Freelance Rate Calculator: Figure Out What To Charge


When it comes to starting out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to figure out what to charge. You will probably see pricing options all over the map and it can be confusing to navigate.

Using a freelance rate calculator can help you cut through the noise, decide on your rates, and commit.


Keep in mind, with growth and experience, you will constantly have to navigate your pricing while you increase your skills. At the very least, you should be adjusting your pricing every six months to a year.

Freelance Rate Calculator: Why They Matter

Freelancing has become an increasingly popular way for individuals to leverage their skills and talents in a flexible work environment. However, determining the right freelance rate can be a challenging task.

Many factors come into play, such as experience, expertise, industry standards, and project complexity. To help freelancers navigate this often murky territory, freelance rate calculators have emerged as valuable tools to ensure fair compensation for their work.


Understanding the Freelance Rate Calculator

A freelance rate calculator is an online tool designed to assist freelancers in determining their hourly, daily, or project-based rates. These calculators take various factors into account, providing a comprehensive overview of the freelancer’s costs, desired income, and market rates. Let’s delve into the key components these calculators typically consider:

Personal Expenses

Freelancers need to factor in their living expenses, insurance, taxes, and other overhead costs when determining their rates. A good freelance rate calculator will prompt users to input these details to ensure their rates cover both professional and personal expenses.


Desired Income

Freelancers often have a target income in mind. The calculator allows them to set their desired annual income, and the tool then distributes this income across billable hours or projects, helping freelancers understand how much they need to charge to meet their financial goals.

Billable Hours

Calculating billable hours accurately is crucial for determining the hourly rate. Freelance rate calculators consider the number of billable hours a freelancer can realistically work in a week, accounting for non-billable tasks like administrative work, marketing, and client communication.

Industry and Skill Level

Different industries and skill levels command different rates. Freelance rate calculators often take this into consideration, providing benchmark rates based on the freelancer’s expertise and the prevailing rates in their industry.

Market Rates

Staying competitive in the market is essential. Freelance rate calculators often incorporate data on market rates for specific skills and services, helping freelancers set prices that are attractive to clients while still reflecting their value.

Project Complexity

Some projects may be more complex or require additional expertise. Freelancers can adjust their rates based on the complexity of the projects they undertake, ensuring they are compensated adequately for their specialized skills.

Benefits of Using Freelance Rate Calculators


Freelance rate calculators provide transparency in the pricing process. Freelancers can clearly see how their rates are determined, making it easier to communicate their value to clients.

Fair Compensation

By considering personal expenses, desired income, and market rates, freelancers can ensure they are charging a fair and sustainable rate for their services.

Time Efficiency

Calculating rates manually can be time-consuming. Freelance rate calculators streamline the process, allowing freelancers to quickly and accurately determine their rates.

Confidence in Pricing

Freelancers often struggle with pricing confidence. Using a freelance rate calculator provides a data-driven approach, instilling confidence in freelancers as they negotiate with clients.

Freelance Rate Calculator

It was mentioned earlier, but keep in mind that every project you might get as a freelancer can be different. You should have a general rate your charge, but always keep the actual project being proposed in front of your mind. Let’s take a look at some various ways you can create use a freelance pricing calculator.

Plug-in freelance calculator

There are a few options, such as this one, or this one, that will let you simply plug in your numbers and it will give you a rate.

If you are overthinking your entire pricing strategy, just start there. In the beginning, you might just need a basic number to start with in your mind while you tailor your pricing throughout time.

Price per word calculator

You might also consider a cents per word calculator. Not all freelance jobs will be worth more than a dollar a word, especially when you are just starting out.

After being in the freelance world for over a decade, I can say at least $0.10/word is a solid starting rate. Now, many freelance writers get sucked into 2 cents per word, so do not feel bad if that’s where you start. Most of us start there (myself included).

Freelance salary calculator

If you are in a position to figure out your yearly or monthly salary, you will need to figure out what you need to make each month and what your writing is worth.

If you are just starting out, you can simply start with what you need to pay your bills (plus some extra) each month as a starting rate. Once you get some experience, you will want to figure out how many hours they want you for each week, what kind of writing you will be taking on, and figure out what that equals out to each month.

Keep in mind, if you are doing a monthly or yearly salary rate, you are often not taking on a lot of extra freelance work outside of this one client, so you should be factoring in that lost opportunity as well.

Hourly freelance rate calculator

You might have a few clients that prefer to pay you hourly. You might also need to know your hourly rate in case one of your clients goes over the initial scope of the project and you need to charge them more.

You can start by looking up average hourly freelance rates and starting with a set number, or you can figure out how much you need to make per hour to make freelancing worth it.

Price per freelance project calculator

While there are many ways to price your work, this is probably one of the top ones you should use.

You will want to figure out how long certain types of writing projects take you. For example, if you are writing a landing page for clients, start to track how long every single step takes you. Look up what other freelance writers charge for the same project. Combine the two to get your flat rate for projects.

Clients often love flat-rate projects because you both know exactly what the charge will be for the project and what you both get out of it.

Last Things To Keep In Mind

Freelance rate calculators are invaluable tools that empower freelancers to set fair and competitive rates for their services.

By taking into account personal expenses, desired income, industry benchmarks, and project complexity, these calculators offer a holistic approach to pricing, ensuring that freelancers are adequately compensated for their skills and expertise.

As the freelance landscape continues to evolve, these tools will play a crucial role in helping freelancers thrive in their chosen fields.

What To Do Next

Ready to recession-proof your career? You won’t want to miss out on our Recession Proof Freelancer book!

It’s the guide you need to build a steady career and make sure you do not get caught up in the ups and downs of the freelance life.

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