How to Price Your Writing as a Freelancer: The Blog Post Rate Calculator

Looking for a blog post rate calculator to see how much money you’ll earn for a post when you charge by the word? This simple tool can help!

Learning how to price your work is a challenge as a freelancer, especially if you’ve never before worked for yourself. To help you figure out a fair rate for your writing services, we created a simple Blog Post Rate Calculator for you to play with.

But first, let’s look at some standard pricing methods for freelance writers and talk about the pros and cons of each.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Please note: I am not a lawyer, accountant, or finance professional. The freelance blog post rate calculators on this page are just tools to help you on your journey of becoming a freelancer. Please talk to your lawyer or financial professional to determine what makes sense for you – especially regarding taxes and income.

3 Common Ways to Set Your Rates as a Freelance Writer

As a freelancer, it’s essential to be mindful of how you’ll charge for your work and what your rate will be. Three common ways of charging are per hour, per word, and per piece. Let’s look at each one more carefully.

Rate per Hour

If you’re coming out of a traditional 9-5 job, you might be tempted to charge per hour as a freelance writer. And though many companies want to pay you this way, I’d encourage you not to use it if possible. It’s my least favorite of the three standard methods.

When you charge per hour, you get punished as you improve and get faster.

In addition, you have to track your hours. That extra administrative step can be burdensome, especially when juggling freelancing and a busy family. You might work in five-minute chunks throughout the day, which is hard to document.

However, charging per hour can be predictable for you and your client. Every hour of your time is paid for. This helps prevent scope creep. If more gets tacked onto the project, you can let your client know that it’ll take more time, which means it’ll cost more.

Also, some clients would prefer to pay an hourly rate instead of a larger per-piece rate, even if the end number adds up to the same.

If you do opt for an hourly rate, here are three key things to keep in mind when deciding what to charge:

  • You have to earn enough to pay your FICA and income tax on top of the amount you want to pocket — be sure you’re charging enough, or you could be in for a nasty surprise come tax time
  • As a freelancer, you’re not getting benefits like health insurance. You’ll have to pay those out of pocket, so your rates need to help cover that.
  • Don’t forget to factor in time for research, editing, and any meetings the client wants. Those are all part of the job and should be accounted for in your pricing structure.

To ensure you charge enough, add the 15.3% FICA tax plus your tax bracket to the amount you want to charge. You can find your US tax rate from the IRS on this page.

To use this hourly rate calculator, input the amount of money you want to make after taxes. Then, select your tax bracket. Since FICA is set, use 15.3% for this number. At the bottom, you’ll see how much you should charge per hour to cover your taxes and still pocket the amount you want.

However, this calculator doesn’t factor in other expenses, such as your health insurance or business overhead costs. Keep those in mind as you set your rates to be sure you stay profitable.

Rate per Word

Another common way to charge as a freelance writer is per word. Many writers charge $0.05-$0.10 per word as a beginner and increase their rates as they gain confidence and experience. An expert writer can earn $1.00 or more per word.

When setting your rate, you’ll want to consider your experience level and background knowledge in the field. If you have years of experience in a particular industry, you can charge more than someone just starting out.

You’ll also want to factor in the time it takes to research and complete each task. If the client’s job is particularly difficult or specialized, you can also ask for a higher rate.

One good factor about this type of payment structure is that you don’t lose money for getting the job done quickly. Your client won’t care how many hours it took to do the job; they’re just paying you per word on the final, edited piece.

However, a definite downside to this payment type is that you may underestimate how long an article will take you to finish. So if you’re getting $0.10 a word for a complicated piece, it might take you several hours to finish, especially as a beginner. When you do the math at the end, you may be shocked to see how little per hour you made.

So always consider how hard the job is when pricing. Do some quick estimations in your head to ensure your per-word rate is enough to cover your time. At first, you might underestimate. But as you gain experience, you’ll get better at knowing how long a particular type of writing will take.

Here’s a freelance blog post rate calculator for pricing per word. Set your rate at the top and enter the number of words below. It’ll calculate how much you’ll earn for the post.

Rate per Piece

Another freelance rate type to consider is the rate per piece. This is my favorite.

In this piece-rate structure, you agree to a certain amount for the finished product.

For instance, you might agree to write a 1,000-1,500 word article for $150. Or you might write a series of four welcome emails for $550.

This type of agreement works well when:

  • You’re writing a shorter, more copy-focused piece that requires you to use your experience and knowledge
  • Your client doesn’t know how long of an article they want
  • The client is focused on the quality of work instead of the quantity of words

When getting paid per piece, some freelancers tend to be more concise with their words. They aren’t as apt to throw in extra fluff to make a few more cents on the work. The writing can flow more naturally when you’re not as worried about hitting a specific word count.

It also allows you the most control over your rate. You can decide what to charge for each piece and can work with each client to set a fair rate.

However, as with the per-word rate, there’s a chance that you’ll seriously underestimate how long the project will take to complete. In those situations, you won’t earn as much as you desire per hour. But you can chalk up the experience to help you learn and price yourself better the next time.

Since this type of payment is an all-in-one, I don’t have a blog post rate calculator for it.

Freelance Blog Post Rate Calculator

Regardless of your billing structure, remember that you need to charge more as a freelancer than you would as an employee. Your clients aren’t paying your FICA taxes or for any benefits. You don’t have sick leave or paid vacation days. Plus, you’re typically responsible for your own equipment and software expenses.

By pricing yourself correctly, you can recoup those costs and make a living wage so you can continue to focus on producing great content. The freelance blog post rate calculators in this post can help you get there!

And if you need personalized help setting your rates and growing your business, remember I offer coaching! Learn more here.

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