This is an often-asked question. The following is this freelancer’s answer.
First, one has to take into consideration the level of experience and the particular job the client has for the freelancer. Not all jobs or freelancers are equal. If the client wants high quality, they should be willing to pay for it. If the client desires high quality but is only willing to pay amateur rates, walk away and let them find someone else. Freelancers need to value their time, if they do not, no one else will either. If the client wants to negotiate the price, the freelancer should have a figure at hand of what the assignment is worth.
Second, the client location is a consideration. Is the client is in NY City, or in a small rural town? This should make a difference in what is a reasonable rate for the freelancer’s time and work. There is no one rate fits all. There are those that say, charge blank per hour, this is fine if all of your work is in one place, but if you are national or international, there is no one rate fits all in this freelancer’s opinion.
Third, are you part-time, or full-time? How much money do you need? What are your expenses? These questions should also lead to how much to charge a client. If you are starting out, you cannot charge the same as someone that has been in the business for years and has the reputation of the go to person. As a new freelancer, you will have to work at least twice as hard to find work and will have to be reasonable for your clients until you prove yourself as a quality freelancer. Then slowly, over time you can raise your rates.
You can do a search online about what freelancers charge. One such site is: Editorial Freelancers Association. There are numerous sites to check out and come to some average, and then pick a minimum rate and do not settle for less. This may mean that you will be passing up work, but you want to be paid, and not give your work away for nothing, right? There is no way this freelancer can tell you the number of writing assignment passed because of the pay offered.
As an entrepreneur, who freelancers are, think of this as business. You are offering a service, you are in business for yourself, and you are an entrepreneur, like it or not. If this is a foreign concept to you, learn about being an entrepreneur, and learn what business is all about.
Why freelancing is a business, because as a freelancer you will have to wear many hats, be it accountant, marketer, public relations, and business owner if you work solo. You may also need some form of license to work from home, even if no client ever comes to your home, be it a large city or rural town you live in.
All of the above is part of what you as a freelancer need to calculate your minimum rate, and a negotiating point with your clients.
Good luck with your freelancing.