinking, “I want to make $20/hr, and it will take me one hour to write a 500 word article, therefore, I will charge $20 for 500 words!” Wait a second! You are forgetting that you will spend time finding clients, time interacting with clients, and time making changes to the order. The best way to overcome this is to charge higher rates for a single job, and then give discounts for bulk purchases. It is easy to waste a lot of time finding clients – so hang on to good ones,
What Will I Pay for Taxes?
Something that is very easy to overlook when freelancing is the extra taxes that you will pay. You know medicare and social security? Well, your employer pays for half of that for you. Therefore, almost 16% of what you make will go straight to Uncle Sam – before taking into consideration your overall income.
FINALLY! Setting on a Price
Recognize that your rate will start much lower than you are worth. As you prove yourself it will become easier to find higher paying jobs. Develop a portfolio that you can use to show clients,and satisfy every person you work for. With hard work, motivation, and a positive attitude, it’s amazing how fast you can start making a bit of cash.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about setting a rate for your work, please share in the comments section below.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” – Peter Drucker
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People LOVE Consistency
One of the funniest things about dating is the “perception” that consistency is boring. In reality, consistency is what everyone is looking for. I bet you don’t believe me…
Have you ever started dating someone, only to find out that they were not at all what you had expected? She pretended to like your hobbies – but actually thought that they were incredibly dumb.
The biggest challenges in dating come when people’s words fail to match their actions. She says that she loves basketball, but doesn’t know what a free-throw is; he says that he loves Jack Johnson, but hasn’t heard a single one of his songs.
The same thing happens in business and writing. We want to be surprised, but we want it consistently.
As a writer, a great way to develop this surprised consistency, is through developing a blog series. This gives people a reason to keep coming back to your blog – to see what is going to happen next.
What is a Blog Series?
A blog series is essentially a story that progresses beyond a single post. You can write an article like “17 Ways to Make Money in College Without a Regular Job” and attract a decent number of readers.
However, if you start a series, like my “100 Days to 5000 Daily Visitors“, you will keep readers coming back on a daily basis to see what’s happening next.
Great Examples of Blog Series’
Every time you watch an episode of a television show that ends without the story being fully resolved, you are involved in a series. Some great examples of online series include:
Jia Jiang’s 100 Days of Rejection Therapy
This rather introverted immigrant wanted to overcome his fear of failure and rejection. To do this, last year he spent 100 days trying to get rejected. Every day he would make one request that should be rejected.
To his surprise, however, people started saying “yes”! Jia Jiang had some amazing experiences from people who were willing to comply with his crazy requests. Watch day 1 here and then consider checking out his channel – he’s determination and consistency is something that can inspire all of us.
1000 Awesome Things
Another great blog series is the 1000awesomethings.com website. This blogger decided to share one of life’s simple pleasures every week day – until he reached 1000.
Just over half way done, he has already been in the news multiple times, has written multiple books, and has even given a TEDtalk.
What Will Your Blog Series Be?
Although these two guys developed their entire blog (or YouTube channel) around a series, you can easily add one to your own blog.
To think of a series to add to your own blog, consider something that will be relevant to you readers, interesting for you to write about, and commit to writing about it consistently!
Adding content on a regular basis is essential for a great blog. By making it a series, you will keep readers coming back on a near-daily basis.
Have you run a series to promote your content before? Are you running one now? Let us know in the comments section below!