I haven’t done any resource posting in a while, so I thought I’d throw up some links to different articles and blog posts that might give you a bit of perspective on setting a fair hourly rate for your work. As always, NONE of these pages should be taken as the final word on the subject–differences of opinion vary greatly. This collection should be viewed as a way for you to form your own notions about what your time is worth as a writer:
Payscale.com has a handy chart listing hourly rates by amount of experience. I disagree with the first entry on that chart, if for no other reason than it is pretty tough to earn that amount of money in the first six-nine months. This chart is for technical writers, but even you tech writers might agree that it’s going to be a tough sell in the opening months of your career to earn $20+ an hour unless you have something you can put on a resume to sweeten the deal.
E-WritingJobs.com gives some food for thought on the difference between WORKING hours and BILLABLE hours.
Debra Jason wrote this one for The How-To Catalog on WriteDirection.com, a nicely detailed breakdown of fees vs. expenses and overhead.
Writing-World.com’s “How Much Should a Freelancer Charge?” by Moira Allen is required reading AND has a list of other resources (not listed here) to help you set your fees.
This one might not help you set your CURRENT fees, but is definitely inspirational. As someone who is only about 10K shy of being a literal six-figure freelancer this year, I can vouch for both the encouragement AND the criticism found in Michael Kwan’s blog post, How to Earn Six Figures as a Freelance Writer.
A great article giving you some perspective on what your clients are reading: Linda Alexander’s Working With Freelance Writers.
These are only SOME of the resources out there that can help you set fees and determine a realistic price structure, but in the end it is up to you to determine what your time is worth. The most important thing you can do is avoid the freelance newcomer’s mistake of undervaluing your time. If you don’t feel comfortable charging higher fees, perhaps you should ask yourself WHY. If you struggle with the notion that you are giving value for the money, consider taking some time with a writing coach or attending classes that will help you hone your skills and give you additional confidence that you CAN give the right value for your rates.