How Much Should I Get Paid for Freelance Writing?

“How much should I get paid for freelance writing?” I hear this question all the time. Usually, I just answer with a vague, “It depends,” but for my HTBFW readers out there I’ll break it down.

Before anything else, you need to decide how much money you need. You see, you can make anything from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars per week. As a freelancer, you get to decide what you get paid and what hours you work. So sit down and do the math.

Start by deciding how much money you need to survive each month. That includes paying bills and buying essentials like clothing, food, medicine, etc.
Take your first figure and decide how much more than that you would need to live comfortably, meaning you could afford a few extras or keep your savings account well fed.
Now, break that monthly total down into how much money you need to make per week by dividing the amount by four. 
Find the daily amount by dividing your weekly amount by seven or however many days you want to work per week.
Finally, decide how many hours you want to work per day.
How much you charge per hour, multiplied the number of hours you want to work per day, should equal how much money you need to earn per day.

I’ll use myself as an example. I decided that I needed to earn $400 per week to live comfortably. (Don’t judge, I live in a small town with a low cost of living.) I only want to work five days a week so that I have weekends off and I only want to work five hours per day, tops. That means I need to make $80 per day. To achieve this, I charge a minimum of $16 per hour. 
Nay sayers will probably shout, “But you could earn so much more! You’re selling yourself short!” I don’t see it that way. I like what I’m getting paid now because my hours are easy. Plus, often times I make much more than $16 per hour. Often, I double, triple or even quadruple my earnings per hour because I have some clients with bigger pockets than others. 
The $16 per hour is just a guideline I use. I know that I can never go below the $16 per hour mark when haggling with a client over price. So, for the best results, I figure out how long the project will take me and divide the total price the client is wanting to pay me by the number of hours the project will take. If the number is below $16 per hour I either send the client a counteroffer or decline. 
Make sense? 
In the end, my answer to the question, “How much should I get paid for freelance writing,” is simply: 
“How much do you want to get paid?”
ETA: Here is an interesting article by Alexis Grant: What to Charge for Social Media Work (as a Freelancer or Consultant) She offers a different, but still helpful persprective. 

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