If you are a freelance writer selling your writing online, you may have calculated your hourly rate. Often, debates are waged about which sites can produce a higher hourly rate, but is it really important? The answer probably depends on your individual circumstances.
~Hourly rate basics
Calculating your hourly rate is not hard in most cases. Keep track of how long you spend writing the piece and how much it earns through upfront payments or residual payments. Divide the amount earned by the number of hours spent on it and you have your hourly rate for that piece. You could even go further and calculate your hourly rate for a site by keeping track of the hours and rates for all articles submitted to that site.
The federal U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 and some states set it higher. Are you making minimum wage with your writing?
~Reasons to keep track of your hourly rate
There are several reasons why you may want to keep track of your hourly rate. You may want to know which sites or types of articles are the best use of your time. In that case, it is helpful to know how much you are making based on the amount of effort put into it. This is particularly important if you are relying on making a living from your writing. If you are depending on making a full time income, you will want to work as effectively as possible.
Knowing your hourly rate if also helpful if you are trying to price an article. Although you can use per word standards, you may want to consider the per hour fee too. You may want to charge more for pieces that take a lot of time and research.
~Reasons why your hourly rate may not be important
Your hourly rate is not as important if you are doing this for fun and profit. If you are writing articles you enjoy, the money is a bonus rather than the main reason for the work. You may also be writing to experience and confidence in your skills. Freelance writing is a wonderful way to improve your writing skills and build your resume. Writing as a hobby can be therapeutic and earning a little extra makes it even better.
If you are happy with the amount you are earning, there is no need to be concerned with the hourly rate, but if you are looking to earn a living you may find a benefit in keep closer track of it. Experiment to figure out what types of articles and topics will help you earn the most for the time you put into it.