When I first entered the world of freelancing, figuring out what my freelance writer salary would be was a determining factor in moving into full-time work. Whether you’re planning to write as a side hustle, or you want to go down the full-time route as I did, you’ll need to do the same too.
Your freelance writer salary will largely depend on:
- The skills you can offer, such as a degree, experience in particular industries, and previous experience
- How much you need to earn to survive
- How good you are at hustling and negotiating
Using my guide, you can gain a brief insight into figuring out your own freelance writer salary and obtaining it.
Calculate how much you need to earn
Do you have a weekly, monthly, or annual budget? If not, now’s the time to start figuring one out. I use an app called Fudget. However, there are online options such as the one that Money Saving Expert provides.
Start with your basic living costs, as well as factors such as any money you plan to spend on web hosting, your advertising, and any necessary equipment. Then, start building on that with the luxuries you want to add to your life. While there’s no guarantee that your freelance writer salary will provide an opulent lifestyle, one of the greatest perks of freelancing is having control over how much you earn.
During this process, make sure you’re realistic. Sure, spending every other weekend in Paris is dreamy. But, if you’re starting out or finding your feet, including such costs probably isn’t feasible.
Once you know how much you need to earn, you can figure out how you’re going to aim for it through:
- Your per-hour fee
- A per-word fee and how many words you can write in each hour
- The number of hours you’ll need to work to achieve the above
As a very sensible side note, I also recommend including a savings plan too.
Factor in overheads
No matter how much you want to budget your marketing and online presence, you will have overheads. Simply hosting a blog without a dedicated domain name looks messy and unprofessional. So, at the very least you need a domain name, which will come with relatively small ongoing costs.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to offset some of your overheads against tactics. Naturally, this boosts your freelance writer salary. My suggestion is to do the following:
- Determine what you need to spend on your online presence
- Factor in advertising, if necessary
- Consider extra costs such as web design, professional stock photos, and other tools
- See if you can offset tools, some of your rent or mortgage, and other utilities
- Determine your tax benefits accordingly
- See where your overheads leave you financially
Try to assess your overheads on a monthly basis. As your career evolves, they’ll alter your freelance writer salary. As such, taking time to do this will give you a realistic view of what you’re really earning.
In the earlier days of my career, I often forgot to do this. Once I did determine what my overheads were, I was able to adjust my earning targets and workload accordingly.
A typical freelance writer salary in each area
The average freelance writer salary will depend on a number of factors. Naturally, the amount of experience you have plays a significant role. So will holding certain degrees. For example, while my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in medical fields hold weight for relevant topics, some clients would prefer a background in journalism.
But, know this: you can determine your freelance writer salary through:
- Gaining more experience
- Perfecting your skills
- Committing yourself to clients and grabbing testimonials
- Aiming higher all the time
In my post on freelance writer negotiating tips, I detailed how to work towards better rates. One of the simplest ways to do this is to not join into the race to the bottom. The more freelancers who do that, the less likely we are to generate decent incomes as writers.
Now, for those salaries…
After conducting a little research, I found that the average freelance writer salary varies between countries and will depend on experience. To demonstrate what I mean, here are some examples below:
Again, all of these images demonstrate how your freelance writer salary is dependent on experience. Speaking to some of those who work in the field, they usually earn more than the averages stated above.
As time goes on, your salary will grow. But, as with any job, this depends on a commitment to excellence, training, and promoting yourself like there’s no tomorrow.