A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a blogger whom I greatly respect about a freelance writing position for a software company’s blog. I checked out the company and felt that I could do a good job writing for them, so we started our negotiation process.
One of the first question that came up was how much do I want (the gig is paid per accepted article). Since I haven’t consulted for a long time, I had to do some homework.
How Much Should I Charge For Consulting Work?
Method 1: Base it off my current job
I could base the freelance blogging rate on my current pay rate, assuming I am happy with the pay rate. However, it’s important not to forget your non-salary benefits, which is usually about 30-50% premium on top of the base pay.
For instance, if my current pay is $20 an hour, my ideal rate would be $30 an hour (after I factor in the 50% to cover my benefits).
Method 2: Base it off the amount I should have been paid at work
Let’s say my current job doesn’t pay me what I think I deserved. I could come up with a freelance blogging rate that I think would be a fair trade for my effort. Then follow the same process above to find out the ideal rate.
Method 3: Base it off the market rate in the industry
May be the current job has nothing to do with the freelancing job, as is the case for me. In this scenario, it’s worthwhile to do a little research to identify the market rate. Some places to start include:
- Elance’s Writing and Translation Project
- ProBlogger Job Board
- Ask your peers privately, or in forums — i.e., Authority Blogger, Bloggeries Forums, etc.
When you find a similar job, make a list and start formulating your rate based on the information you’ve gathered.
Method 4: Base it off my blog income
Since I also blog in my spare time, I have an additional option of calculating the consulting fee based on my blogging income. For example, let’s assume I wrote 20 posts last month and earned $500 for my effort. That’s $25 a post, and I could use that as the starting point.
However, my blog and income level grows from month-to-month, so I could do some kind of projection to make sure that I’ll be paid more from the freelancing gig — at least for a while.
How Much Should I Ask For?
How much you should ask for is not the same as your ideal rate. In my opinion, you should add 25%-50% on top of your ideal rate. This way you have some room to negotiate in case your potential employer wants to play that game.
However, you have to be careful and not go overboard with your asking price…they may never call you back.
More Freelancing Tips
Additionally, here are some great tips I found:
- Freelance Blogging for Side Income: My Top 10 Tips at AnyWired
- 25 Freelance Tips for Maximizing Your Income at Performancing
- The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Successful Freelancers at DesignersMind
- 5 Tips For Marketing Your Freelance Writing Business at FreelanceSwitch
- Freelance Bloggers: 12 Tips to Promote Your Work With Social Media at DailyBlogTips
Photo by oooh.oooh via Flickr