Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How Much are you Worth?

There have been several thoughts floating through my head as of late, and I thought I'd share one with all of you to get your opinions. As freelance writers, sometimes we may be forced to take jobs that are well below our usual pay rates just to get some money coming in. However, this is not the norm and I for one do not treat it as such.

The pay issue is something that will be argued until doomsday, but I'm curious to know: As professionals, what do you feel are acceptable rates? I'm not asking for specifics necessarily, more of a general guideline about what you think your time, efforts and skill are worth. I have my own opinions regarding the subject and I know the rates that professionals command. Your thoughts?

Please comment below; any and all thoughts are welcome.

Best Wishes,



At 6:33 PM, Blogger - said...

Personally, I'm happy to work for as low as $14/hour, as this was my wage for my last 'real' job. My usual rate is around $25/hour, and my high rate is $50/hour or about $100/page for copywriting work.

Look at me, thinking in dollars. This business makes a person so American.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Denise said...

May I ask what you did in your last "real" job? I've never had a job prior to this that paid me anything significant.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger - said...

I was an export administrator for a large electronics distributor. Basically, I took angry calls from the Egyptian Embassy in London for 9 hours a day, and then sent them lots and lots of LCD TVs until they stopped shouting.

Now I work from home watching my own TV. It's a hard life :)

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Denise said...

Oh... sounds almost as thrilling as my first job. Selling people credit card insurance was not the most fantastic gig in the world, that's for sure!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger - said...

I feel your pain :) I put myself through college selling credit cards and timeshares. It's hard to imagine a more depressing job.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

Like Keith, I tend to compare my freelance hourly rate with what I used to make at a "real job." I think the most I ever made at an office job (secretarial, administrative, customer service type jobs) was $13-$14 an hour. If I can make that much freelancing, I consider it a decent wage. More is better, of course, but I'm satisfied if my freelance income stands between me and the 9 to 5 grind! :-)

At 8:17 AM, Blogger - said...

I find that I could actually take a lower pay rate and still end up on top since I work from home. My largest expenses (apart from bills) when I worked in an office were petrol and lunch. Petrol is damned expensive here in England, so I was paying the equivalent of $190 a month just to get to work and back.

In addition to that I was wasting almost $400 a month on cigarettes, soft drinks, snacks and lunch. Now I don't stop at the shops every morning I've cut that down to less than $200 a month.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Denise said...

I agree, Wendy :)

I'd much rather be doing what I'm doing now than work at a dry cleaners, sick as a dog all of the time. (That was my last job; it turned out I was severely allergic to the chemicals used!!)

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

This doesn't apply to freelance writing, but consulting in general...

For me it comes down to maximizing long term income for the amount of time whatever it is takes me. I don't really do any consulting anymore simply because I don't have the time. I even tried to price myself out of the market (like charging $500/hour flat without any proposals or estimates on time... simply because I didn't want to do it). Unfortunately you still end up with people who want to pay. So now, I just don't do consulting.

I know it sounds completely absurd, but it would take a project of medium length (I don't want to commit to a long term project and also don't want to waste my time with a few hour project) that paid $10,000/hour for me to think about doing it. I just have too much of my own stuff to do that I don't need to push my schedule back further with other people's projects... Weird, huh? :)


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