I'd like to announce the latest free online tool for freelance writers -- our freelance hourly project rate calculator! Visit the link and start playing with it, or learn more about it below. You'll be able to access it alongside all of our other free online tools for writers on our freebies page.
What it Does
The freelance hourly project rate calculator is designed to help you figure out how much you really earn on individual freelance writing projects. That doesn't just mean what you charge the client. It means accounting for all time that goes into securing and completing the project, and finding out what your hourly rate breaks down to. For example, you can find out what you really earn with residual earnings schemes based on the full time invested, or you can track individual client projects.
Why Use It?
The freelance hourly project rate calculator helps you improve your productivity so you can start earning more without actually raising your rates. Remember, the key to success in providing services is finding out how to work smarter rather than harder -- finding ways to earn more while investing the same amount of overall work time since billable hours are limited by nature.
For example, you could use the calculator to compare final hourly rates earned while writing three different white papers of the same length. When you set your general per-project rates, you should have an idea of how long a project will take you. This tool can help you figure out that average and figure out where you might be spending too much time. That gives you the information you need to adjust your work habits to make the process more efficient. For example, you might change the way you communicate with clients -- email rather than several very long phone conversations if a client happens to be a "talker."
This tool is also designed to help those considering "too good to be true" freelance writing jobs. We talked recently about residual earnings and how people bragging about high earnings through those sites were leaving out important information (like having to write more than 1400 articles to make it happen and not mentioning edit requests and time spend corresponding with those editors or even reviewing and choosing topics to write about). The tool can be used to check some of those claims -- find out what earnings really come to before jumping into a gig that could drain you of far more than you get in return.
How to Use It
I think the tool is fairly intuitive. Start by choosing your currency from the list (it really doesn't affect the calculations at all -- just there so people aren't forced into using USD values). Then enter the information requested -- total amount charged for the project, how long you were writing, how much time went into research and brainstorming, time communicating with the client, etc. Enter values in minutes, not hours.
You can't enter information into the last two fields. When you get to them, hit the button at the bottom and their values will be calculated for you to tell you how many hours were spent on the project in total and how much you earned per hour worked on that project. That's all there is to it!